As you might have read in my previous post, I’m having big difficulties to get the latest update out in the App Store.
Apple decided to go on subscription witch hunt, and iCaching is the victim.
After the first (granted) appeal, I submitted iCaching again for review. However the second time it was rejected again. For similar reasons, but even going a step further. This time because the login screen offers the ability to sign up for a Geocaching account. This login screen is a website provided by Geocaching.com, so that one is not in my hands at all… And funny enough: it’s already there for 4 to 5 years…
So I appealed again. After two days I got a mail that I would be called within 5 business days. Luckily I still had the number of the previous appeal, so after the weekend I called myself. After a day I finally was connected to a (friendly) Apple employee. This time I had to remove all mentions of ‘geocaching.com’ from my app description in the App Store (which are there since iCaching exists (3 months after start of Mac App Store).
And secondly I had to make all premium-member features invisible for non-premium members. I was flabbergasted because in the first appeal I was asked to make those features disabled (greyed out) for non-premium members, which was exactly what I did before resubmitting….!
I did these changes the same day, and now I am waiting for 5 days again for Apple to look at the application and to decide about the login screen. They don’t want to give any timeframe or estimation. They don’t seem to care at all about you, my customers, that are stuck with a version that does not work with the new Geocaching API. And in the meantime I’m managing a flood of user mails because users are confronted with a non working part of the application.
I was always a sort of Apple fanboy, but my admiration for Apple is quickly going down at the moment. They are acting so wrong here.
The separate downloadable version that has this API support is still downloadable from here. Sorry for the continuing inconvenience. I’ll keep you posted…
iCaching works with an API provided by Groundspeak to enable features like downloading geocaches, pocket queries, placing logs etc. Groundspeak released a new API and will close their old API this weekend (June 1st 2019).
I’ve been working on a new version for a big part of last year to support the new API so that iCaching keeps working like you are used to. Yes, it was that much work, and I have to do it in my free time.
About three weeks ago it was finally ready and I send this update to the App Store for review and release. But all of a sudden, after 4 years of having the Geocaching API in the application, Apple is making big problems now and rejected this update.
They stated that I should offer (premium) Geocaching membership as an in-app-purchase.
After this first rejection, I appealed and they admitted that I was right. I only had to remove a reference to the premium (paid) membership. I changed iCaching accordingly and submitted a new version.
To my bug surprise they rejected this update again (after keeping it in review for almost 4(!) days (normally it’s only one day). They are now stating again that I should offer membership to Geocaching.com as in-app-purchase and that I’m not allowed to show the login webpage of Geocaching as that offers the ability to create an account.
This is complete bull shit, as this is a membership of Geocaching.com and not in control of that. So I am not even able to do this.
I’m discussing with them for two weeks now, and this process is utterly frustrating and makes me completely mad!
I hope for fellow developers of other (iOS) Geocaching applications that they don’t become a victim of Apples’ subscription witch hunt as well, as that will break the whole community.
You might understand that this most probably means that version 8.0 with the new API support will not be out before Groundspeak shuts off their old API (I asked them for a prolongation, but I’m afraid they will not grant that favour).
As an intermediate solution I made a version that you can download from here.
This (beta) version has the new API, and you can use it for a month. It will work seamlessly with your library.
I really hope that Apple will come to its senses soon and the update will come in the App Store.
I’m really really sorry for the inconvenience, and I’ll do what I can to resolve this issue.