Apple Mistakenly Threatens to Pull Amphetamine from the Mac App Store

[UPDATE] 1/02/21 – Apple has dropped its violation charges against Amphetamine under the grounds that the term “Amphetamine” and pill iconography are being used “metaphorically” and “not in a medical sense”.

Popular keep-awake utility app Amphetamine found itself in Apple’s crosshairs earlier this week on December 29th, 2020 when developer William Gustafson was contacted by Apple representatives who claimed that his app was in violation of App Store guidelines.

Gustafson quickly took to GitHub to detail the alleged violation stating his belief that Apple was wrong in their assessment that he had violated code 1.4.3:

1.4.3 – Apps that encourage consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted on the App Store. Apps that encourage minors to consume any of these substances will be rejected. Facilitating the sale of marijuana, tobacco, or controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies) isn’t allowed.”

According to Gustafson Apple further clarified: “Your app appears to promote inappropriate use of controlled substances. Specifically, your app name and icon include references to controlled substances, pills.”

Originally released in 2014, Amphetamine has remained a widely used utility for nearly 6 years garnering a 4.8 out of 5-star rating from 1.4k satisfied users. The proposed violation is even more peculiar given that Apple has previously spotlighted Amphetamine in a Mac App Store editorial dating back to the days of macOS Catalina.

A rework and subsequent rebranding of Amphetamine in an effort to comply with Apple’s guidelines would be at a detriment to Amphetamine’s existing brand identity and could make it difficult for existing users to locate the app and or keep it up to date.

Gustafson has since taken to Twitter and to mount support for his ongoing appeal to Apple’s claims.

Brahm Shank
Author: Brahm Shank

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