When app developers lie about their credentials

Thu, Nov 5, 2009


Check out this interesting piece over at Ars Technica detailing what hopefully won’t become a growing trend – app developers lying about their credentials, and taking credit for popular apps that they never created.

The Ars story details an Indian development firm called Trucid which advertised on the Rentacoder.com website that it was responsible for the iPhone apps ConvertBot (from TapBots) and BillMinder (from return7).

We confronted Trucid about the apps, and the company came clean. The CEO said that he had no previous knowledge of what was happening, but since receiving our inquiry he talked to the employee responsible. He told Ars that he was grateful for the information and that he was “taking all steps that is necessary to ensure that this will not happen again”. Meanwhile the CMO e-mailed Haddad [of TapBots] , saying that it wouldn’t happen again.

But wait, this app store tomfoolery gets even worse.

If you haven’t heard of Sugar Cube, you’re not alone—not many people have. It’s the classic behind-the-scenes development company. Sugar Cube was one of the first firms doing retail-branded applications for some of the world’s largest companies when Apple’s application store first launched. It was also responsible for multiple holiday season apps for large retailers last year. The firm is made up largely of former senior Apple employees, and its iPhone development experience began well before the store was launched.

According to Margolis, in one instance, Sugar Cube sent screenshots, under NDA, to a firm with a belief that the company was looking to refer work back. Instead, the company put together a presentation using the screenshots and bullet points on several technologies implemented by Sugar Cube, showed it to a major OEM, and now enjoys high-level contracts at the company—along with regular client referrals.

Actually, we don’t know which example is worse, but we do know that we have no regard whatsoever for scammers and spammers, to put it lightly.



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