Apple recently removed a popular iPhone app called Camera + from the iTunes App Store after developers, in an attempt to skirt around Apple’s app store guidelines, added functionality to the app via an easter egg that allowed users of the app to take photos using the iPhone’s volume keys. A previous app update incorporating that functionality had already been rejected by Apple.
Apple’s rationale for the initial rejection was that the feature was liable to confuse users. Undeterred, the developers behind the app (taptaptap) implemented an easter egg wherein the feature could be unlocked by visiting a mobile Safari URL. Not surprisingly, Apple doesn’t take too kindly to folks who try and circumvent app store reviewers. Quicknote – taptaptap is the development house behind 2 other popular iPhone apps, Convert and Voices.
Interestingly enough, Apple actually has a policy on Easter Eggs in iPhone apps. As it turns out, Apple isn’t opposed to them out of hand. Rather, if developers have hidden functionality within an app, they must first disclose that information to Apple’s review team.
Camera + appears to have wildly successful app, having netted over $500,000 in just two months, and it remains to be seen if the app will be given another shot.