It was discovered this week that an app called Calendar 2 had slipped past Apple’s review team. This app contained a cryptocurrency mining option that allowed users to unlock paid features without having to fork out any cash.
Calendar 2 was used to mine a digital coin called Monero.
When Ars Technica asked Apple whether cryptocurrency mining apps would in future be allowed in its App Store the company did not respond immediately. The app stayed active for about 24 hours before it was removed – but even then it was unclear whether it was pulled by the developer or by Apple itself.
It was announced later that Apple did remove the App – but not because the company objected to cryptocurrency mining as such. Greg Magarshak, the Chief Executive Office of Obix, the firm behind the app, said their app was pulled because it placed too much strain on device resources.
Apple’s rules state that apps should not generate unnecessary heat, drain battery life too quickly, or place unneeded strain on the particular device’s resources.
Calendar 2 supposedly offered cryptocurrency mining only on an opt-in basis, but it was full of bugs and the mining feature reportedly ran whether one opted in or not – causing excessive resource usage.
Shortly before it was removed from the App Store, Magarshak promised that they would get rid of the cryptocurrency mining feature in future updates.
Calendar 2 later re-appeared in the App Store, and Magarshak tweeted that he and Apple were working together to bring out a release without cryptocurrency mining features. To make up for the hassles caused by the mining version all users – existing and new – will get free access to upgraded features for one year.
At this stage, it would appear that Apple will not again allow apps in its App Store that use cryptocurrency mining to unlock paid features.