David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of HEY, has openly criticized Apple for its decision to reject the new HEY Calendar app from the App Store.
The rejection came after a prolonged 19-day review, causing HEY to miss its January 2nd launch date. The reason cited was the app’s requirement for users to log in with an existing account.
“There should at least be a standard of double jeopardy when it comes to the app store monopoly regimes,” Hansson stated on Friday, expressing his frustration over the rejection.
He argued that similar apps requiring pre-existing accounts are commonplace in the App Store, citing examples like Salesforce, JPMorgan, Netflix, and Google Calendar.
Hansson further criticized Apple’s inconsistent application of its own guidelines, saying, “But unfortunately, there is no rule of law with the app stores, except that of the jungle, and Apple is the 800 lbs gorilla, ruling as it sees fit.”
The dispute echoes a previous confrontation in 2020 between HEY and Apple, which resulted in a specific exemption for email services in the App Store Guidelines. Apple eventually approved the HEY email app, just before WWDC at the time.
“HEY Calendar is a free companion app to that very same service,” Hansson pointed out, questioning why the calendar app was not afforded the same exemption as his email app.
Highlighting the contrast with Apple’s own services, Hansson remarked, “It’s even more frustrating because this one-service-many-apps strategy is exactly the same that Apple has taken with iCloud.”
Hansson remains determined to challenge Apple’s decision, emphasizing the importance of fair competition. “We’re never going to roll over and pay Apple 30% in protection money to be left alone,” he declared. He also expressed hope that upcoming regulatory changes, such as the EU’s Digital Markets Act and a potential lawsuit from the American Department of Justice, might level the playing field.
“One can only dream. But one should also fight. You don’t get something for nothing,” said Hansson. His stance reflects a growing concern among app developers about Apple’s control over the App Store and its impact on competition.