Apple has reportedly pulled a calendar app from the Mac App Store because its recently introduced crypto-mining feature used too many resources.
The app, Calendar 2, had implemented a feature that mined a cryptocurrency called Monero in the background. The feature allowed users to “pay” for full access to the app by leveraging their device’s resources to “unobtrusively” mine the cryptocurrency while the app was open.
While the app and its crypto-mining option was available on the Mac App Store for a good 72 hours, it was eventually pulled by Apple.
The Cupertino tech giant told the firm that it violated App Store Review Guideline 2.4.2, which mandates that apps should be power-efficient and should refrain from putting “unnecessary strain on device resources.”
Calendar 2’s developers, Qbix, opted to work with Apple and remove the cryptocurrency mining feature from its app. As of the writing of this article, the app sans crypto-mining is now back on the Mac App Store.
Qbix CEO Greg Magarshak said that his firm was able to generate about $2,000 worth of Monero in the three-day period that it was available. “We plan to use those proceeds toward improving features for our users going forward,” Magarshak said in a statement to 9to5Mac.
Calendar 2 Raised App Store Questions
The existence of Calendar 2’s crypto-mining feature raised some questions about whether Apple would allow such apps in its App Store.
The feature apparently made it past Apple’s App Store editors the first time around, and the company was reportedly slow to respond to questions about the app’s features.
ARS Technica wrote that Apple has yet to respond to questions about whether Calendar 2 violated any App Store terms and services. The online publication was reportedly the first medal outlet to alert Apple to the app feature’s existence.
The cryptocurrency mining capability remained on the App Store for about 24 hours after Apple was tipped off.
The Problem with Crypto Mining Apps
As ARS Technica points out, apps that mine cryptocurrency are rampant on the Google Play store. Many of them are created specifically by scammers and the apps never disclose that they’re using device resources to mine crypto.
These apps use millions of devices to generate funds by surreptitiously mining cryptocurrency in the background. In some cases, the malicious apps can use malware that’s so aggressive that it can physically damage smartphones, ARS Technica reported last year.
While Calendar 2 was transparent about its own mining, there was uncertainty about whether or not the resource-straining feature ran afoul of Apple’s guidelines — or whether the Cupertino tech giant would allow such features going forward.
Due to the outcome of this particular case, it seems that Apple won’t be allowing background cryptocurrency mining in its apps — covert or otherwise. Based on the harm such apps can do to Google devices, it seems that Apple’s policies may be for the best.