Apple and Hey are feuding again over a calendar app
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Apple and Hey are feuding again over a calendar app

The creators of Hey, the email service by Basecamp, are once again in a dispute with Apple, this time regarding the rejection of their new calendar app from the App Store.

Apple’s justification echoes a similar situation four years ago when Hey’s email app was rejected – users who don’t pay cannot use the app after downloading it, and new users are unable to sign up through Hey’s calendar app.

Recently, Basecamp introduced an integrated calendar service with Hey, along with a new standalone app for it. However, on Saturday, Hey’s co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson shared on X that Apple has once again rejected their standalone calendar app.

Apple’s app guidelines mandate that apps should permit users to sign up for the service, including the possibility of subscribing and making payments. When users pay through in-app purchases, Apple takes a 30% cut (or less in some cases). However, certain apps like Netflix, Kindle, and Spotify are allowed to let users create accounts outside the app.

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In 2020, Apple initially rejected Hey’s email app because users couldn’t sign up for the service within the app. Eventually, a compromise was reached where users could download Hey and begin using it with a randomly generated email ID. To upgrade and access additional features, users had to make payments through a web browser.

In a blog post, David Heinemeier Hansson argues that apps such as Google Calendar and Netflix employ a login gate, with users paying for the service outside Apple’s ecosystem. Additionally, he points out that Apple utilizes a single iCloud ID to offer a subscription to a suite of apps. Therefore, Hansson contends that Hey’s calendar app should be allowed on the App Store.

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As for the future, Hansson expresses uncertainty but emphasizes their commitment to persist in the fight. He asserts that they will not succumb to paying Apple a 30% fee as “protection money” to be left alone, citing their past ability to find a solution and their determination to do so again.

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