I’m not having a particularly great day today (I won’t bore you with the details) but the icing on the cake has been the accidental discovery that our Chameleon Clock app has been shamelessly ripped off.
I’ve posted about this sort of thing before but this episode is perhaps even more blatant. Our App Chameleon Clock was released on the 11th of July and although it didn’t change the world it seemed as if a few people liked it’s simple premise.
We’re just in the process of updating it for the iPhone 5 so I did a quick check in the App Store to reference which screenshots would need changing and came across Chameleon Clock™ which was released a couple of months later – plenty of time to code up an app as simple as this… I particularly like the ™ that they’ve added to the name implying that they were somehow the ‘original’.
The developers, Orangeport seem to have a bit of a habit of this sort of thing – a quick search in the App Store for WTHR (a beautiful designed, well reviewed weather app – http://www.wthr.co) also brings up WTHR by Orangeport…
It seems to me that if this is happening with Apps of this level – no offence to the guys behind WTHR but we’re not talking about household name apps here – then this practice must be rife throughout the App Store and it’s about time that Apple did something about it.
Surely it’s not too difficult for Apple, as part of the approval process, to do a quick search of their own store and see if there’s already an app with the same name and functionality? There’s obviously a grey area where apps might coincidentally have similar names and functionality, but in other cases (like the above) it’s just blatantly obvious what’s going on… It’s about time they tightened things up – the current situation isn’t good for developers who are seeing their hard work ripped off or for consumers who accidentally end up buying the wrong app. The only people that benefit are the bastards that steal other people’s IP…
Please Apple, sort it out.