Speaking of complicated relationships, Apple’s relationship with some of the iOS developers has mostly been rocky. Apple acts its pompous best and snubs simple app updates, time and again, adding to the annoyance of the developers. But, you can’t live with or without Apple.
The most recent cause of waves of unhappiness in Apple-land is more of a moral code thing. In the times where brands are reflecting empathy and supporting countries on humane grounds, Apple is being called out for being too profit oriented.
The founder of ProtonMail and ProtonVPS, Andy Yen is miffed with Apple for putting profit making above human rights. He states that Apple blocked an important security update for his application. He claims that apple rejected the company’s privacy-protecting ProtonVPN software because they didn’t ‘like’ the app’s description.
Andy Yen further stated his company’s stand as, “Whether it is challenging governments, educating the public, or training journalists, we have a long history of helping bring online freedom to more people around the world.”
Apple sternly told Proton that they should not encourage “users to bypass geo-restrictions or content limitations.”
Let’s add some context here to reveal more about the argument. Ahead of the unrest in Myanmar, VPNs are becoming an active and critical tool for the protesters to express their displeasure against the military coup. As revealed to Bloomberg by a researcher, VPN use has seen an extreme escalation of 7,200 percent since early the last month. That was the time when the government had blocked Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Instead of blocking the app perse, apple blocked the security update. This seems like a conscious choice to many. On the flipside and contrary to their own actions, Apple had announced last year that it would no longer hold up bug fixes.
ProtonVPN has taken the high road on the matter. They gave in to Apple demands. Despite the giving in, Proton has not been too quiet about it. Yen also told the Verge, “Due to the emergency situation in Myanmar, we removed the language about challenging governments which Apple found objectionable, and the app was finally approved.”
The App store trail is all set to start from 3rd May 2021. This is where the blatant scrutiny of Apple’s App store will be done. Yen has always been too vocal about Apple being two-faced. In the light of the current events, Apple is coming off as insensitive.
Yen also clarified the agony being faced in Myanmar by stating, “Today, apps like ProtonVPN are a lifeline to the rest of the world for the people of Myanmar who are being massacred. By preventing us from informing users that ProtonVPN can be used to bypass internet restrictions, Apple is making it harder for people to find this lifeline. Apple’s decision will make it even more difficult for the citizens of Myanmar to send evidence of crimes against humanity to the United Nations.”
We live in the times where Internet can make people more vocal, hope Apple recognizes its value!