Update May 25: Following yesterday’s story, The Verge reported today that Apple has confirmed it removed the Airfoil Speakers Touch app after its recent 3.0 update introduced the ability to stream over AirPlay from other iOS devices. Apple said it is against Review Guideline 2.5: Apps that use non-public APIs will be rejected. Verge explained:
The feature in question permits any iOS device running the app to play back audio beamed from a variety of sources using Apple’s AirPlay wireless streaming protocol. Apple presently only allows designated products to act in this capacity — such as the Apple TV and (often expensive) AirPlay-enabled third-party hardware
We have seen Apple both reject and remove apps for many reasons in the past. It is often due to an icon or name that is too close to one of Apple’s own apps. Sometimes, however, apps are removed if they boast features that mimic or are too similar to the core functionality of iOS. Today, Daring Fireball pointed us to a post from Paul Kafasis of developer Rogue Amoeba, who wrote that the company’s Airfoil Speakers Touch app that is designed to send audio between Macs and iOS devices has now been removed from the App Store after being available since 2009.
Although Kafasis noted Apple has not given a clear reason why the app was removed, many are speculating it is due to a new feature introduced in a recent update to the app:
Since 2009, Airfoil Speakers Touch has made it possible to send audio from your Mac or Windows machine to your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, using Airfoil and its audio streaming capability. Last month, we introduced Airfoil Speakers Touch 3, which added the ability to receive audio directly from other iOS devices, as well as iTunes. Users and reviewers alike have loved Airfoil Speakers Touch, particularly the new version.
Kafasis claimed “Airfoil Speakers Touch is in full compliance with Apple’s posted rules and developer agreements,” and the company has filed an appeal with Apple’s review board to try to get the app reinstated. Unlike others, we are not ready to start speculating that this has anything to do with an upcoming feature that Apple is working on—especially because the post noted the app was removed once before (it eventually resolved the issue with Apple).