Apple finally clamps down on app store copycats

While Google’s Android platform may take heat over malware and malicious apps, Apple’s app store hasn’t been without problems either. Although we’ve seen many copycat apps rise to the top of the charts over the past few months, last week Apple took action, removing most of the apps from a developer named Anton Sinelnikov after The Guardian highlighted the issue in its Apps Blog.

Famous for releasing apps with names like Temple Jump, Angry Ninja Birds and Plant vs. Zombie, the developer now has just nine apps listed. Unfortunately, Sinelnikov does not appear to have learned his lesson — his most recent app, a $0.99 game called Space Racing was released on Feb. 3 and has already gathered negative reviews for its misleading artwork. Visiting the app’s support page from the app store prompts a phishing warning and prompts a user to log into Gmail.

Another of Sinelnikov’s remaining apps, Paper Climber, looks suspiciously similar to Lima Sky’s Doodle Jump. That app’s support page appears to direct to an unrelated personal blog from a US citizen named Denis Sinelnikov.

Unfortunately for developers, there is little they can do about copycat apps other than reporting them after the fact and hoping Apple takes notice.

Mojang, which has dealt with a stream of copycat apps based on its extremely popular game Minecraft asks its users to report impostors to the App store, but so far Apple has not yet taken action against one of Mojang’s most prolific copycats, Top Best Adult Entertainment and its apps EclipseCraft and Craft – Build Terrain. The developer also has also released apps imitating Halfbrick’s Fruit Ninja, Playtika’s Slotomania and Outfit7’s Talking Friends series.