Email innovator Hey extends an olive branch in standoff with Apple, tweaks code to make the iGiant appier

We did what we think you want, now let it through

A truce is being threatened in the standoff between Apple's App Store and email imagineer Hey.

With a new take on email, Hey has its own dedicated app and requires users pay a subscription fee to use the service. Apple was unimpressed, first demanding a cut of the company's revenues before seeming to threaten to remove the app from its store completely.

We at El Reg are, of course, all too familiar with both the capricious and grudge-holding abilities of Cupertino.

The standoff has brought into sharp relief some of Apple's practices, which might seem less than fragrant to the delicate nostrils of even the most drooling fans.

On the eve of the Apple's WWDC, where the company is widely expected to pull the covers from Arm-powered macOS kit, it appears peace is threatening to break out in the Hey App Store spat after Apple senior veep Phil Schiller dropped some rather heavy-handed hints with regard to what he wanted from the email upstart.

The Hey "Imbox" contains only whitelisted messages

Hey is trying a new take on email – but maker complains of 'outrageous' demands after Apple rejects iOS app


After the sudden acceptance of the 1.02 bug-fix version of the Hey iOS app on 19 June, the gang put in a weekend of work to address Schiller's specific comments (kind of). The result is a version that allows users to sign up in-app for a free randomised email address in order to deal with the whole "you download the app and it doesn't work" issue.

That said, we can't imagine that anyone will come up with nefarious uses for what sounds a little bit like a 14-day "burner" Hey email address.

The gang has also added a multi-user "Hey for Work" option, where a company (instead of the individual) pays for the service, rather like other multi-platform enterprise products.

The result is 1.03, which has been submitted with an unspoken dare to Apple along the lines of: "We did what we think you want, now let it through."

An alternative approach for Hey might be to simply charge iOS customers more than those on other platforms. Certainly, the faithful are well used to paying over the odds for their hardware.

While longstanding apps from Netflix and Google appear to have gone through on the nod, Hey has become somewhat of a cause célèbre for those starting to look a little harder at Apple's App Store rules. As its developers prepare to tune in for their annual shindig, Apple could do without a cloud hanging over its treatment of those that have made its platform successful.

Heaven forbid that that any new Arm-based Macs end up being rather tightly bound to Apple's App Store. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022