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

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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 hey.com 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. ®

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