Readability simplifies websites for easier reading. It's a service which strips online articles of annoying jiggly-belly ads and other distractions, puts that content into a very readable format, and delivers it to you in Safari or on mobile browsers. Readability was so loved by someone at Apple that it was even put into Safari. Unfortunately, you won't see a Readability app in the App Store. Why? Readability requires a $5-a-month subscription. Your $5 a month doesn't just go to the developers -- they take 70 percent ($3.50) of your monthly fee and give it back to the writers and publishers of said content. Seems like a simple, elegant solution to the clutter on the web, doesn't it? Content is delivered, but a software service declutters that content for a price. According to Apple, this constitutes a content app with a subscription fee, and under section 11.2 in the app guidlines:
11.2 Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected.
Thus, Readability will not appear in the App Store -- it was rejected by Apple, citing the above clause. In a rather scathing open letter to Apple, the developers behind Readability point out that tiny shops like theirs charge tiny subscription fees, a "tiny sliver of app sales that represent a tiny sliver of your revenue." Now the big question: Where will this end? Content is one thing -- Amazon and others charge publishers various fees to publish their content on their stores. Functionality is an understandable use of in-app purchases, like buying more guns or Smurfberries, enabling you to do more things within an app. But services? One huge problem, and a recurring one for the normally tight-lipped Apple, is what constitutes a "content-based" app.