Rogue Amoeba brings back Airfoil Speakers Touch, without direct AirPlay feature

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Rogue Amoeba brings back Airfoil Speakers Touch, without direct AirPlay feature

Airfoil Speakers Touch, the iOS app from Rogue Amoeba that was yanked from the App Store last month under somewhat confusing circumstances, is back in business. The company announced today that AST has returned to sale, but it's now stripped of its marquee in-app purchase option. The ability to receive audio directly from other iOS devices or from iTunes (emulating an AirPlay hardware device), added in version 3, was removed to accommodate Apple's review requirements.

When AST was first pulled from sale, Rogue Amoeba was told that it was due to the use of private APIs; the problem, as founder Paul Kafasis said on the company blog, is that the app didn't use any. The streaming functionality added in v3 was cleanly reverse-engineered, and after further conversation with Apple it was acknowledged that the original communication around the removal was poorly handled.

Even with the awareness that the app met the letter of the law for approval, Apple's review team stood its ground and would not clear the app -- using the blanket (and frustrating) "we know it when we see it" rule. Kafasis's frustration with this stance is evident:

"It's clear that despite previous claims, Airfoil Speakers Touch was not in fact using private APIs. The Enhanced Audio Receiving add-on was implemented entirely from scratch and conformed to Apple's published guidelines.

Regardless, Apple is using the authority they provide themselves in the guidelines and program license agreement to remove apps they don't like. Specifically, they cited a provision in the App Store Review Guidelines which allows them to reject apps "for any content or behavior [they] believe is over the line". That's certainly disappointing, and frustrating, but it's the nature of the system Apple has created."

Rather than leave past purchasers and future customers hanging, the company has brought the app back without the problematic AirPlay streaming feature. If you still want to stream from iTunes or another device to AST, there is a workaround guide on the Rogue Amoeba website (currently slammed with traffic).

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