Apple spent the day unveiling shiny new iPads and iPhones at its annual event.
But behind the scenes, there’s a battle over what people can put on these devices.
Lukas Schor, head of product development at Gnosis Safe, says that the release of his company’s Ether wallet was blocked by Apple. The reason? Aside from helping users manage the safekeeping of their cryptocurrency funds, it would have allowed them to view other digital assets, namely NFTs.
NFTs are blockchain-based tokens (usually on ethereum) that signify a contract for a particular virtual or physical object. They can be bought, sold or traded. Since NFTs are tokens, they are starting to be integrated into wallets so that people can view the virtual collectibles and artwork associated with the deed.
The integration of NFTs into Gnosis Safe has caused problems for Apple, which asked earlier this month if a new version of the app could be used to store NFTs, according to an Apple message shared by Schor.Schor said NFTs were integrated into the app earlier this year; the latest update is about connecting the hard wallet to Gnosis Safe on it. However, since the question was already asked, Gnosis replied that yes, users can store their NFTs on the app.
The Apple App Store has subsequently stated that it does not allow this.” We note that it is inappropriate for the App Store for your app to include or access paid digital content, services or features other than through in-app purchases.”
In a follow-up message attempting to clarify the issue, the Apple App Store responded by saying that Gnosis should remove the feature.” “Apple does not allow apps, especially wallets, to display NFT if it is not through in-app purchases,” an App Store reviewer wrote.
The result, then, is that you can buy NFTs through the app on your Apple phone, but you can’t store NFTs purchased elsewhere.
Apple has not responded to a request for comment from Decrypt, but the claim fits with the tech giant, which is known for tightly controlling its platform – sometimes, critics allege, to prevent competition. Apple lost a case against Epic Games last week when a judge ruled that it could not block external payment methods on its devices.
And that’s not the first problem cryptocurrency wallets have encountered when dealing with Apple.Trust Wallet said it removed its decentralized app browser from version 6.0 of its iOS app in June because, by its very nature, such blockchain-based apps don’t typically conform to Apple’s code guidelines. Similarly, imToken Wallet removed a featured dapp listing last week, citing App Store guidelines that apps “should not attempt to extend or expose native platform APIs to third-party software.” Android has no such issues with either app.