What's going on with Fetch?

Last Wednesday evening we received a notification from Apple that Fetch had been removed from the App Store. They cited the following rule and sent some screenshots accompanying the notice of the transfers screen.

22.4 Your app falls into a category of apps that are often used for illegal file sharing, which does not comply with the App Store Review Guidelines.

We submitted an appeal to this rejection to the App Store Review Board and was told we would hear a response within one business day. This was submitted late on Thursday so we thought we'd hear back on Friday or Monday at the latest. It's now Wednesday and we have not yet heard anything from Apple regarding this appeal. My guess is the appeal got cancelled when we submitted a subsequent build.

Alongside this appeal we also submitted a version of Fetch that removed the transfers functionality. We received confirmation from the App Store team that the ability to add magnet links was indeed the reason we removed from the store and as such worked as quick as possible to remove this feature and get back on the store.

Apple later confirmed that Transfers tab was what the issue was so we were confident that 2.0.1 with that section removed would be approved. Fetch entered review late Thursday night and was in review until yesterday when the review team made the decision to again reject Fetch. Their reasoning was again 22.4 of the App Store Guidelines.

Obviously this isn't what we wanted to hear and I submitted another appeal to this rejection. The review board stuck by their original decision to reject Fetch.

Your app continues to contain associations with illegal file sharing tool, which is not appropriate for the App Store.

There are many Put.io apps still on the App Store, some of which still offer the transfers functionality so it's disappointing that we've seemingly been singled out amongst our competitors. With the removal of the Transfers functionality Fetch became a purely consumption and management tool — not too dissimilar to Plex, an App that has been featured by Apple in the past.

What now?

It's abundantly clear that Fetch is not coming back to iOS or the Apple TV. However, that doesn't mean Fetch is gone for good. We've started work on a Mac version of Fetch and are investigating the possibility of working on an Android version too.

What happens if I already have Fetch?

The current app will remain and you should be able to re-download it from the Purchased section of the App Store should you accidentally delete the app. Push notifications will continue to work and we'll continue to run the push notification server for the foreseeable future.

Will you open-source Fetch so we can side-load?

At the moment we probably won't open-source Fetch. Without being able to upload it to the App Store there is limited appeal for us to continue development on it and the codebase would need to be significantly cleaned up before we would open-source it. As we're working on a Mac version too, there's also a commercial aspect to the decision.

I still want to use Put.io on my iPhone, what can I do?

You can always still use the fantastic Put.io responsive website. However, a number of apps supporting Put.io remain on the App Store (at least for the moment). Some apps you may want to check out are:

Thank You 💕

I also really want to thank everyone who supported Fetch over the last year. I originally built the app in order to learn Swift and iOS development and it grew into something that was infinitely more popular than expected.

While Fetch will no longer be on iOS it will live on so keep an eye out for things in the coming months.

About Stephen Radford

Software Engineer. I take a few photos when I'm not stuck behind a keyboard too.

Leicester, UK http://stephenradford.co.uk

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