Apple starts its New Year proceedings with a new weird application called “Gamestore”. With a description that needs some serious “mind-work” to understand, the app is available for $0.99 at Apple app store.
The existence of the application was first discovered by a German blog ifun. The one line description tries to shed some light on the functionality of the app, but somehow, it makes matter even more bizarre. The description reads:
This application allows you to buy different things from within the app.
The application includes a “Product List” which allows you to test the in-app purchase functionality. Currently there are three in-app purchases available with a price range from $0.99 to $2.99. Additional in-app purchases, though not visible in the app, can cost you even more than 20 bucks.
The application post date (listed as June 9, 2009), somehow, clarifies the situation a little bit. In June 2009, there was Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference when the concept of in-app purchases was first introduced. The app may be a simple testing app that accidentally got approved by Apple.
Gamestore is no longer available at app store. Erica Sadun (senior writer at TUAW), believes that the app was just a sample code for in-app purchasing test-application which got accidentally published at App store.
“What developers do is upload a working skeleton application to iTunes Connect. You do this with the full understanding that you’ll be replacing or, for tutorials, rejecting your binary at some point in the future. Once uploaded, you can test your IAPs, and make sure all your purchasing processes work.
Looks like the app was submitted in order to provide a live testbed and may have gotten approved inadvertently. After consulting with the TUAW team, our take on this is “likely sample code accidentally deployed to App Store” by Apple and then quickly pulled once people took notice. TUAW reached out directly to the developer we suspect was behind the app upload before it got pulled.”