Warning! App Store Scams – Artistic Typography Photo FX and a Bunch of Others

App Store, scam, scam app, crap app
The same crap app, rereleased over again, at $3 a pop. Photo by Ginger Lucero.

Updated 06/05/15: A quick check of the App Store shows that scam developers are still getting through, despite crackdowns by Apple over the years. The apps’ and developers’ names may be different, but the scam is still the same and still thriving.

This classic post was originally published in March 2013. As of June 2015, this practice is still going strong. It took me about 30 seconds to find a ton of low-quality, scam crap apps that, other than a new icon, haven’t been changed in years. Some of them were identical to photo apps originally identified by LoFi and The iPhoneography Blog — the only difference was a new “developer.” It must be worth their while or there would be no incentive to continue this practice for years.

App Store, scam apps, scam, crap app
Low-quality scam apps in the App Store, June 2015

And that was from just one developer….

Most App Store developers are honest and want to create the best apps they feel they can. however, there are still a shady few who simply want to separate you from your money $3 at a time.

Even though some of the app names are different, the methods are still the same. This classic LoFi post will help you recognize these “crap apps.” Know what to look for.

There are some shifty people on the internet. Be careful out there. =M=



Most iOS developers and apps are legitimate, with a genuine desire to create the best possible apps they can to delight iPhone and iPad users.  Unfortunately, there are a few slimy app developers that choose to game the App Store and scam users. These app store scams cost you money and can undermine consumer confidence in the App Store. App scams work so the scammers keep doing them.

iPhoneographer Ginger Lucero, whose outstanding dreamscapes and abstracts have been showcased in our weekly Faved feature for some time, alerted me to this series of App Store Scam apps. It’s one that’s been out there for a while. Apple has done nothing about it. All I can do is raise awareness. Keep reading to learn more.

Glyn Evans on The iPhoneography Blog first reported about this particular scam app ring in the summer of 2012. It’s an excellent read with a huge, shocking graphic that displays the number of photo apps in question. Glyn’s post shows some of the earlier players in this ongoing scam. In a follow-up comment on a crosspost to The iPhoneographers Network, visual artist Susan Maxwell Schmidt also lists many of the apps and developers involved in this scam. (Sorry, but it was an old domain and the link is now dead. =M=)

At the time, Apple was made aware of this and other scams in the App Store. This has been ongoing, which illustrates vulnerabilities in the App Store’s ability to monitor itself and how easy it is for some less scrupulous developers to game the system. There’s no way to directly report scams like this. Apple simply views it as a case of buyer beware. This damages the credibility of the App Store in the long run.

The Scam

This is a shotgun-style crap app scam — shoot a lot of versions of the app out there and hope they get hits. This doesn’t violate Apple’s terms per se and it’s easy, though not very unethical to do.

I have a feeling this is the work of one person or a group operating under one umbrella. An original app is released. Often, it’s a horrible, buggy, low-resolution app and the results rarely match the App Store preview images. The app may have fake five-star shill reviews to give it the appearance of legitimacy. The app is never updated, but is soon renamed and rereleased over and over again by a different developer in the ring. They will use the same App Store description and screen captures. Interestingly, nearly all of the apps in question start with the letter “A” to appear towards the top of lists when sorted alphabetically. The App Store sample images are full of stock photography. The goal is to catch buyers who see it on the New Photo Apps charts. The developer makes a quick buck or three and then starts the process over again.

The six art typography apps shown above are small number of the apps in question from this app scam ring. I have a more complete list below. This is a pretty nasty operation here. Not only are there iPhone apps, but the iPad versions are a separate purchase. What they are doing does not strictly violate the terms of the iOS Developer’s account, but it’s slimy, unethical, and hard to spot until you’ve been ripped off for $3.

I bought a couple of these so you don’t have to. The “arsty typo” apps above are horribly designed overlay apps. The iPhone apps save at the unusably small resolution of 320×480 pixels. The effects don’t look anywhere close to the arty-looking typographic effects in the screen preview.

Here’s a list of the app developers involved in this scam. Their photo apps are listed at the bottom of this post. There’s no way to stay on top of this, but I’ll try to keep it updated as best as I can.

  • Shu Ping LING
  • Jiehua Deng
  • Wang Jian
  • Ying Ni Nie
  • Cai Xia Bao
  • Dan Lei Su
  • Ai Qing Zhang

An easy way to avoid getting scammed is to not buy any apps from these developers, for a start. Each one has a dozen or more similar photo apps for sale — presumably as bad as the Art Typography apps above. The same crap apps will undoubtedly resurface under “new” developer names.

What To Do To Avoid Getting Scammed

Read real iOS app reviews from trusted sources like Life In LoFi, Combo Apps (Publisher Tina Rice tests everything, it seems), iPhone Photography School and other reliable websites and blogs. Be sure you read an actual review from someone who’s had hands-on with the app and not just the copy and paste App Store description many iPhone websites do. If an app isn’t reviewed by a reliable source, it does not necessarily mean it’s a scam app, but unless we’re calling out a scam app in a post like this, most bloggers won’t mention the crap apps to avoid drawing any attention to them.

Learn how to spot an App Store shill review. Click here for LoFi’s classic post on spotting fake App Store reviews. Many photo apps look great in the App Store, but there are red flags if you know what to look for.

Check Life In LoFi’s Photo App Page before you buy. It’s up in the navbar under “Photo Apps”. I can’t review all the photo apps I get. I’ve created and maintain a definitive list of nearly all of the photo apps I’ve tested, which includes the app’s maximum resolution and any major bugs the app may have. Nearly all of the legitimate photo apps are listed here. (Sorry that it hasn’t been updated in a while. I need to get on that…. =M=)

Ask other iPhoneographers on Facebook, Twitter, MobiTog and other #mobilephoto hangouts.

Ask the bloggers. Email us. I purchase and download many more apps than I cover on the blog. There’s a good chance I have the photo app you’re interested in — good or bad. Other bloggers are also very willing to help and answer questions about apps.


Be vigilant. Know what you’re buying. App scams probably won’t go away, but if the app scammers can’t make money in the App Store, they’re less likely to keep doing them.


Big thanks to Ginger Lucero for the heads up that these guys are still out there.

All of these iPhone and iPad apps share many commonalities, including App Store Descriptions, functionality, pricing and others. In many cases, the only difference between some of these apps is the name and the app’s icon. They are all extremely poor-quality apps. Purchase these at your own risk.

Shu Ping LING

Art Typography FX
Advanced Focus FX HD
Advanced Focus FX
Awesome Zombie Booth HD
Awesome Zombie Booth
Artistic Sketch Effect HD
Artistic Sketch Effect
Auto Portrait Booth HD
Auto Portrait Booth
Amazing X-Ray Funny Booth HD
Amazing X-Ray Funny Booth
Artistic Photo FX HD
Artistic Photo FX
Artistic Glossy Booth HD
Artistic Glossy Booth
Advanced Camera Filter HD
Advanced Camera Filter
Art Hair Booths HD
Art Hair Booths

Jiehua Deng

Advanced Photo FX HD
Artify FX HD
Artify FX
Art Typography Effect
Art Typography Effect HD
Auto Monet Photo FX HD
Auto Monet Photo FX
Art Focus Blur Effect HD
Art Focus Blur Effect
Art Davinci FX HD
Art Davinci FX
Art Camera Filter HD
Art Camera Filter
Abstract Smoke Photo FX HD
Abstract Smoke Photo FX
Artistic Sketch FX HD
Artistic Sketch FX
Art Color Filter HD
Art Color Filter
Art Masterpiece FX HD
Art Masterpiece FX
Auto Glossy Effect HD
Auto Glossy Effect
Art Ink Booth HD
Art Ink Booth

Wang Jian

Art Graffiti Booth HD
Amazing Stage Light FX HD
Amazing Stage Light FX
Art Sketch Effect HD
Art Sketch Effect
Art Light Painting FX HD
Art Light Painting FX
Art Platinum Camera HD
Art Platinum Camera
Art Typography Photo FX HD
Art Typography Photo FX
Auto Blur FX HD
Auto Blur FX
Artistic Projector Booth HD
Artistic Projector Booth
Abstract Smoke Effect HD
Abstract Smoke Effect
Artistic Portrait Booth HD
Artistic Portrait Booth
Auto Glitter FX HD
Auto Glitter FX

Shu Mei Ling

Auto Paint Me HD
Amazing Cover Booth HD
Amazing Cover Booth
Advanced Camera FX HD
Advanced Camera FX
Art Vintage FX HD
Art Vintage Photo FX
Art Sketch FX
Art Sketch FX HD
Art Letter FX
Art Letter FX HD
Auto Portrait FX HD
Auto Portrait FX
Art Garden FX HD
Art Garden FX
Art Van Gogh FX HD
Art Van Gogh FX
Art Typography FX
Advanced Focus FX HD
Advanced Focus FX
Awesome Zombie Booth HD
Awesome Zombie Booth
Artistic Sketch Effect HD
Artistic Sketch Effect
Auto Portrait Booth HD
Auto Portrait Booth
Amazing X-Ray Funny Booth HD
Amazing X-Ray Funny Booth
Artistic Photo FX HD
Artistic Photo FX
Artistic Glossy Booth HD
Artistic Glossy Booth
Advanced Camera Filter HD
Advanced Camera Filter
Art Hair Booths HD
Art Hair Booths

Ying Ni Nie

Art Retro Effect HD
Art Retro Effect
Art Camera FX HD
Art Camera FX
Amazing Flower FX HD
Amazing Flower FX
Alluring Night Sky FX HD
Alluring Night Sky FX
Art Fire FX HD
Art Fire FX
Art Fashion Hair Booth
Art Glassy Booth HD
Art Glassy Booth
Artistic Focus Effect HD
Artistic Focus Effect
Artistic Typography Photo FX HD
Artistic Typography Photo FX
Art Star Light FX HD
Art Star Light FX
Art Painterly Effect HD
Art Painterly Effect
Antique Photo Filter HD
Antique Photo Filter
Art Smoky FX HD
Art Smoky FX
Antique Photo Filter


Abstract Light FX
Abstract Light FX HD
Art Focus & Blur FX HD
Art Focus & Blur FX
Auto Davinci FX HD
Auto Davinci FX
Abstract Smoke FX HD
Abstract Smoke FX
Art Portrait Booth HD
Art Portrait Booth
Auto Glossy Booth HD
Auto Glossy Booth
Artistic Camera FX HD
Artistic Camera FX
Abstract Glitter FX
Abstract Glitter FX HD – art glitter booth
Art Painting FX HD
Art Painting FX
Art Vision Effect
Art Vision Effect HD
Art Retro Photo Effect HD
Art Retro Photo Effect
Art Fire Booth HD
Art Fire Booth
Art Typography Booth
Attractive Stage Light FX
Attractive Stage Light
Advanced Photo Effect HD
Advanced Photo Effect

Cai Xia Bao

Art Typography Photo Effect
Art Typography Photo Effect HD
Auto Painting FX HD
Auto Painting FX
Attractive Sky FX HD
Attractive Sky FX
Art Sketch Photo FX – New, 01.07.13
Art Sketch Photo FX HD – New, 01.07.13

Dan Lei Su

Art Hair Booth HD
Amazing Cover Cam HD
Auto Zombie Booth HD
A Magical Electric FX HD
Art Glitter Filter HD
Amazing Cloud FX HD
Awesome Firework Effect HD
A Magical Photo Projector HD
Action Shatter FX HD
Abstract Fire Synthesis HD
Insta FX HD
Amazing Stage Lighting Effect HD
Auto Dotty Cam HD
Art Focus FX HD
Artistic Wing Booth HD
Abstracted Blossom Camera HD
Auto Artify HD
Awesome Bling Effect HD
Abstracted Sketch FX HD
Artistic Old Photo FX HD
Auto Portrait HD
Art Eyes HD
Art Color Camera HD
Artistic Typography FX HD
Artistic Typography FX

Ai Qing Zhang (Added 01.07.13)

Art Blur & Focus FX HD
Art Blur&Focus FX
Art Photo FX
Art Photo FX HD
Art Smoke Effect
Art Smoke Effect HD
Art Vintage Photo FX – retro photo effect
Art Vintage Photo FX HD
Auto Glassy FX HD
Auto Sketch Effect
Auto Sketch Effect HD


UPDATE 01.07.13: Added new “developers” and apps to this list.

UPDATE 01.23.13: Added link to comment on The iPhoneographers Network

About Marty Yawnick 1808 Articles
Marty is a self-employed graphic designer in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. He is an avid Rangers baseball, Chicago Cubs, Packers and Highbury Arsenal fan. In addition to capturing random moments with whatever camera is close by (usually his iPhone), his other interests include coffee, film, music, and traveling in seats 5E and 5F with his fiancé.
  • Suzé

    Thank you Marty!! I’ve been seeing these jerks shuffle through for awhile now in the AppStore. I really wish there was a way for people to alert Apple to possible scam apps.
    Interestingly, they make the cover image to look very artful and appealing. Most of them aren’t put on sale or ever offered for free.
    Thanks for the exposé!

    • =M=

      Thanks, Suzé.

      And I purposely listed them and all of their photo apps here so they will show up in search engines. If I can save one person three bucks….


  • Suzé

    Oh, there is another developer that appears shady, Shen Chih Ching who has a slew of apps for the ubiquitous $2.99 and also operates under PSDC Creative, Inc.
    Curiously, many of his apps have been in the AppStore for awhile without any ratings unless you look at previous versions which reviewers state they are worthless. I’m assuming he is part of this ring as well.
    His are:
    Art Frame
    Camera 365
    Comic Photo
    Layout App
    Wood Frame
    GoApp Mag
    Frame App
    Frame App Pro

    • =M=

      Thanks! I believe you’re right, Suzé. I debated including them in this post because there’s little to no overlap with the other developers yet. I’ve got this dev bookmarked and am keeping an eye on them.


  • Ginger

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’m happy to have others read this and see what’s going on! Well worth the $2.99 I lost to bring awareness to others. :)

    • Veevs

      Ginger, report it to the App Store, they will refund your $2.99. I did this for 2 apps and got my full money back

  • Joao Vital

    I’ve noticed this scam too. It’s unbelievable that every week a clone of this app gets approved.

    And it’s unbelievable that the “new releases” list is still alphabetically ordered, it doesn’t make any sense. That’s the bug they’re really exploiting, and it’s a such a stupid bug.

  • Jeff White

    Oh my God! Thank you!I see this garbage all of the time. I use the AppShopper.com app (which is soon to be dead, so I hear) and I see clone apps constantly and they’re always garbage. I think I’ve developed a pretty good eye for this kind of stuff. Every time I see an app that looks cool, I check this site or Glyn’s site to see if either of you have written a review on it…if not, I’ll put it on hold until I read some app store reviews. Luckily, I’ve probably only spent a couple dollars on bunk apps. It’s too bad that Apple doesn’t have a better system for weeding this junk out of the app store. Only when it’s too late and these shady developers have made some money.

  • http://www.iphoneography.com Glyn Evans

    Marty, as you know, this has been going for for a long long time now, and the sad thing is, Apple (and in particular Phil Schiller) know about these developers and have chosen to ignore them. I guess as long as Apple are getting their 30%, they are happy for their customers to be scammed in this fashion.

    • =M=

      Hi, Glyn,

      Your piece on these guys back in August very clearly illustrated how many apps this concerns. It’s gotten bigger since.

      In the past, you’d gotten results when you contacted Apple. I seem to recall that with this ring, you never heard back after contacting Apple, and so this scam goes on.

      I was following other apps in this scam for a while before Ginger emailed me about the typography apps. I connected the dots and it’s pretty pervasive. These guys have a large number of apps in the store, not just photo apps. It seems they have ramped up again within the past several weeks.


  • Mr Timney

    Yeah I reported about these many months ago & they are still in the AppStore. It’s a shame that WE have to police the AppStore rather than having them keep US informed. It should be Apple who catch these things & without question reimburse those who bought any apps by said fraudulent & scam shrill developers. I am personally willing to be a one man show (but would prefer to be part of a team) if Apple is interested in hiring me to investigate & police the AppStore & save Apples time, reputation & loyal consumers money from being taken advantage of. I hope (Apple) Phil Schiller takes note & acts accordingly. I know he’s an honorable man, but when push comes to shove the people gotta act & just like I did with the 1000 apps I had removed a few years ago by Molinker (cough) I’ll bet there is an internal association…. Raising awareness & having such press & media coverage simply isn’t good for business (Apple)!


  • http://bermudabluez.blogspot.com bichonpawz

    Thank you so much for this post! Why isn’t Apple getting involved in this?? Wouldn’t it be to their advantage to get rid of all of these??? Thanks so much!

  • http://ab-ja.com norbu56

    The new China is infesting all the markets they can reach.
    I’m italian and all the fashion brands are cloned by them stealing from our market millions and millions of Euro.
    I think that Apple is “in the pack”, as we say in Italy.
    They close your eyes and let the money flow inside the AppStore vault.
    I was swapping email with a developer of Aviary asking why their extra filters (purchased on Polamatic) weren’t good for Aviary app (AKA purchase again).
    The Aviary boy told me that they asked Apple to remove this stupid limitation without having an answer by them.
    It’s impossible that at AppStore haven’t noticed hundreds of ScamApps – same descriptions, thumbnail, etc.
    Thanks a lot

  • http://www.apadmi.com app developers manchester

    By all means definitely have a legitimate developer create your app for you, else you’ll either end up paying over the odds or end up with one that falls short of expectations.

  • http://www.somewherethereisjeannie.wordpress.com jeannie

    I think it’s interesting these develops and scam app seem to come from China. The names certainly sound Chinese. And as @Norbu56 mentioned, it shouldn’t be surprising that while china is known for coping and selling knock-offs that it would also extend to apps. It’s really giving China a bad reputation.

  • Veevs

    I got caught with a couple of these a while back. I reported them to the App Store and they refunded me for both apps.

    If you have bought any of these scams, please report them straight away and ask for your money back.

  • Joao Vital

    It should be noted, however, that it’s hard for Apple to fight this. The repeated screenshots make it an obvious scam, but developers can change screenshots any time.

    Maybe Apple is thinking about big improvements instead of “wasting” energy on this particular issue. Even though i think it would be dead easy to at least improve this situation a little bit. I don’t know, guess i’m just hopeful they’re working on a whole better AppStore — it’s desperately in need.

  • Mig

    Thank you so much…. I also think “ying ni nie” and “shu mei ling” are same group of people or person. I was going to buy their app, I spot an odd similarity from both of then and start searching. This is how i come across your post here. I totally agree with you that this scam must be stop it make people start to doubt that the apps they they are going to buy really is working or as describe.

    • Marty Yawnick

      Thanks, Mig. I think both developers are definitely questionable.


  • Hassan

    Thanks for hard working and sharing this lis of scams apps and developers. We all should support this

    • Marty Yawnick

      Thank you.


  • Jason

    It helps sometimes to click on “App Support” or “Developer Website”. These “developers” have mostly no or skeleton (WordPress) websites.
    I pesonally don’t buy any up where the developer has no “trust worthy” website.

    • =M=

      An excellent suggestion, Jason. Thank you!


  • Lanie

    Luckily I’m too cheap to buy $2.99 apps or any “art overlay” type apps. I prefer to create my own textures with my photos. Lol. No seriously though Marty, thanks for this! ~Lanie

    • Marty Yawnick

      Not cheap, Lanie…. Thrifty!


      • Lanie

        Haha yes indeedy!!

  • http://www.learnphoto.ca Noel Chenier

    Thank you for you work on this list Ginger. If you send me an email, I’ll gladly gift you one of my apps as thanks.
    As an app developer myself, this really angers me.
    I’ve worked hard developing my unique apps, releasing them, and trying to market them the right and ethical way. I’m following all the rules apple puts in front of me.
    And scumbags like these are the ones that get downloads and are more popular than mine on the app store.
    And don’t get me started on the others who pay for fake reviews and downloads, fake postings online, etc, to manipulate the rankings.
    I wish apple would do more to prevent this…
    It’s frustrating to say the least. but maybe it’s the only way to be successful, i don’t know. I’m beginning to think this is like the tour de france…you want to win because you have trained hard and are a good cyclist…but everyone else is doping.

    Thanks again for the list Ginger. unfortunately these guys will just start over again I’m sure.

    And thanks Marty and Glyn for the great resources for iPhoneography.
    Noel Chenier

    • Marty Yawnick

      Hi, Noel,

      Thank you for stopping by. You make many excellent points. I understand your frustration. As a blogger who spends a lot of time researching photo apps, it’s very frustrating to see these guys A) take money from developers like you (which is what they’re doing) and B) through cheating, get higher App Store chart ranking (see A).


      • http://www.learnphoto.ca Noel Chenier

        Hi Marty

        Thanks for the reply. I can imagine it being frustrating for you as well, it would be a waste of your time and money to review crappy apps like these.
        This has been quite a journey for me developing my apps, and quite the eye opener!
        I am happy to see someone like yourself who does honest and unbiased reviews, unlike many sites out there.

        Keep up the great work, and happy shooting!


  • Ginger

    What a very generous offer of you to make!! That is very kind of you! I honestly can’t take any credit for compiling the list, that was all Marty! All I did was pass along what I found and Marty do the rest…he’s awesome that way! 😉

    As far as these scams are concerned. I must admit that I’m really pissed to see people being taken advantage of. It really is sad too because not everyone knows about these types of scams or the fake reviews either. I just hope Apple will look into this further. I did ask for a refund for this app, as I did buy it. We’ll see how it goes.

    Again thank you for taking the time to read this. As an app consumer, it please me to know there are good Devs out there, willing to listen and get involved!!

    Thanks again,

    • http://www.learnphoto.ca Noel Chenier

      Hi Ginger
      So far I’ve only had one person ask for a refund(because she hadn’t read the full description for the app and thought it would work full screen on her ipad when it was stated it wouldnt) but she was able to get it pretty quick. You should get a refund obviously because of this scam.

      Trying to do my best to do things right!
      Always willing to listen…feedback is the only way to improve.


  • Mulvaney

    One of the few problem apps that I bought (before researching it) was Large Aperture Pro by zhong. It is a typical low resolution app except that it actually distorts photos and does not save the intended blur effects. There were a few updates that made it even worse.

    I posted an honest review but almost immediately there were a number of five star reviews talking about how “muche fun” and amazing it was. When I updated the review to bring mine to the top, the process repeated again. I even sent the developers examples of the distorted photos without a reply.

    I noticed that a couple of his apps were temporarily free and tried them out. After I posted reviews noting similar problems, the developer mentioned my user name on the app descriptions, accused me of being part of a conspiracy, getting his apps illegally and slandering him — threatening legal action. I contacted Apple about it and was told there was nothing they could do.

    Eventually, he decided that mentioning critics on the app page was bad for business. He also got tired of seeding the app with fake reviews as more people posted. Perhaps he had moved on to other things.

    • =M=

      Ahhh, Zhong. A fine purveyor of low res crap apps. I remember his diatribe. I mentioned it in my review of the app. I remember you from that. He’s got another low res POC that he’s been playing the App Store pricing game with lately, Fish Eye Lens. I reviewed that one also a while back. I hope it turns up in search engines as a warning. =M=

  • Jason
    • http://www.learnphoto.ca Noel Chenier

      Wow…so I guess I should have been switching out my app screenshots for instagram ones all along? No wonder I haven’t made millions with my apps yet!!


      Thanks for posting Jason.
      I had to scramble to upload my screenshots for my apps currently under review as I wasn’t aware of this!!!!
      Should be interesting to see what happens and the effect it has…I hope it doesnt start a flood of new binary uploads, which will slow the review process down for legitimate developers…

  • http://www.learnphoto.ca/apps Noel Chenier

    Shu Mei Ling is at it again…
    new app on the app store Artistic Typography Effect HD released Jan 12th…along with good old Ai Qing’s Art Vintage Photo FX HD…
    as I have just released my iPad versions of my photo assignment apps, this really angers me.
    I wish apple would not let these guys get away with this.
    Both of their “SUPPORT” page are unfinished wordpress sites…
    Seriously!!! They should be rejected for that alone! I have my app rejected TWICE because I used “for iPad” in the bundle name the first time, the second time it was for wrong capitalization of “iPad”
    I spent hours developing a support page that would make sure my customers could get help for any problems, or contact me if they couldn’t.


    Sorry…rant over.


    • Marty Yawnick

      I share your frustration, but Apple seems to be doing nothing in this specific instance. Thanks for sharing the new apps, Noel. I’ll add them to the post. =M=

  • http://www.learnphoto.ca/apps Noel Chenier

    Ai Qing Zhang
    Art Portrait FX HD
    Released Jan 20th
    Artistic Camera Effect HD
    Released Jan 17th

    Abigails Enigma HD (NOT EVEN A PHOTO APP)
    Release January 18th

    Cai Xia Bao
    Art Painting Effect HD
    Released Jan 18th

    i dont think it will matter, but I think I’ll be contacting apple.

    • Marty Yawnick

      Hi, Noel,

      Please do. Feel free to use the list on this post when you do. Perhaps having specific app names will get something done this time. Keep us posted on any progress. And good luck.


  • http://www.learnphoto.ca Noel Chenier

    Thanks Marty I will!
    btw, I had sent you an email with some questions about posting on the forum in relation to my apps, but hadnt recieved a reply.
    Sorry to be a pain, but I just want to make sure I’m following the rules of the site and want some guidance.

    Thanks again

  • http://www.learnphoto.ca/apps Noel Chenier

    Happy to report that Apple appears to have taken note of this and removed the offending apps and developers from the store.
    +1 to Apple for helping out honest developers trying to produce great apps.

    For now…..
    No doubt these scumbags will try again, so keep your eyes peeled and report any that reappear.

    Noel Chenier

  • WickedJill

    Thank you so much for posting this! You saved me from spending hard earned money on scam apps. I believe you should also add Delong Zheng, Si Lin Gu and Ting Xie to the list. None of them offer free versions of the apps, so you can’t try before you buy.

  • twinkletoes

    Enlight app has been scammed since a couple of weeks after its launch. Lightricks, the developers, are in constant contact with Apple. But the fakes keep reappearing like whackamole. The real Enlight has no blue border on the icon, and currently there is NO ipad version, Both the screen shots are off the US appstore and neither are the genuine ENLIGHT by Lightricks.

    • http://lifeinlofi.com/ Marty Yawnick

      Thanks for sharing this one, T. I’ve seen a few of the Enlight knock-offs. As Factune isn’t an app I normally follow, it disgusts me to see that Columbia Team so blatantly tried to lure and rip off buyers with such a blatant knock-off. =M=

  • http://fotosyn.com Fotosyn

    Really disheartening. Especially as an app developer.

    My latest update to Geló took 10 days to get reviewed and approved. And yet crap like this still gets through those gates. You’d think with the time taken the quality threshold would be sustained.

    And if that’s not enough; it’s became increasingly difficult to get traction in the app store as it is. That spamware as shown above; tars a lot of us smaller devs with the same brush. Once bitten twice shy; it may stop customers giving apps they’ve never heard of a punt.

    And that’s a shame. I’ve lost count of the numbers of hours I’ve spent working on making things better, and trying to keep my apps current and relevant. But it’s getting harder.

    These duff apps are an insult to us all; as customers and developers of apps. Google Play used to be like this; and to a degree probably still has some problems. At the same time, the approval process to get apps launched has significantly decreased on the Android platform… so devs, can to all intents and purposes continuously deliver and improve.

    So why with the lengthy wait on the App Store for reviews, is this crap still getting through?

    • http://lifeinlofi.com/ Marty Yawnick

      Thank you, Jim.

      I’ve heard of App Store approval process nightmares from other developers, including some really good ones you wouldn’t expect.

      Jim, although time often limits us here (although having, for the first time, several writers other than myself helps a lot), I look for apps such yours – great photo apps from smaller developers who give a hoot about quality photo apps.


  • DianaNicholetteJeon

    Thank you!