Tech giant Apple has apologised to Brendan Eshom, an app developer for indigeous language Sm’algyax, for wrongly accusing him of “dishonest and fraudulent” acts and consequently removing the app from the App Store, as per a report by Macrumours. Eshom is a freshman college student and a member of the Ts’msyen First Nation community.
The app that was removed is “Sm’algyax Word”, and has been available on both Apple App Store and Google Play Store since July 2020. It is a dictionary app meant to find words and phrases from the Sm’algyaxm archived from FirstVoices.com. When Apple removed the app, it had 600 downloads and was in the top apps list in the Education category. The developer reportedly said that he got an automated mail from the Cupertino-based tech giant the contents of which relayed the information that his developer account would be terminated because of “dishonest and fraudulent” acts violating Apple’s terms and conditions.
As told to Global News, the app developer tried to contact Apple for an explanation but was unsuccessful. Then he tried another tack and contacted Consumer Matter, a segment from Global News itself, to try and get an explanation from Apple, which the company ultimately did.
Here is Apple’s statement, as given to Consumer Matters:
“Maintaining the integrity of the App Store is a responsibility we take seriously to ensure the safety of our customers and give every developer a platform to share their brightest ideas with the world. Unfortunately, this developer’s app, which is a great example of how technology can be used to bridge cultural understanding, was mistakenly removed from the App Store.
We regret this error and apologize to Mr. Eshom for the inconvenience this caused him. We have since reinstated his developer account and app, and will continue our efforts to improve our processes to ensure this does not happen again.”