Need not Fooled: The Mac App Store Is Full of Scams



And other developers seem to be working some dark App Store SEO magic. Search for “Firefox” or “Chrome” and the top application is “Fast Browser, ” a $1 app that hasn’t been updated since 2014.



And there’s all sorts of weirdness to be found elsewhere:

There are also several $20+ applications that put Microsoft’s free online version of Office into a dedicated browser. Then there are the actual “apps” capable of opening and editing Office files, many of which use terms like “Microsoft Word” in their names. They appear to be slightly modified versions of open source applications, but we’re not about to buy them to find out.

It’s not as clear that any of these applications are trying to deceive people, but it’s another case where it’s striking how closely these developers are mimicking official branding.


RELATED: Why the Mac App Store Doesn’t Have the Applications You Want

But anyone who browses the Mac App Store regularly knows that this platform needs cleaning out too. Seemingly official applications of dubious value are way to easy to accidentally find by searching. It’s understandable that Apple wants the App Store to appear full, but leaving things seemingly built to deceive persons is scarcely an answer.

Seek out other Office applications and you should find even more template packages, disguised seeing that official applications to numerous degrees.

Browsing that wedge of textual content, what do you suppose this kind of download gives? Go ahead and speculate.


See that! This is the “easiest way to produce high-quality Phrase documents, Exceed spreadsheets, and PowerPoint demonstrations. ” Could exactly what you want! Let’s examine a little more.

The most notable result can be something referred to as “Office Package deal, ” and costs $30. You click on the result to reading more.

Using this otherwise you browser is an extremely, very awful idea.

You’ll be able for a number of templates to get worth $30, as well as for all I realize these are really good. But a few review:

Theoretically, this is part of why app stores are useful. Users afraid of being scammed on the open web can browse the Mac App Store with confidence, knowing that Apple’s walled garden will protect them.

With the exception of OneNote and OneDrive, you cannot buy any official Office app from the Mac App Store. You have to purchase it directly from Microsoft, either for $150 or in the form of a yearly Office 365 subscription. (Alternatively, you can use Apple’s iWork suite, which probably came with your Mac, as well as the web release of Microsoft Office on line or a cost-free open source choice like LibreOffice. )

Make an effort to put your self into the state of mind of a newbie computer user. You have a new iMac, and you want to edit some Excel spreadsheets. In the dock you find that App Store you have heard so much about, so you open it. You find the search bar, then type “Microsoft Excel. ”

This might seem obvious to you. It isn’t obvious to everyone, and the presence of the Mac App Store full of imitators serves to make this a lot more complicated. The walled garden isn’t very protecting everyone.

Let’s be blunt: these customers were ripped off, and Apple pocketed $10 each. And you’ll only see these comments if you scroll past the two five star reviews that mention the word “app” several times. Both of those evaluations, by the way, were left by accounts that haven’t reviewed any other apps in the Store.

Last year we outlined how the Windows Store was a cesspool of scams, a problem Microsoft offers since been tackling. Apple, for their part, is making an effort to alleviate false applications intended for iPhone and iPad users: the iOS App Store is currently being purged of outdated and damaged applications.

We could go on. The point is that the App Store, which is supposed to safeguard users from deception, does not seem to be doing a great job at that. There’s a lot of nonsense offered inside the walled garden.

Search for “Indesign” and you will not find Adobe’s publishing tool, but you will discover several packages of movies with symbols that imitate InDesign’s tightly.

We’ve referred why the Mac App-store doesn’t have the applications you want, as well as the Microsoft Office Suite is just about the applications weight loss get there. You may already know this kind of, but show me: why should the normal computer end user be expected to? Scammy builders know that that they can’t be, and so are taking advantage of a hole on the market.

You love technology, but not everybody does. For many computers will be confusing, also scary. Malicious actors understand this, trying to deliberately technique people on line. From advertising that resemble download switches to ransomware pop-ups, the internet is full of deception-based design, meant to take advantage of the a lot less technically keen.


It’s… templates. A $30, 293MB collection of layouts, all of which will be useless devoid of Microsoft Office.

Seriously: speculate. I’ll hold out.

All of these fakes use Microsoft brands like Office, Word, and Excel in the product names. The logos aren’t one-to-one copies of Microsoft’s official logos, but they’re almost always the correct color and letter (blue “W” to get Word, green “E” to get Excel, etcetera).

RELATED: PC Cleaning Apps are a Scam: Here’s Why (and How to Speed Up Your PC)


We’ve centered on Microsoft Office because this is a particularly egregious example. But you don’t have to dig long to find similar problems.

It’s easy to see that users could be deceived by this, and it’s hard to assume that it’s certainly not intentional to the developer’s portion. Whatever the intention in this article, people were robbed:

Except it will not.

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