Apple approves Hey email app — but it’ll have to submit new version that follows App Store rules

Phil Schiller

Hours before Apple‘s developer conference WWDC kicks off, the company finally approved a new version of Basecamp’s much-talked-about email app Hey. However, this approval is seemingly on temporary basis till developers submit a version that adheres to App Store rules.

David Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founder of Basecamp, tweeted that Apple has approved Hey (v1.0.2) without the iPhone-maker’s in-app purchase option.  He added that the firm has also submitted a new version with a 14-day free usage sign up option for Hey.

In a blog post, Basecamp said that when users will download the latest version of Hey app, they’ll be able to sign up for the service as a 14-day trial with a randomized address. After that, they will have to pick up a username and pay $99/year to use the service.  Heinemeier Hansson said that this is like “a temporary SIM card you buy when traveling.” 

The drama started when Apple rejected updates for Hey for not using App Store‘s in-app purchase mechanism. That spurred furious debate amongst developers about Apple’s power as a distributor.

Last week, Apple’s VP, Phil Schiller, said that the company won’t change its App Store rules for Hey, but it was happy to work with the app makers to reach a solution. Schiller’s argument was that Apple doesn’t want users to download the app, and find that it doesn’t work.

Hey app’s first version only worked if you had signed up for the service outside Apple’s ecosystem. So, with the upcoming version Basecamp is giving users an option to sign up on a temporary basis. Even if users decide to pay, they’ll have to go to Hey’s website, and pay for the service there.

Now that Hey app is approved, it’ll be interesting to see if Basecamp founders will stick around for other developers for their fight with Apple.

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