Apple pulled a calendar app from the Mac App Store after it introduced a feature to mine cryptocurrency, as reported by 9to5Mac. The app, Calendar 2, mined a cryptocurrency called Monero in the background, which Apple says put an unnecessary burden on the devices that were using it. After the app’s developer negotiated with Apple and removed the mining aspect, Calendar 2 is now available again in the App Store.
Calendar 2 is supposed to be a bolstered version of Apple’s Calendar app, but its developer, Qbix, added an option that would let users access premium features in exchange for letting the app mine Monero. However, there were issues, and a bug kept the miner running even if people tried to opt out. One user on Twitter also noted that the app “ate 200% CPU until I found it and killed it.”
Apple pulled Calendar 2 from the Mac App Store yesterday, and today, Qbix CEO Greg Magarshak tells 9to5Mac that it was because it violated App Store guideline 2.4.2, which states: “Design your app to use power efficiently. Apps should not rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources.”
In the three days Calendar 2 was mining, it earned about $2,000 worth of Monero
Magarshak says that within an hour Qbix had removed all mining features and worked with Apple to expedite putting the app back on the App Store. It is now offering both new and preexisting users a free year of premium features. He also says that in the three days the app was mining, it earned about $2,000 worth of Monero, and “we plan to use those proceeds towards improving features for our users going forward.”
This is Apple’s first stance on mining apps, and this could mean that others will be banned in the future for the same offense. Monero is favored by mining programs as it has a more CPU-friendly hashing algorithm, but as Calendar 2 users found out, it can still place a significant burden on devices when being mined. Even Magarshak admits that he is concerned about the “growing global energy use of Proof of Work based crypto.”
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