Apple is removing anti-virus software from the iOS App Store, according to reports, with some claiming that the Cupertino-based company doesn’t want its customers to believe they are at risk.
Security firm Intego revealed that its app, VirusBarrier, had been removed by Apple on the grounds that it is “misleading”.
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VirusBarrier scans files stored in the cloud or attached to emails to detect malicious software, which is important considering an iOS device could be used to spread viruses and other malware. However, because an email attachment cannot insert a virus into an iOS device itself, Apple felt that the app wasn’t being wholly honest to consumers.
However, reports indicate that Apple refused to reinstate the app, even when Intego modified the description to make it clearer. The new description indicates that iOS is a potential vessel for malware infection.
“Your iOS device can act as a gateway for malware and viruses. Infected attachments can transfer to your computer, or your friends, family, and colleagues,” it reads.
Intego made it clear via a blog post that existing customers will continue to receive virus definition updates for as long as they continue to own the product.
“Apple has elected to eliminate the category of anti-virus and anti-malware products from their iOS App Store. As a result of this decision, our product VirusBarrier iOS is no longer available for sale,” the company explained. “To be clear, this wasn’t an action directed specifically at Intego, we were one of several companies affected by Apple's decision.”
Although obviously disappointed with Apple’s decision, Intego CEO Jeff Erwin told MacRumors that he does understand why the technology giant wouldn’t want customers to believe that iOS was home to viruses.
“I sort of get Apple's point,” he said. “Even as clear as we were about what our product did, there were still customers who were confused as to why the app was scanning their iPad or iPhone. There are a lot of people who don't have a tech background and don't understand.”