Apple bans developers from submitting cryptocurrency mining apps for iOS devices

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Apple absolutely doesn’t want people to use their iPhones to mine cryptocurrencies as has updated its developer guidelines to outlaw such activities.

Cupertino’s new dev rules restrict apps that drain the battery, put unnecessary strain on an iPhone’s or iPad’s resources, and cause the fancy gadgets to generate excessive heat.

“Apps should not rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources. Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining,” Apple said.

So developers looking at filling their apps with miners to generate a little bit of extra income could find themselves in hot water with Apple or have their apps yanked from the App Store.

The move may seem a little moot to some as the processing grunt needed to crunch the calculations designed to generate or ‘mine’ cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are beyond the power levels of even the iPhone X’s A11 Bionic chip. Over time, the gadget could generate a Bitcoin, but the power and time consume would make such an endeavour a questionable investment.

Apps related to cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin wallets and the accessing of exchanges will still be allowed on iPads and iPhones, so Apple isn’t turning its back on the surging interest in cryptocurrencies.

But it’s perusing the whole situation with a careful eye, noting that Initial Coin Offerings and other investments in digital money will need to come from established banks and securities firms, and approved financial institutions.

And apps won’t be allowed to offer cryptocurrency in exchange for letting them complete other tasks such as downloading additional apps or posting on social networks.

So things have been further tightened up in Apple’s app ecosystem, adding more bricks to the walled garden. But given the performance of iPhones degrade over time, limiting apps that could cause them to bork themselves with overexertion isn’t the worst move by Tim Cook’s crew.

And as the value of Bitcoin seems to be tumbling, it might be a good idea to keep away from such miners and trading platforms full stop.

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David Li

David Li writes regular column on Driverdown for some big names, including Apple, Google and Microsoft. His role before joined Driversdown is senior writer of qudong.com, and then Science and Technology Daily. David based in Driversdown Beijing office. Contact David via david@driversdown.com