It’s about time someone at Apple has called out Amphetamine, the Mac app that keeps your Mac awake through an easy to use menu bar icon, for promoting illicit drug use since 2014.
After five years on the Mac App Store and twenty-five approved app updates, Mac developer (and likely Tylenol user) William Gustafson received a notice from Apple that his popular app Amphetamine was in violation of App Store guidelines because the “app name and icon include references to controlled substances, pills”. Apple has demanded that Gustafson change the name and icon of his app or risk being removed from the Mac App Store.
Now, I know developers have a history of being less than happy with Apple’s App Store rules, but it’s this kind of confusing, unclear rule enforcing and really good use of everyone’s time shenanigans that makes the Mac App Store® such a trustworthy and fun place for consumers to download Apps® for the Apple® Macintosh® Operating System®. And definitely won’t draw the attention of the US Justice Department.
Personally, I’ve never had a drug addition, but I hear they’re bad. As a life-long teetotaler, I’ve never known the influence of a sip of alcohol or an inhale of weed (be sure to check smoking terminology before clicking publish). I’ve had friends offer me mostly-legal drugs and alcohol (with one girl telling me she thought it would be “fun” to get me drunk?) but I’ve always turned them down. It’s just not for me.
But then I installed Gustafson’s vein tinglingly-named Amphetamine app and suddenly I couldn’t stop thinking about illicit drugs. Now technically I could not — for the life of me — find any screen in the app telling me to use said illicit drugs, but every time I clicked that little pill icon in my menu bar to prevent my Mac from sleeping I’d get a mad craving for illicit drugs. (I also get a mad craving to find True North every time I click the Safari icon so maybe someone should look into that for me.) Since I don’t have any drugs around, I would usually pop open a Coke and chug that baby till my head spun from the caffeine and sugar. Now my Mac isn’t sleeping, and neither am I!
Now, never mind the fact that Apple itself likes to make drug related jokes during their WWDC keynote presentations. The difference here is quite clear: Apple doesn’t follow their own developer guidelines, so while they can make and promote drug use in their live streamed WWDC keynotes attended by kids from around the world, developers cannot make apps that are named in such a way that they will make you think of drugs — but apps promoting excessive drinking to the point of vomiting is definitely okay.
For a while I thought I had control of the Amphetamine app situation (I was down to just chugging Diet Cokes), but then one day I’m browsing the Mac App Store and I find Apple has a featured story of the illicit drug (app) right on the main Mac App Store page! And that’s when I lost all control.
Pixy Stix. Pepsi. Even Flintstones vitamins. I was out of control. I would eventually find the help I needed when I discovered myself in a strange waiting room talking to a weird guy named Gooshie for about two days — but that’s another story.
I hope this serves as a warning to all the children who don’t know what a computer is: Go back to your iPad gambling apps that sell you digital V-bucks and gems and garbage in exchange for your parents’ hard-earned money and stay away from these drug-themed Mac apps that improve your productivity when using a non-iPad — it will only end in a salacity for Jolly Ranchers.
You can find out more on Gustafson’s Save Amphetamine petition. But my suggestion? Just rename the app to “Fortnite Gmail Instagram Widgetsmith Disney+ Untitled Goose Game” — Apple will approve it without question.
Also: 🚬💊🍺 emojis?