Apple admitted that it manually boosted its app’s file rankings when users searched for rival Dropbox for nearly 11 full months.
The admission came according to a series of emails that surfaced during the Apple and Epic Games trial.
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Apple said at the time that it had done nothing wrong, while senior executives insisted that a secret algorithm containing 42 different variables was working as intended, and that Apple was not changing search results manually.
After the CEO of Epic Games spoke about Apple’s Files app showing up first when searching for Dropbox, the company said: “We’re removing manual boosting and search results should be more relevant now.”
“Dropbox was not even visible on the first page of search results,” the Epic Games CEO wrote.
Apple enhances its applications:
According to the data, the company clarified that the Files app was intentionally boosted within these exact search results during the last WWDC.
The email chain makes a fairly clear reference to the company’s vice president of the App Store who initially objected to the idea.
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He said: Who ordered the Files app to be placed above Dropbox in organic search results? I didn’t know we did that. And I don’t think we should do that.
He added: “I want to have any similar requests for review and approval in the future, which indicates that manual override operations are not ruled out.”
In addition, Apple said that what we see in the emails is not accurate.
Although, the company did not challenge the idea of unfairly classifying its application of files at the expense of Dropbox. However, she says, the reality was a simple mistake.
She added: The Files app had Dropbox integration. So we put Dropbox in the app’s metadata. As a result, it is automatically ranked higher for Dropbox searches.
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