Hey isn’t quiet about its contempt for Apple’s App Store rules and payment policies. In a prior run-in, Apple initially rejected Hey’s email app for not providing functionality for users without a preexisting account and for not providing a way for users to sign up within the app. Hey notoriously battled with Apple over this issue in 2020 and was able to secure an exception for the email app on the App Store.
But it looks like what is old is new again as detailed in a blog post by Hey cofounder, David Heinemeier Hanson. Apple has apparently rejected Hey’s new calendar app for very much the same reasons. And in a very similar fashion, Hanson has taken to the internet to pressure Apple into acquiescence.
Apple are notorious for not applying App Store policy in a consistent and fair manner which Hanson rightfully points out in the article. Even providing several examples of live apps that have the same log-in requirement. However this is a battle that Hey themselves have previously fought and they were well aware that rejection was a possibility. Hey could have preempted this rejection (as much as any rejection can be) by providing simple functionality for users who do not have Hey accounts.
Update 01/13/2024: Hey’s self inflicted nightmare is over as Apple have approved the app for distribution on the App Store.