Apple banned developers from releasing COVID-related stickers for a short period of time. However, illustrator and designer Jen Lewis has taken to Twitter to reveal that the tech giant has made the call to reinstate them.
The illustrator revealed that Apple has taken down some of the stickers for including "inappropriate references to the COVID-19 pandemic." The decision was made to prevent devs from capitalizing and taking advantage of the current catastrophe.
Lewis is the illustrator behind *Chef's Kiss* sticker pack, which features masked chefs giving the chef's kiss and costs $0.99. As of this writing, the sticker pack is currently the most wanted in the Eating and Drinking category.
"Got a call from the App Store, and I'm clear to add the masks back into the next update!" tweeted the illustrator.
Not the Only COVID-Related Stickers and Emojis
Mark Johnson, the creator of the Emoji Me Animated App, had a similar rejection. Phrases like 'wear a mask' and 'wash your hands' were written on the stickers, but the stickers were not up in the market until they're removed.
Since then, Apple has called to clarify that the company meant the policy for creators of COVID-marketed apps. Depiction of hand-washing and mask-wearing is perfectly fine, and the stickers are now back in the market.
Sean Hollister of The Verge reached out to both for the story. Lewis did resubmit the sticker pack, but Apple rejected it, and she decided to comply.
Emoji Me is a free app, and you can download it here.
Tech Giants vs. Coronavirus
Like Apple, Google has also implemented a rigorous rule. Any 'COVID-19' search query will be redirected to apps that help users protect themselves from authoritative parties and reliable sources.
"To help fulfill these expectations, we're evaluating apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable," reads Apple's statement.
Apple has its very own mask-wearing emoji, and it's ridiculous if small-time creators have their apps banned from promoting an essential safety guide amidst the current pandemic. As The Verge reported, Apple quietly updated the emoji of 'Face with Medical Mask' with a more friendly approach.
World O'Meter reported more than 51 million cases worldwide since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The death toll reaches 1.2 million milestones, and 36 million others recovered. Today, the world has recorded over 14.1 active cases and 1% in severe or critical conditions.