David Papp Blog

Why Apple made antivirus iOS apps unavailable

In March 2015, Apple cracked down on antivirus apps, pulling a huge number of them from the App Store. Many believe the reason behind this move is to eliminate concerns about whether or not iOS devices are susceptible to virus and malware attacks.

One of the apps removed from the App Store indicated it was a virus barrier. Apple informed them that the app’s description was “misleading” and could potentially lead customers to believe that viruses are present in iOS.

Why is Apple so confident in their ability to protect against vulnerabilities?

Apple’s high security standards

One of the biggest reasons why iOS devices are generally safe from malware is Apple’s meticulous process when it comes to determining what type of apps they allow into their App Store. While it is true that installing third-party antivirus apps won’t cause any harm to your device, Apple believes that its high standards when it comes to security is already enough protection.

This has been the subject of much debate. Many believe that though Apple does a good job of protecting their sandboxed iOS environment, it’s still not 100% safe. Not allowing third-party developers to create antivirus apps just so customers won’t think iOS is vulnerable to attacks could cause major problems down the line.

Not totally gone

Searching for an antivirus app on the App Store will show you a few results, but it is interesting to note that none of them have the word “antivirus” in their titles or descriptions. They are simply using that in their hidden keyword list.

Most of the remaining “security” apps simply monitor emails, have anti-theft features, display current memory and data usage, and check if the iOS version is up-to-date.

6 thoughts on “Why Apple made antivirus iOS apps unavailable”

  1. This is kind of greedy by Apple. No matter how good your security is, taking out apps simply because you are sure of how good your native security is, is just proof of greedness. I’m totally against this decision of theirs, because I’ve been using such an app and I was really pleased by it. Apple really disappointed me, simply because I don’t trust their so-called security.

  2. To be honest, I agree with this decision. It’s great for Apple marketing and it shows that they are extremely confident in their system, which is great considering their phones cost a ton of money. I trust that they will keep my iOS devices virus free so I have never used an Antivirus program for Apple products. If they do happen to let a virus slip through their system in the future , they should definitely put additional antivirus programs back on the App store.

  3. OK so they can vet apps that get installed. But what about warnings about compromised sites? Maybe emails that come through with a phishing attempt?

    OK, a bit of savvy and common sense would prevent those things from being a problem but Apple devices are in the hand of more than just tech people.

    If there was no harm in the apps, and they provided some use, they should’ve stayed

  4. “to eliminate concerns about whether or not iOS devices are susceptible to virus and malware attacks”

    Haha, this reminds me of way back when they were first marketing cars, they wouldn’t put seat belts in them because it told the consumer that the vehicle was possibly unsafe. They believed the customer would blame the not so safe nature of the vehicle on the manufacturer rather than logic that driving around cars can be dangerous.

    This seems to be the same sort of deal, although I think people would actually blame Apple for making an insecure device rather than realizing that when it comes to tech, these things can just happen.

  5. I think antiviruses are pointless on phones, whether it’s Android or iOS or Windows Phone, simply because it’s hard to get a virus if you’re careful and an antivirus can slow down your phone quite a bit, it runs in the background and always checks files.
    As long as you don’t install fishy stuff you should be good.

  6. I agree with you, as you’ve said there’s certain type of security standards on Apple but it actually seems kind of impossible that Apple is completely off to virus danger, I guess.
    And I think that’s interesting that they cracked the antivirus apps down, but I think that they should’t be that radical, you know? for some of us, having an antivirus on our devices can make us feel better and safer, I think I get the credibility thing but is really that necessary?

Comments are closed.