Apple has reportedly admitted that it manually boosted the ranking of its own Files app when users searched for its competitor Dropbox for nearly 11 months.
According to The Verge, an email chain has surfaced during the Epic vs Apple trial that confirms this.
According to the report, when Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that "Dropbox wasn't even visible on the first page [of search results]," Apple app search lead Debankur Naskar wrote in the reply that "we are removing the manual boost and the search results should be more relevant now".
Sweeney confronted Apple over its Files app showing up first when searching for Dropbox.
Apple, however, argued that it was not actually the case, the report said on Friday.
According to the tech giant, the Files app had a Dropbox integration, so Apple put "Dropbox" into the app's metadata, "and it was automatically ranked higher for ‘Dropbox' searches as a result.
"App Store Search has only one goal -- to get customers what they are looking for. We do that in a way that is fair to all developers and we do not advantage our apps over those of any developer or competitor," the company said in a statement.
Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronisation, personal cloud and client software.
Files is a file management app developed by Apple for devices that run iOS 11 and later releases of iOS and devices that run iPadOS.