“You download the app and it doesn’t work, that’s not what we want on the store,” says Schiller. This, he says, is why Apple requires in-app purchases to offer the same purchasing functionality as they would have elsewhere.
I feel like this is recursive logic. The app does this becuse they had to bend over backwards to not tell the user how to sign up. They did that because of existing App Store rules that force them to not help the user here.
One way that Hey could have gone, Schiller says, is to offer a free or paid version of the app with basic email reading features on the App Store then separately offered an upgraded email service that worked with the Hey app on iOS on its own website.
I don't blame Schiller here, but this doesn't make sense for Hey at all; something that's made very clear after using the service for just a few minutes. Hey is more of a service unto itself built on the email SMTP standard. Looking at the app right now, I don't even know how they would let you use this as a front end to Gmail or any other IMAP email service. This sounds to me like asking Zendesk to have a free version that just acts as a front end to Gmail. That's really not what the tool does, even if it handles email at its core.