‘Amphetamine’: What’s in a name?

As of 03/01/2021

Names are peculiar. It can garner attention, which sometimes can be a good thing but not always necessarily. Take the case of ‘Amphetamine’, a free Mac App that keeps your computer awake for a prespecified interval of time. The name seems a perfect match, as it expresses its functionality in a quirky and yet exact way. The same name has however brought it into trouble.

William Gustafson, the developer of Amphetamine in a detailed GitHub  post revealed that Apple has threatened to remove the app if he didn’t make necessary changes to the name and logo. Apple found that the name promotes the excessive usage of the controlled substance. Gustafson however, was determined to protect the name. According to him ‘Amphetamine’ was legal in the US and hence it’s usage in the name of a software also was.

Gustafson later revealed that Apple has allowed his app on the Mac App Store. Apple admitted that the term ‘Amphetamine’ has been used ‘metaphorically’ and in a ‘medical sense’. Amphetamine has been on the Mac Store since 2014. Since then it has been downloaded close to half a million times. With 1,400 reviews it stands at a score of 4.8 out of 5.


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