Apple’s App Store cull continues as it bans apps with ‘free’ in their name
APPLE IS CRACKING DOWN on apps that include pricing information in their name and has started rejecting them from the App Store.
Apple has long discouraged developers from promoting the price of their app in app names and screenshots but has recently started blocking submissions to the App Store and Mac App Store when metadata includes pricing information, according to a report at VentureBeat.
Submitting an app to the Apple with the word “free” in the title will now see it rejected, with the firm sending the following response: “Your app’s name, icons, screenshots, or previews to be displayed on the App Store include references to your app’s price, which is not considered a part of these metadata items.
“Please remove any references to your app’s price from your app’s name, including any references to your app being free or discounted. If you would like to advertise changes to your app’s price, it would be appropriate to include this information in the app description. Changes to your app’s price can be made in the Pricing and Availability section of iTunes Connect.”
This is likely a move by Apple to weed out more of the guff from its App Stores, with a search for the word “free” on iOS currently bringing up crap including ‘iBeer FREE – Drink beer on your iPhone’, ‘Free Music Mp3 Player by Musicon’ and, er, ‘Free Karaoke! Sing karaoke on YouTube’.
However, while it’s unclear whether existing apps will be made to change their names, even the likes of Google could be affected by the change. As spotted by The Verge, the firm’s iOS Drive app, for example, is listed on the App Store as ‘Google Drive — free online storage.’
VentureBeat notes that Apple has confirmed the changes but declined to comment further.
This news will unlikely be welcomed by iOS and macOS devs, but Apple did have some good news early this week. With the rollout of iOS 10.3, iOS devs are now able to “respond to customer reviews on the App Store “in a way that is available for all customers to see”.
The latest iOS release also gives devs access to a new API for asking users to rate or review an app while they’re using it without sending them to the App Store.