Apple’s revised developer guidelines target unscrupulous developers

Thu, Feb 24, 2011


Apple this past September published its App Review Guidelines in an effort to create more transparency between developers and Apple’s sometimes inexplicable app store decisions. One of the more interesting aspects of Apple’s app review guidelines involved Apple’s efforts to stave off shady developers looking to pull a scam on iTunes. As an example, the guidelines make mention of app name squatters, targeting developers who register an app in iTunes Connect and never do anything with it.

Apple a few weeks ago issued a revised edition of its App Review Guidelines and further clarified its no-frills approach when it comes to developers looking to cheat the system. In a newly added bullet point, the guidelines state:

If you attempt to cheat the system (for example, by trying to trick the review process, steal data from users, copy another developer’s work, or manipulate the ratings) your apps will be removed from the store and you will be expelled from the developer program.

The new paragraph is in response to a number of highly publicized instances of developers paying strangers to leave positive ratings and apps that blatantly rip off others intellectual property – check out this app, since removed, for example.

Apple’s new guidelines also seek to remove some of the chaff from the now 350,000 strong iTunes App Store.

“Apps that are simply a song or movie should be submitted to the iTunes store. Apps that are simply a book should be submitted to the iBookstore,” the new guidelines state.


The most publicized aspect of Apple’s new app review guidelines, however, revolve around Apple’s 30% cut of all subscriptions that can be traced back to an iOS app.



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