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Apple's updated App Store terms could kill app promotion services

post #1 of 21
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A revision to the terms and conditions of Apple's App Store has sparked concern that the company could stomp out a side market of applications that promote other apps.

Terms


The change to Apple's terms and conditions was highlighted on Monday by Pocketgamer.biz, which noted that clause 2.25 "appears to give Apple carte blanche to put any app that promotes titles from a different developer out of action."

The new addition to the App Store terms states that "Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected."

Exactly what constitutes "confusing" promotion of applications to Apple remains to be seen, but the change has caused concern that some businesses built on promoting applications, like "FreeAppADay," could be affected.

Monday's report claimed it's "already accepted" that Apple wants to restrict app promotion services in an effort to "maintain the legitimacy of the App Store charts." However, for now, app promotion services appear unaffected by the change in terms and conditions.

This year, Apple has made considerable changes to the iOS App Store in an effort to improve navigation and discoverability. Most notably, the App Store received a new look with the launch of iOS 6 last month.

Search results have also been overhauled thanks to Apple's acquisition of app search engine Chomp. When searching for options on the App Store, downloads are now shown in tiles rather than simply a list.
post #2 of 21
But it's ok to advertise your app accompanied by competing apps on web pages¡
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post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... Exactly what constitutes "confusing" promotion of applications to Apple remains to be seen, but the change has caused concern that some businesses built on promoting applications, like "FreeAppADay," could be affected. ...

 

I have no problem with this. Discouraging junk apps is a win for users. Just because someone built a business on some basis, doesn't mean that they have some sort of inalienable right to it, and certainly not in someone else's store.

post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

I have no problem with this. Discouraging junk apps is a win for users. Just because someone built a business on some basis, doesn't mean that they have some sort of inalienable right to it, and certainly not in someone else's store.

I agree. This is great news for consumers and will really drive iPhone 5 adoption forward.

post #5 of 21
Well, they only say %u201Cin a similar manner.%u201D That%u2019s not quite the same as carte blanche, although I can see that it would worry makers of alternative App Store front-ends.

So, don%u2019t pretend to BE the App Store or get close enough to be confusing: simplicity is key to the App Store%u2019s success, and Apple doesn%u2019t want users confronted with a bunch of %u201Csort of similar%u201D storefronts, not all of which necessarily share the same security.

I%u2019m personally a fan of AppShopper (although I%u2019d be OK using the site instead of the app itself%u2014each has advantages). I can see how AppShopper could confuse the app-buying process for some, BUT I can also see how AppShopper could be re-styled/re-organized to have a more unique identity and dodge these terms. We%u2019ll have to see how Apple applies this.
post #6 of 21
I would bet that the author can't actually find anyone who is "concerned" about this development with the exception of the scammers that use/make/promote these apps in the first place.

Personally, I think this is "baby steps" and that they should go a lot farther. There are huge *categories* of apps containing thousands of entries that shouldn't be allowed in the store at all. The chief positive point of the "walled garden" is curation. They need to curate a lot more, and a lot more harshly IMO.
post #7 of 21

Looks like punctuation is having issues at AI today here in the forums.  The apostrophe seems to be having an especially bad time of it :)  An app that does nothing but pimp other people's apps.  I think we have a word for that.  It's websites.  And magazines.  Blogs.  Facebook rants and diatribes.  Tweets.  Do we really need junk apps w/more ads for people's apps?

post #8 of 21
Makes sense. If you are making your ads look like their store there's a possibility of fooling folks into a phishing scheme because they don't realize they were sent to safari not the store etc
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I would bet that the author can't actually find anyone who is "concerned" about this development with the exception of the scammers that use/make/promote these apps in the first place.
Personally, I think this is "baby steps" and that they should go a lot farther. There are huge *categories* of apps containing thousands of entries that shouldn't be allowed in the store at all. The chief positive point of the "walled garden" is curation. They need to curate a lot more, and a lot more harshly IMO.

I agree. Do we really need 1,503 Sudoku apps?
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post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I agree. Do we really need 1,503 Sudoku apps?

...or 1800 flashlight apps? I totally agree that both users and developers would benefit from culling the apps, heavily IMO.

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post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I have no problem with this. Discouraging junk apps is a win for users. Just because someone built a business on some basis, doesn't mean that they have some sort of inalienable right to it, and certainly not in someone else's store.

I would say it depends on who they target with it. It looks like people are assuming that these are 'junk apps', or created generally with some kind of underhanded interest in mind, but there are also apps like AppShopper which could be interpreted as existing in violation of this new rule. It is clear that AppShopper hopes to make money off the Apple ecosystem, but I'm not sure if any particularly meaningful number of people would confuse it with Apple's service, and it does provide some unique services to people. I imagine many use it to track apps looking for sales. I like to use it to track apps which, for one reason or another (maybe they didn't support the Retina screen), didn't offer everything I wanted when I first stumbled across them.

This depends on how Apple chooses to enforce this rule, but I'd like to see more before I praise the change.
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post #12 of 21

As an app developer I see nothing wrong with this. It will improve the platform for consumers, meaning a better platform for me to develop for. They should ban all ads except iAds while they are at it.

post #13 of 21

Apple simply is trying to shutdown a loophole that would affect Apple's potential ad revenue. It's Apple's right to do so.

post #14 of 21
I use AppoDay regularly, I'd hate for it to be banned. It's given me access to many otherwise pay apps that I might never have given the chance without it. I've also had it give me apps for free that regularly cost as much as $25.
post #15 of 21
Hope the TouchArcade app isn't affected. It's a fantastic App. It doesn't really feel like a store, though, in general, but its primary purpose is gaming app discovery.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I would bet that the author can't actually find anyone who is "concerned" about this development with the exception of the scammers that use/make/promote these apps in the first place.
Personally, I think this is "baby steps" and that they should go a lot farther. There are huge *categories* of apps containing thousands of entries that shouldn't be allowed in the store at all. The chief positive point of the "walled garden" is curation. They need to curate a lot more, and a lot more harshly IMO.
 

 

That's a bet you'd lose, then.

 

There seems to be a misunderstanding here as to just what apps this could apply to - and I say "could", because as ever with Apple, we just don't know. Have a scan of Twitter to see the reaction of developers and you'll see plenty are concerned. Tools such a FAAD are a legitimate marketing platform - these aren't "scams", they're accepted, established tools that have been used by developers on iOS for years now.

 

The bigger concern is that this could also hit indies hard. A lot of studios now cross-promote apps that aren't their own with other indies - a way of small studios building up an 'ad network' of such that they can afford. There's even a movement by the Pickford Bros. called 'Games We Like' where devs are encouraged to recommend games by other devs that they just happen to like within their own titles. All these methods could, in theory, fall under this new rule.


Edited by Keith Andrew - 10/1/12 at 9:57am
post #17 of 21
Originally Posted by zunx View Post
Full software, not an App!


This has no difference from your matte spam. Don't post this again unless you're going to put it into context.

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post #18 of 21
Isn't it funny that this might include Chomp?

If the App Store & iTunes Store weren't just frames for buggy HTML, this would be fine. Most, if not all, of the new refinements exhibit flawed scrolling behaviour, for example.

Why do Apple not update their built-in apps via the App Store (including the App Store itself?) as in OS X ML?

Despite the apparent improvements, there are still some very strange practices on the iOS App Store that need sorting out before they shut down other App portals.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I agree. Do we really need 1,503 Sudoku apps?

 

No, we do not, 1,502 is just enough. 

 

I like FAAD as it provides another mechanism by which to discover Apps that I might not come across other ways. 

 

I fail to see how that particular App would have any effect on metrics since you cannot download the Apps they list without visiting the AppStore and downloading them directly from Apple. Unless they are trying to be more like Google and capture more metrics about how you arrived at a particular Apps listing at the AppStore in the first place. 

post #20 of 21
Most developers are bottom feeders and they know it. They aren't creating quality apps to make their mark. A minority do and not always does that guarantee success, which is one of the reasons fad apps make so much money.
post #21 of 21
Once upon a time, FAAD was relevant. Now it's just full of junk 90% of the time. They could start to improve to their former glory by banning freemium apps from their service.
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