Apple rejecting app submissions with names that include references to price

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple is no longer allowing developers to include pricing information in the name of their respective app store submissions, a practice commonly used to promote free or inexpensive software.




Apple has been gradually shifting App Store policy over the past month to accommodate the new stipulations, according to VentureBeat. In particular, submissions containing references to pricing in their name, preview images or metadata are being blocked from the iOS and Mac App Stores.

The company discourages developers from incorporating allusions to price in app titles and accompanying App Store assets, but until now has not taken action against those who do. Developers have for years used app names to tout free to download software, a tactic that plays to the App Store's visual design.

According to the report, however, submitting an app with the word "Free" in its title now returns the following error message:
Your apps name, icons, screenshots, or previews to be displayed on the App Store include references to your apps price, which is not considered a part of these metadata items.

Please remove any references to your apps price from your apps name, including any references to your app being free or discounted. If you would like to advertise changes to your apps price, it would be appropriate to include this information in the app description. Changes to your apps price can be made in the Pricing and Availability section of iTunes Connect.
An Apple spokesperson confirmed the new App Store protocol to VentureBeat, but declined to explain the impetus behind the changes.

Apple's current developer guidelines do not specifically restrict developers from including the term "Free" in app names, though certain documentation does prohibit similar information from appearing in app screenshots. Appearing alongside app descriptions, screenshots are often modified with text to promote or highlight app features.

"Dont reference specific prices in your app screenshots. Referencing a local currency can mislead customers in other store territories and cause confusion," the document reads.

In any case, the newly instituted restriction appears to impact newly submitted titles, as a number of apps with the word "Free" in their name can be found on the App Store. For example, Google Drive for iOS, which shows up on the iOS App Store as "Google Drive -- free online storage," is sitting in the No. 34 spot on Apple's Top Charts for free apps as of this writing.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Probably because most of these 'free apps' have in-app purchases. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,112member
    Seriously! Of all the hundreds of thousands of apps to choose from, you choose to single out Google? 
  • Reply 3 of 14
    croprcropr Posts: 883member
    As an app developer I don't like that at all.  One of my apps has 2 versions: a free version, with reduced functionality, and a paid version version, with full functionality.  It will just confuse the final customer if he has no clear distinction in a title between the 2 versions.
    On top of that the new rule disturbs my own marketing for the app (which does not come for free).  I will have additional costs with no added value whatsoever
    chuy@mac.com
  • Reply 4 of 14
    cropr said:
    As an app developer I don't like that at all.  One of my apps has 2 versions: a free version, with reduced functionality, and a paid version version, with full functionality.  It will just confuse the final customer if he has no clear distinction in a title between the 2 versions.
    On top of that the new rule disturbs my own marketing for the app (which does not come for free).  I will have additional costs with no added value whatsoever
    Genuine question..  Why 2 versions? Why not one version with IAP for full version functionality?


    Regarding the Google app mention in the article, 'Free' is not really being used to highlight the price of the app but describe the service.  Have seen other examples mentioned on other sites, 'AppsGoneFree' for example is the name of the app not a reference to the price, Spotifiy 'Listen to and stream music for free' same situation as the Google app - describing the service not the price of the app. 

    Imagine if there was a Free Willy* app (there may be, I didn't look) again 'Free' is part of the title, not a reference to price.  I'm sure there are plenty of games with Free in the title that again is in no way a reference to the app price.  I would hope and expect that Apple will be making exceptions in those cases - although the process that triggers the automated error message mentioned in the article might have trouble with detecting the difference.

    (*For youngsters with dirty minds; I'm referencing the old films (whilst showing my age), nothing rude!)

    Apple is no longer allowing developers to include pricing information in the name of their respective app store submissions, a practice commonly used to promote free or inexpensive software.



    {snip}

    In any case, the newly instituted restriction appears to impact newly submitted titles, as a number of apps with the word "Free" in their name can be found on the App Store. For example, Google Drive for iOS, which shows up on the iOS App Store as "Google Drive -- free online storage," is sitting in the No. 34 spot on Apple's Top Charts for free apps as of this writing.

    edited March 2017
  • Reply 5 of 14
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    What about "Free Software Foundation", "Free America from Emo Kids", and of course "Free your phone of emojidom"
  • Reply 6 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,880member
    Not to nit pick, well I guess I am lol ... 'free' is not a price, it's a lack of a price.  :)  It's like saying atheism is a religion.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    croprcropr Posts: 883member
    cropr said:
    As an app developer I don't like that at all.  One of my apps has 2 versions: a free version, with reduced functionality, and a paid version version, with full functionality.  It will just confuse the final customer if he has no clear distinction in a title between the 2 versions.
    On top of that the new rule disturbs my own marketing for the app (which does not come for free).  I will have additional costs with no added value whatsoever
    Genuine question..  Why 2 versions? Why not one version with IAP for full version functionality?

    Here are some reasons:
     - developing and testing an inapp purchase takes easily 15 mandays of work, and some more to maintain it
     - apps with inapp purchase take more effort in the approval process.
     - having 2 versions makes it possible to add functionality to the free version without worrying about the impact on the paid version
  • Reply 8 of 14
    ajmasajmas Posts: 553member
    There are other ways to market something without price: lite, basic vs full, pro. Marketing is always about finding creative ways to get the attention of the intended customers. 

    One suffix that could be used for some apps: NaD (nickle and dime). 
  • Reply 9 of 14
    unicronunicron Posts: 154member
    I think this is a great idea. I hate having my Purchases tab filled with double versions of the same app. I download the free one, I like it and then purchase the paid version. But there's no way to rid my Purchase list of the free one -- is there?
  • Reply 10 of 14
    Seriously! Of all the hundreds of thousands of apps to choose from, you choose to single out Google? 

    Maybe they did that just to piss you off.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,645member
    Wish Apple actually gave some search options beyond a single search box for the iTunes Store, that'd help out with some of these issues.

    Being able to filter by price levels, or category, or rating, or last updated date, or AIP, all of these would be really useful, and it's not like Apple doesn't have the data.


    Power Search is ok, but it's so hidden it basically doesn't exist for most users, and it's still quite limited.
    edited March 2017
  • Reply 12 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,575member
    So... no more "Free Tibet" or ""99¢ Only Store" apps?
  • Reply 13 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    cropr said:
    As an app developer I don't like that at all.  One of my apps has 2 versions: a free version, with reduced functionality, and a paid version version, with full functionality.  It will just confuse the final customer if he has no clear distinction in a title between the 2 versions.
    On top of that the new rule disturbs my own marketing for the app (which does not come for free).  I will have additional costs with no added value whatsoever
    Apple could resolve this by allowing multiple download options on a single page, that would save some marketing too as you only have to get one URL and one product promoted. This could also include legacy versions for older systems. The actual download button could be a single button that then pops up with the free(lite)/paid(premium)/legacy choices. This would also allow developers to have app series together e.g games with multiple episodes/chapters.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    So... no more "Free Tibet" or ""99¢ Only Store" apps?
    How about Fiverr?
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