Apple reportedly restricting use of special characters in app descriptions [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In a reported change to its iTunes Connect developer portal, Apple recently deprecated the use of special emoji-type characters for app descriptions, limiting app makers to standard text for submitted updates.

iTunes Connect


The exact date of the reported change is unknown, but a developer at TapeACall, who informed AppleInsider of the modified rules, said the use of special characters was available when they updated their app a little over two weeks ago.

As seen in the image above, Apple is no longer allowing developers to submit app description edits with the unique character sets, which in this case includes a checkmark, explosion, "no symbol" and a speech bubble. It is thought that others are included in the new restrictions, but that has yet to be verified.

Developers sometimes use non-standard characters like checkmarks in bullet lists to draw attention to tweaks or the addition of new features to an app. For example, YouTube's most recent update on April 15 utilized checkmarks to denote the app's basic feature set.

If the new rules are indeed rolling out, Apple has not specified why it is restricting emoji use in descriptions. It can be speculated, however, that the move is meant to create a more unified App Store experience.

Update: Another developer has reported the date of Apple's new iconography requirements to have been set on April 19.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Thank you Apple.

    When app descriptions start looking like horrible craiglists and backpage ads, I'm glad Apple has constrained this behavior.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    airbubbleairbubble Posts: 105member
    And this is Bad!?
    This can only be good, not that I've seen any emoji only or partial named apps.
    It will prevent such things and makes the developer think harder for a name
    title for his or her app.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,589member
    I don't think PC users can even see those characters can they? They would just see lots of squares?
  • Reply 4 of 11
    irnchriz wrote: »
    I don't think PC users can even see those characters can they? They would just see lots of squares?

    They would see those horrible DOS graphics characters from the PC extended character set, circa the 1980s.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    I have only one thing to say:


     


    ????

  • Reply 6 of 11
    irelandireland Posts: 17,616member
    I was a dev, but I appreciate this as a user. Apple gives a damn.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    vorsosvorsos Posts: 302member


    This can still be un-done; Apple keeps the emoji-filled app descriptions for up to 2 years.

  • Reply 8 of 11
    I help developers write app descriptions and this came really suddenly. Last week we were using stars and checkmarks (nothing gaudy) and starting last Friday these things were no long allowed.

    It's honestly not a big change since it does affect everyone (at least when they update their app description). I only starting using them because they were available, but the old * and %u2022 should be just as effective.

    My only complaint is that Apple should give a little notice. I don't think they've even mentioned it or updated rules; it's just in place all of a sudden.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    irnchriz wrote: »
    I don't think PC users can even see those characters can they? They would just see lots of squares?

    Isn't iTunes Store rendered with WebKit in iTunes on Windows?
  • Reply 10 of 11
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Isn't iTunes Store rendered with WebKit in iTunes on Windows?


    If you view the app description in a web browser, it renders squares under Google Chrome and Internet Explorer for Windows:


    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/emoji/id533047596?mt=8


     


    The emoticons display fine under Safari for OS X though.

  • Reply 11 of 11
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    negafox wrote: »
    If you view the app description in a web browser, it renders squares under Google Chrome and Internet Explorer for Windows:
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/emoji/id533047596?mt=8

    The emoticons display fine under Safari for OS X though.

    Ah, I hadn't realized people don't use the App Store portals to view these apps.
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