Apple updates App Store guidelines, removes millions of clone apps

By Anuj Sharma - June 22, 2017
Apple App Store
Apps created from a commercialised template or app generation service will be rejected. The guidelines themselves have not changed, but they are better organised and provide more context.

Aiming to provide a safe experience for users to get apps and a great opportunity for all developers to be successful, Apple has updated the App Review Guidelines and has removed millions of scam and clone apps in the process.

According to Apple, the new guidelines are arranged into five clear sections -- safety, performance, business, design, and legal.

“We will reject apps for any content or behaviour that we believe is over the line. And if you attempt to cheat the system (for example, by trying to trick the review process, steal user data, copy another developer's work, or manipulate ratings) your apps will be removed from the store and you will be expelled from the Developer Programme,” Apple said in a post.

Apps with user-generated content or services that end up being used primarily for pornographic content, objectification of real people (e.g. “hot-or-not” voting), making physical threats, or bullying do not belong on the App Store and may be removed without notice

With the newly instituted guidelines, your app should include features, content, and UI that elevate it beyond a repackaged website and if your app is not particularly useful, unique, or “app-like,” then as per Apple it does not belong on the App Store.

Apps should not urge customers to use their devices in a way that contradicts safety documentation for Apple hardware, risking damage to the device or physical harm to people.

Also, apps that encourage consumption of tobacco products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted on the App Store. Apps that encourage minors to consume any of these substances will be rejected. Facilitating the sale of marijuana, tobacco, or controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies) is not allowed.

"We hope these new guidelines help you sail through the App Review process, and that approvals and rejections are more consistent across the board," Apple said. 

Earlier this month, Apple unveiled the all-new App Store, designed from the ground up to make discovering apps and games easier than ever before.

The redesigned App Store is packed with original stories and editorial, updated daily in a new Today tab, as well as new Games and Apps tabs.

App Store customers have now downloaded more than 180 billion apps and Apple has paid out over $70 billion to developers since the store launched in 2008, making it the most vibrant software marketplace in the world.

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