Apple now locking App Store screenshots to cut down on scamming

By , Jan 9, 2013

mine craft scam

Have you ever downloaded an app on your iPhone or iPad, and it didn’t look anything like the screenshots in the App Store? If so, you wouldn’t be alone. Switching screenshots after Apple has approved an app has become a popular tactic for scammers.

But we have some good news this afternoon. Apple announced to developers today that, starting this week, all App Store screenshots will be locked after they are approved. And they’ll stay that way until a developer submits a binary for an app update…

Here’s the notice posted on Apple’s developer portal (via MacRumors):

“Beginning January 9, app screenshots will be locked in iTunes Connect once your app has been approved. New screenshots may be uploaded when you submit a binary for an update to an existing app or a new app. For more information on capturing and using screenshots, read the Xcode User Guide.”

This may seem like an insignificant update, but, as aforementioned, it eradicates a widely used scam tactic. Developers would upload app/game screenshots to get an app approved by Apple, and then switch them out with images from another application.

We’ve seen a number of fraudulent apps slip into the App Store using this method over the years, mostly of the $0.99 variety. Craft – Build Terrain, a fake Minecraft app sticks out, because it used screenshots from the official Minecraft app to dupe users.

Of course, Apple has always been pretty good about pulling bad apps from the App Store quickly. But this new rule should help keep a lot of them from making it in in the first place. I’m actually not sure why this wasn’t a rule from the get-go.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.pedersen.5496 Brian Pedersen

    Good thing

  • mervynraj

    i havent had that experience yet but it sounds like a good plan to do so… im surprised they didnt do this in the beginning… i always choose apps wisely…

  • FrankensteinBlack

    No more Ape’ing of popular Jailbreak Apps via fake screen shots to lure stock iPhone suck, er PPL….

  • seyss

    wtf. it wasn’t like that before? I guess my good reasoning can’t be everywhere

  • Chuck Norris

    I don’t like it when people complain “This is not the app I paid for. I want my money back!” I mean I agree that they should receive their money back, but did they think about checking the reviews first. If the game has 2 stars or under, do not buy.

    • RarestName

      People can put fake reviews.

      • Bieberkinz

        Don’t argue with Chuck Norris man. (But I agree with both of you though, fake reviews can happen but most of it sub 3 star = not good.) don’t mess wit Chuck Norris though

      • 4p0c4lyps3

        Ya, Chuck will total you, totally!¡

      • http://twitter.com/FlyKitezDaily Louie

        I fucking hate chuck norris, I know hate is a strong word but thats how i feel! why is he so liked can someone explain.
        thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001192141522 Gregory Cannon

    As a developer, this is horrible. I forgot to upload some crucial screenshots at the iPhone 5 size on my most recent app (you have to upload THREE sets of screenshots per app); good thing I could add it later on…