iTunes Connect no special characters

From time to time, Apple updates its iTunes marketing requirements. The goal is to provide the most accurate and reliable descriptions for the mobile applications, movies, television shows, songs and other media content types customers download from iTunes.

In the most recent example, the iPhone maker has reportedly taken issue with app blurbs. Long story short, Apple is no longer willing to turn a blind eye on luring would-be buyers with “enhanced” app descriptions that contain exclamation marks, stars, smileys and other special characters.

The change was communicated via the iTunes Connect web portal, a venue registered iOS developers use exclusively to upload their submissions and iTunes marketing materials…

Emoticons and other special characters are now a big no-no, author Mike Campbell writes for AppleInsider.

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.

Going forward, programmers are required to use only standard text for their submitted updates and steer away from using any non-standard characters.

The publication was able to confirm with two different developers that the date of Apple’s new iconography requirements has been set on April 19. More special characters may have been blacklisted, though that has yet to be verified.

In another recent change, Apple said developers can only change App Store screenshots after submitting a binary for an app update.

The new policy was put into effect in order to eradicate a widely used scam tactic where devs would switch the just-approved screenshots with images from a completely different application.

Apple also isn’t fond of touched-up screenshots.

However, I must say I’m disappointed that it is consistently allowing app screenies with huge captions emblazoned on them. That kind of in-your-face marketing just doesn’t look professional and it’s rarely found on Google’s Play Store.

Now, how ironic is that?

  • Gorgonphone


  • About time… Now it won’t look like all developers are 14.

    • Haha

      • Ian

        It’d fit me. XD (I’m 14) But I’ll pass anyways..

      • Ben

        14 in 2 days! 😀

  • Agreed. “Awwww”. But I can also agree with apple on this one. I hate it when half the description is smilies. Some people do over use them. Maybe a limit would’ve been a better solution.

  • I think that’s a good change, Emoticons and special characters are somehow confusing. Now it’s easier to read app descriptions, though it’s another limitation for developers

  • When ever I see emojis in app descriptions, I feel the level of professionalism drops immensely. I love emojis, don’t get me wrong, but there is a time and place for everything. This is a good move on Apple’s part.

    • Ian

      That is very well said. I very much agree. I don’t think I’d want to hand in a report to my boss and it has unicorns and smiley faces on it… Same here…

    • True. But if they used emojis that were professional it would be a different story. There are nice ones that I use even in my folders. But they have a purpose.

      And if you can see them these: ⌚

      • iospixel

        I give em the ☝.

        No middle finger emoticon? Bah!

      • $@#%=*! Before emoji was cool!

      • Exactly! I can see your point, though. I don’t I’d mind professional looking emojis all that much. But if there’s a “poop” emoji staring at me from the app description, I immediately close it out… unless the app has a 5 star rating of course.

  • FrankensteinBlack

    Good job! That Crazy Eddie guy terrorized me when I was a kid. Don’t need expressive, Cap locked, over hyped app descriptions doing the same thing…

  • Seeing as though most iOS users are 13, the lack of emoji, etc. may confuse them, lol.

  • gametes

    Limiting emoji is one thing, but prohibiting things like checkmarks or stars is another. It helps delineate and clarify to use bullet points, and there’s nothing distracting or unprofessional about a black circle dot in your text; in fact the opposite is true: it shows attention to detail by the developer and makes the text easier to read.

    Example, which is better? Choose:
    – This item
    ✔ This item

    No contest. But, because a few idiots use emoji (for anything, really), they’ve gone and removed 30 years of unicode advancement and are now basically saying all descriptions should be ascii. It’s a step backwards, and, more importantly, another sign of Apple being more concerned with appearances (do these app descriptions make our store look good) than actual quality (letting buggy apps through all the time).