Apple appears to have been cracking down on iOS apps which enable users to download music and software making it possible to download other file types from file-sharing networks.

But that’s not all, as the Cupertino firm is seemingly asking developers to stop with the practice of incentivizing people to watch in-game ads and share promotional messages on social networks in exchange for in-game coins, virtual items, etc.

Although iOS 8 has relaxed the rules pertaining to third-party development by providing APIs to extend system functionality and create custom keyboards, custom actions in Share sheets, photo and video editing extensions for the Photos app and more, it’s obvious that Apple wants to bring order to its App Store and is now prohibiting iPhone and iPad applications that promote apps by other developers…

TechCrunch first broke the news, adding that Apple is also clamping down on discovery tools that let folks find apps inside the games they’re already playing.

“The move will have a significant impact on the app industry as a whole, and will serve as something of a ‘reset’ in terms of how apps can achieve growth and scale,” explains writer Sarah Perez.

Poor Flurry, TapJoy and the like.

Examples of app rejections include an app that was rejected after it was updated with a new skin. Specifically, Apple has taken issue against an in-game ad for a different game and a button that offered users to watch an embedded video ad in exchange for in-game coins.

That’s a big no-no, according to Apple’s email to the developer which warns against in-game sections like ‘More Games’ that promote apps not their own.

iOS 8 app store app bundles

An excerpt from Apple’s email reads as follows:

The 2.25 rejection is for promoting other apps not your own. The attached screenshot showed an EA game as a “Free Game”.

Additionally, your 3.10 rejection was for offering free in-game credits for watching videos of other apps by developers other then yourself.

Another app was rejected after Apple found out that it offered hints after incentivizing users to share a promotional message on Facebook.

MacRumors adds that Apple appears to be asking makers of music, video and file downloading apps to change their code to adhere to its principles outlined in its agreement for third-party iOS development.

This doesn’t bode well for apps that make it easy to download music files from services like YouTube and Soundcloud, with MacRumors remarking that Apple reportedly asked some developers to completely remove audio downloading functionalities from their app.

Section 2.25 of Apple’s agreement with iOS developers warns that apps that “display apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store” will be rejected. This excludes apps which provide “significant added value for a targeted group of customers” such as health management, aviation and accessibility apps.

ios 8 app store updates

On the other hand, Apple has loosened restrictions when it comes to virtual currency apps like Bitcoin and has enabled developers to optionally mark their apps for Family Sharing, a new feature in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite allowing up to six devices to share iTunes purchases without having to share the same Apple ID.

The much-improved App Store in iOS 8 offers several new features, like video previews for apps embedded in the screenshot section, app bundles, a brand new Editor’s Choice label for highlighted apps, better search, an Explore feature to improve discoverability and TestFlight beta-test service stemming from Apple’s acquisition of its creator, Burstly.

Additionally, it’s been discovered that a new location feature puts app shortcuts on the Lock screen when a user is in the vicinity of points of interest which offer iPhone and iPad apps on the App Store.

  • Linton Findlay

    if i was to update my ipad to ios 8 beta but keep my iphone on ios 7 would my ipad be able to receive texts and calls or would i have to update both?

    • Tony

      Nope, phone has to be updated for the relay to work unfortunately. I updated my Mini Retina but not my phone and can’t get text/calls. And I won’t update my phone until a more stable beta.

      • Linton Findlay

        yhh thats rubbish, currently jailbroken on both devices, can live without it on ipad not so much on iphone

      • Tony

        Exactly how I feel! 🙂

      • Damian

        The current jailbroken software will be good for you for more than one year at least. Try to stick to it.

        Every year is the same story. People feel tempted and think the new iOS is amazing and they update.

        Shortly after they regret updating and losing jailbreak

      • Linton Findlay

        yhh thats true could do with updating my 5s though for the touch id improvements

    • You have to update both

      • Linton Findlay

        ahh that sucks, not updating my iphone until alk keyboard comes to the app store 😛

      • Damian

        I wonder is this is possible. They confirmed that swipeSelection is not

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        alt keyboard is possible since afaik it doesn’t manipulate the cursor…

      • Damian

        Altkeyboard has one function to manipulate the cursor

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    I hope this doesn’t include the green Downloads app. I have it on my device so unless they update it I should be ok.

    • Tony

      Exactly, they’ll probably make the dev update their app or pull it all together. I have the same app and love it! Definitely will back it up in case they dump it from my previous purchases down the line.

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        I got confused there for a minute. lol nice name! But I hope not 🙁 def gonna back it up.

  • Christian Mejía

    So every free app is going to get taken down. Thanks Apple

    • Tony

      They’ll probably send out notifications letting devs know to switch their app because they are now in violation of new policies. If they don’t, they’ll pull the app from the store after a period of time. I would imagine they’ll give the warning this week or next and make sure everyone is updated by the time iPhone 6 hits. Considering Swift is now their new language they’ll want a lot of apps to stream line their coding as is.

  • jack

    I’m glad Apple ended this extortion. Apps like Jelly Splash are just evil.

  • Singh Navi

    can some please help me to register my Udid thanxxx