Apple just sent an email blast to its registered developers to inform them that it’s implementing two suggestions from the developer community starting September 7, 2016, the same day the iPhone 7 event is scheduled to take place. The first concerns “abandoned” apps that no longer function as advertised and the other deals with funny tricks some developers resort to in an effort to game the system.
Your TL;DR version:
- “Problematic” and ”abandoned” apps (that have not been maintained or received compatibility updates in ages) will be removed from the store starting September 7. Apps that don’t work as advertised or follow iOS development guidelines will also be removed.
- Apps with names longer than 50 characters won’t be accepted and this applies to both new submissions and updates to existing apps. Apple found that some developers have used “extremely long” app names in an effort to influence App Store search results.
Here’s Apple’s letter to developers in its entirety.
We love helping customers discover innovative, useful, and exciting apps on the App Store. With more than 2 million apps available and around 100,000 new and updated apps submitted each week, there’s something for everyone. To make it easier for customers to find great apps that fit their needs, we’re implementing two suggestions from the developer community starting September 7, 2016.
Quality is extremely important to us. We know that many of you work hard to build innovative apps and update your apps on the App Store with new content and features. However, there are also apps on the App Store that no longer function as intended or follow current review guidelines, and others which have not been supported with compatibility updates for a long time. We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps for these issues, notifying their developers, and removing problematic and abandoned apps from the App Store.
Shorter App Names
Search is one of the most frequently used methods for customers to discover and download apps from the App Store. In hopes of influencing search results, some developers have used extremely long app names which include descriptions and terms not directly related to their app. These long names are not fully displayed on the App Store and provide no user value. App names you submit in iTunes Connect for new apps and updates will now be limited to no longer than 50 characters. You can learn more about creating effective app names, as well as icons, keywords, screenshots, and descriptions, by reading the App Store Product Page.
If you have any questions, contact us.
Apple Developer Relations
Apple’s dedicated webpage has more info on recent App Store improvements.
On a related note, Apple today also updated the official App Store Review Guidelines with information on app subscriptions, SiriKit and downloadable iMessage content.