Apple’s rules have always prohibited developers from spicing up their screenshots on App Store with annoying marketing messages although a quick glance at App Store pages reveals the firm hasn’t been enforcing that particular rule. But things are now changing, for the better.

As first reported by VentureBeat, the Cupertino firm has began rejecting submissions that promote pricing like ”Free” in app titles/ icons and on App Store screenshots/previews.

For the past month, Apple’s been rejecting submissions to App Store and Mac App Store when metadata includes pricing information. Here’s the warning message iTunes Connect puts up when a developer submits an app that mentions “free” in its title.

Your app’s name, icons, screenshots, or previews to be displayed on the App Store include references to your app’s price, which is not considered a part of these metadata items.

Please remove any references to your app’s price from your app’s name, including any references to your app being free or discounted. If you would like to advertise changes to your app’s price, it would be appropriate to include this information in the app description. Changes to your app’s price can be made in the Pricing and Availability section of iTunes Connect.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the changes.

While some iPhone, iPad and Mac apps still use the word “free” in their names or on screenshots, future updates will have to stop doing so to avoid being rejected.

I’ve always loathed “free” in app names. Apple prides itself for careful curating App Store content and this is definitely a step in the right direction, more so in light of the Great App Store Cleanup.

As mentioned, Apple has previously discouraged developers from using pricing information in their titles and screenshots in the official developer guide for iTunes Connect and its overview of App Store product pages.

“Don’t reference specific prices in your app screenshots,” Apple is advised, saying referencing a local currency can mislead customers in other store territories and cause confusion. “Also avoid including specific prices in your app description,” reads another passage on Apple’s website.

Source: VentureBeat