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

  • Charlie

    About time!!

  • Ds

    So when are they going to force developers to actually list what they update or changed rather than “made improvements”. Like ok cool… but what did you actually do?

    • Fanboy 

      I feel like developers only send out these (fake) updates to reset their ratings, AND every time they submit a new version they’re allowed to bug you with a “Rate this app” notification once. That’s why they send out these fake “updates”.

      • Ds

        I’m sure that’s the reason but I was more so referring to Facebook. Since that is the one that comes to mind right away. They never outline how they improved the app.

      • It’s because Facebook uses AB testing and releases. Both the new and old version of the app are on your phone, but they only enable the new features when they’re tested and ready to go. So if they did state what they changed people would be confused as they don’t have the feature they’re talking about.

    • Erick Reyes

      They do that because they actually change code and fix bugs, but you (and maybe 99% of their user base) probably didn’t notice the bug, so why put it there?

      • Ds

        Because that’s what the update section is for. Even if it didn’t change anything for me it’s nice to see something was done.

  • burge

    So more apps with the title “Lite” & “Pro” there’s always a get around.

    • Reilitas

      They fix every workaround, always have always will. Next they will force devs to make a trial inside of the app to get rid of those both, easy as that. And if they can’t.. removed