Developers could refresh App Store’s meta data for their apps at any time, but not anymore. According to 9to5Mac, which first spotted the change, Apple’s iTunesConnect tool for developers used for editing metadata now requires that a new version of the app be submitted for review before its description, release notes and other metadata can be edited. Any changes made to an app’s metadata won’t go live on App Store until the new binary has been approved by Apple’s editorial team.
UPDATE: Several developers we talked to have confirmed that this was indeed a glitch in the system, saying they’re now able to update an app’s description and other meta data without submitting a new binary for approval.
Apple has not formally announced this change in policy, but a passage in the iTunes Connect Developer Guide does state that changing some metadata requires that developers create a new app binary and resubmit it for review.
The new rules are likely to irk some developers, namely those who would need to fix a typo in their app’s title or description, because the process of updating App Store meta data is now more time-consuming than before.
Developers must wait up to 24 hours for a full refresh of the changes on the store.
It’s worth pointing out that developers have never been able to change screenshots or the app name without uploading a new binary. That’s because Apple is clamping down on scam apps that would get approved with screenshots of their app, then swap them out to make it look like a popular app.
Privacy policies and license agreements for apps can also be edited at any time, like before. According to Apple’s App Store dashboard for developers, most app updates are now approved within 24 hours.
As 9to5Mac notes, the change may lead to even shorter approval times as the review queue will no longer be congested with developers who are just pushing some new marketing copy through the system rather than changing the app.