Apple Updates iTunes Connect Screenshot Policy

2013-01-09 18_39_26-News and Announcements for Apple Developers

At the time of an app’s submission into the App Store, its screenshots must match content that is actually a part of the app. If not, the app is denied access to the store and Apple requests that new screenshots are added. Somewhat deviously, however, many developers have been evading this requirement, with the intention of deceiving App Store customers into buying their apps. All they had to do was go in and change the app’s screenshots after the app was accepted.

Circumvention of this particular App Store policy is no longer possible, effective today. Apple has updated their Dev Portal blog to say that screenshots in app descriptions will now be locked once an app has been approved.

Beginning January 9, app screenshots will be locked in iTunes Connect once your app has been approved. New screenshots may be uploaded when you submit a binary for an update to an existing app or a new app. For more information on capturing and using screenshots, read the Xcode User Guide.

Many app developers like to put screenshots (that aren’t actually screenshots, mind you) on their apps to make them more attractive. For instance, some developers of “Minecraft Guidebook”-type apps have changed their App Store screenshots to actual pictures of Minecraft itself. This is obviously not a fair representation of the app’s contents.

Another example, as MacRumors notes, was the Unofficial ”Pokemon Yellow” app that was released early last year. The app was first uploaded with unoffensive screenshots, and was soon updated with pictures of the actual version of the game. It goes without saying that hundreds, maybe thousand of people saw those screenshots and bought the app on impulse. Yeah, it’s their own fault, but I’m glad to see Apple clamping down on this obvious loophole.

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