Apple begins purge of neglected, broken apps; no more ASO with app names
Developers will have 30 days to fix the identified problems.
There are more than 2 million apps for iOS devices. However, beginning next week, Apple will be trying to reduce that number somewhat.
Starting September 7, Apple notified developers, the company will begin identifying apps that are broken, neglected or no longer comply with its review guidelines. According to an email that went out to developers yesterday:
[T]here 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.
Apple offers FAQs for developers about what will happen if their apps are flagged as outdated or non-compliant in some way. The company says it’s going to evaluate all apps in all categories.
Apple says developers will be contacted and asked “to make any necessary changes for your app to stay on the App Store.” However “apps that crash on launch” will be immediately removed.
Developers will initially have 30 days to submit any updates or requested changes to bring the app into compliance. If the developer can’t meet that deadline, the app will be removed until an update is submitted.
Apple explains that current users of non-complaint apps won’t be affected: “Your app will remain fully functional for current users. They will experience no interruption to services and will still be able to buy in-app purchases.”
The company also says it will no longer tolerate apps artificially named to boost their visibility in App Store search results. Apple will now be limiting app names to no more than 50 characters:
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. (emphasis added)
Apple’s efforts here are not unlike Google’s exercise of quality control over search results on the web.