Apple Starts Rejecting Apps if Name Includes Price

Should an app be submitted for review with "Free" in the title or metadata, the developer will receive a rejection notice from Apple.

Google's Developer Program Policies for Google Play don't explicitly restrict apps from making allusions to price in the name and other metadata. The Free App of the Week section will be available in the US for four weeks, each week presenting users with a different option at random.

Developers will be able to look through users' reviews in the iTunes Connect dashboard, along with filters to sift through reviews from users located in different countries. That was painfully frustrating because users who misunderstood an app's features, or maybe were just in a bad mood, could leave bad reviews and potentially drive away potential buyers.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the changes but declined to comment further.

The catch lies in the fact that Google Play Store's curated section of free apps will have the app available for free only during the week it's displayed there, and then the app goes back to its initial retail price.

Pricing information may be included in the description, and changed in the appropriate section of iTunes Connect.

From this point forward, developers can no longer use such terms as their app titles. All in all, the feature can also be a new way to make a name for yourself in the app world.

Apps that now reference pricing in metadata remain unaffected, but presumably will be required to change the language in future app updates.

Apple is apparently ramping up its efforts to clean up the App Store.

The whole exercise could help create a feedback channel for developers, which might help them in pushing out app updates faster. For years, some developers have put the word "free" in their app names to try and gain more attention from users browsing the App Store. Developers will get a notification if users change their review, too.

  • Carolyn Briggs