Apple Reacts to App Store Scams, Sets New Developer Rules in Place

No more screenshot uploads without a binary, says the Mac maker

After Softpedia discovered and reported the emergence of two fake Halo 4 games in the iTunes App Store, Apple has now set in place new rules for developers preventing them from uploading new screenshots without a new binary as well.

On its Developer site Apple informs all participants in the company’s annual programs that “Beginning January 9, app screenshots will be locked in iTunes Connect once your app has been approved.”

In other words, a developer will no longer be able to swap images whenever they wish to do so by simply accessing iTunes Connect. Apple now requires a full application update to take new graphics into account.

“New screenshots may be uploaded when you submit a binary for an update to an existing app or a new app,” the announcement reads.

The reason? Scams. While our discovery certainly wasn’t the first one of its kind, it marked the first time such a scam got widespread coverage.

It was also a pretty big scam too, with customers being tricked into purchasing five-dollar apps that promised Halo 4 when, in fact, the apps were mere chess games.

For the record, Halo 4 doesn’t even sell on iOS platforms. The game is exclusive to Xbox 360 consoles. But those tantalizing graphics were far too irresistible for some.

Apple also directs developers to the Xcode User Guide for more information on capturing and using screenshots.

However, no changes have been made to the way Xcode is used to insert graphics into an app.

The new rule basically prevents any developer from making any changes to their software without Apple’s consent.

And that means if you want to change even a single pixel in one of your screenshots, you’ll have to wait in line once more for Apple’s review team to confirm that you’re not a crooked developer.

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