Apple is rejecting apps left and right in a new crackdown targeting titles that promote other developers’ apps, and those that offer in-game credits for viewing ads. The changes can have a profound impact on how many developers monetize their software.
Reports are beginning to emerge claiming that Apple is on a rejection spree axing every app in sight that has inappropriate advertising, such as ads for other developers’ works, or videos that offer in-game credits in exchange for watching them.
According to people familiar with the situation, the company doesn’t want people to feel incentivized to watch ads to gain credits inside a game, and so it is invoking and reinforcing existing rules and regulations.
Developer Dan Sinclair found out the hard way. Feeling cheated by Apple, he shares his rejection story over at stackoverflow, a question-and-answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers.
He claims Apple told him, “The 2.25 rejection is for promoting other apps not your own. [...] Additionally, your 3.10 rejection was for offering free in-game credits for watching videos of other apps by developers other then yourself.”
You may be wondering what those numbers are. Well, those are references to existing regulations from the iTunes App Store rulebook.
For example, section 2.25 states that “Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected, unless designed for a specific approved need (e.g. health management, aviation, accessibility, etc.) or to provide significant added value for a targeted group of customers.”
As for section 3.10, it says that “Developers who attempt to manipulate or cheat the user reviews or chart ranking in the App Store with fake or paid reviews, or any other inappropriate methods will be removed from the iOS Developer Program.”
This is not the first time Apple has rejected apps based on these grounds, and there’s really no reason for Dan Sinclair and others in the same boat to feel cheated by the system. While it’s tough to monetize an app these days, it’s also worth noting that Apple has to strive to achieve a curated service that doesn’t flood users’ devices with ads.
Plus, the company has a longstanding position against advertising other applications and digital distribution venues (like the infamous AppGratis) through iOS app. While some believe this is just Apple clawing for its 30% cut, in reality things are a little more complicated than that. Setting a precedent sometimes can have devastating consequences, so it’s best not to let some things happen in the first place.