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Old Jan 10, 2013, 03:09 AM   #76
Philscbx
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benefit of someone not downloading a ton of useless apps if they borrow your phone without your knowledge.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 03:11 AM   #77
Mike MA
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Not really -- it's merely a reaction to a problem caused by an inadequate app review process. Apps like this would have never been allowed into the App store if Apple reviewers actually bothered to test them.
That's exactly what I thought when I recently was borrowed and therefore browsing through the App Store. Besides many many great applications there was a lot of obvious junk.

But on the other hand, if these apps are not offending or somehow violating person's privacy there's no reason for Apple to reject them.

In the case mentioned above the app was crap but somehow matched the App Store policies - the crime was done after the review process (If I'm not mistaken).
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 05:36 AM   #78
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 06:49 AM   #79
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What happens when i roll out a big update to my app with major design changes ?
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 07:09 AM   #80
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Walled garden or not, this is a great move by Apple. Devs who do this are absolutely ridiculous.
I think sums up the opinions of everyone here. Well done Apple. A great way to beat the shoddy developers.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:25 AM   #81
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its the most valuable & potentially rich company in the world in a country with soaring unemployment.

they can hire some more people to screen
I'd be willing to bet that you have no experience with the actual review process.

Knowing the hoops that we've had to jump through in getting our apps approved...yeah, they test it pretty thoroughly.

Besides, you're not even reading the article. There's nothing wrong with the actual apps being submitted, the problem is that they're switching out the screenshots after the app is approved to make it appear to be something different.

But why bother reading when you can just be antagonistic, right?
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:32 AM   #82
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I wonder why Apple took SOOOOOO long to get this little piece of code right!!! This issue came up way too many times in our radar and it took ages for Apple to correct it.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:37 AM   #83
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Not really -- it's merely a reaction to a problem caused by an inadequate app review process. Apps like this would have never been allowed into the App store if Apple reviewers actually bothered to test them.
That would be IDEAL, but they probably rely on the user rating system to weed out the bad apps that get missed.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:40 AM   #84
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Stinks for developers. Sometimes it's not as simple as "just" releasing a new binary. Our apps are constantly going through revisions, so it may take a week to QA and stabilize the build. Then a week's wait for an app review.

If the app is updated frequently with new content through IAPs, the screenshots sometimes need to be updated without an app update.

I'm not complaining about Apple's process, just the fact that a few bad apples (heh) spoiled the bunch. Hopefully this is just a stopgap, and Apple can institute some kind of shorter review process for screenshot changes. Doubtful, but one can hope.

At least we can still update the metadata without a binary update.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 09:18 AM   #85
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It's sad that it has come down to this, but as a developer, I feel this won't affect my workflow at all. The only times I've ever needed to add or change screenshots is when I'm submitting a new version of an app.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 09:34 AM   #86
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Seems the scammers in the above example didn't even have to code anything, they just took some opensourced iOS game called Alphabet Blocks:
http://www.insurgentgames.com/alphabet-blocks/

So they are scum in every sense.

Surely Apple requires developer identification for security purposes so potential malware authors can be tracked down, so how can the scammers hope to get away with it? It is outright fraud. Does Apple pay micropayments for each sale as they occur, or lumpsums at the end of some financial period? If the latter, surely the scams will be detected before the payout unless it is right before the financial period is ending.

Apple's online stores sorely needs a Refund button (which will erase the local copy on all devices and cancel registrations), with the onus being on Apple as the retailer to refund the money, which they can withhold from payouts to the developer.
I'm sure there are ways to game this, but some amount of fraud/theft/loss is always accounted for in any retail system, and can be mitigated just as this move does for the bait-and-switch scam.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:04 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by jpadhiyar View Post
I wonder why Apple took SOOOOOO long to get this little piece of code right!!! This issue came up way too many times in our radar and it took ages for Apple to correct it.
Good point. Sometimes Apple seems to move very very slowly and not really all that intelligently. This seems an easy fix. However, I guess it will inconvenience the honest developers (which are the vast majority) as they will have to submit and get approved their new screen shots. If I were an honest developer, doing a bit of "growth hacking", I would switch out screen shots often to see if a different shot results in more downloads. I believe this is sometimes called A/B testing. If a new shot resulted in a spike in downloads, it might stay while I swap in a new one to test that. That sort of marketing will be harder now as the screen shots will be more difficult to change.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:15 AM   #88
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Apple needs a new review process

I understand the fix, however apple really needs a simple "metadata" review process to help out devs. As a developer, I fear soon apple will have the same issue with app descriptions. Now app descriptions is the only that can be changed after the review process.

Currently if a developer simply wants to edit a screenshot an entire new app version will be needed. Same goes for any other type of meta data:

change an icon... submit a new app version
change the screenshots... submit a new app version
change the keywords... submit a new app version
change the description...

They need a more simple "I'm just changing some of the meta data or screenshots" review process. This will protect users from fraud while helping out devs.

For example, as part of my last app update I forgot to add a few critical keywords. Now I really want to add those missing keywords, however I'm stuck. I have to submit an entire new version of the app just to adjust the keywords. My users shouldn't have to see "app update available" when in fact it's exactly the same.

----------

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Originally Posted by TallManNY View Post
Good point. Sometimes Apple seems to move very very slowly and not really all that intelligently. This seems an easy fix. However, I guess it will inconvenience the honest developers (which are the vast majority) as they will have to submit and get approved their new screen shots. If I were an honest developer, doing a bit of "growth hacking", I would switch out screen shots often to see if a different shot results in more downloads. I believe this is sometimes called A/B testing. If a new shot resulted in a spike in downloads, it might stay while I swap in a new one to test that. That sort of marketing will be harder now as the screen shots will be more difficult to change.
It's worse then a simple "approve their new screen shots". Devs will need to submit entire app for re-review. Changing a screenshot will require an entirely new app update. This also means that the user will think their is an actual app update when in fact it's just new screenshots.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:18 AM   #89
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What happens when i roll out a big update to my app with major design changes ?
Pro-tip: Read the article more carefully.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:22 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by drewc1138 View Post
I'd be willing to bet that you have no experience with the actual review process.

Knowing the hoops that we've had to jump through in getting our apps approved...yeah, they test it pretty thoroughly.

Besides, you're not even reading the article. There's nothing wrong with the actual apps being submitted, the problem is that they're switching out the screenshots after the app is approved to make it appear to be something different.

But why bother reading when you can just be antagonistic, right?
Antagonistic? Not quite.

In any case, since the issue was post-approval occurances, they could have allocated follow-uppers, but automation is a lower cost direction
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:29 AM   #91
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This in my opinion is not a good idea. Yes it will cut down on scams, but it will also hurt legitimate developers who do a major upgrade to their app, such as completely changing the gui.
Well, so much for reading the entire article.

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Originally Posted by goobot View Post
They said right in the article you can change the pics when you release an update.
Exactly!! At least you read the entire article.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:36 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by ScottishCaptain View Post
IMHO; this is the way it should have been. I have never- not once- had to chance a screenshot outside of an application update (due to GUI changes). Once again, this does not affect legitimate developers who are doing their jobs.

-SC
For the most part you are correct. However there are a few legitimate reasons to change the screenshots

1. Adjust the order of screenshots to see if sales increase
2. Change the screenshots to see if sales increase

Some screenshots are better then others and often it's difficult to determine the best screenshots until they are tried out.

As I mentioned a few posts back, it would be nice if we could make meta changes and have them reviewed without the need for a new binary.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:12 AM   #93
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However there are a few legitimate reasons to change the screenshots

1. Adjust the order of screenshots to see if sales increase
2. Change the screenshots to see if sales increase
Not legitimate, as Apple want to control anything and everything in their App store that affects sales in any way. Developers have to do any A/B testing they need outside the store (on your website, etc.), or in a manner approved by Apple.

It's their store, not yours.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:37 AM   #94
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Can't believe people resorted to such underhanded tactics.
They should lose their Dev membership for that.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:41 AM   #95
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Can't believe people resorted to such underhanded tactics.
They should lose their Dev membership for that.
Really? You can't believe this? People are jailbreaking phones to get free apps, people are downloading Blu-ray-ripped movies and music via bit torrent that weren't free, people break something they just bought and take it back to the store saying it came like that in the box. Why would certain developers be any different?
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:43 AM   #96
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Not legitimate, as Apple want to control anything and everything in their App store that affects sales in any way. Developers have to do any A/B testing they need outside the store (on your website, etc.), or in a manner approved by Apple.

It's their store, not yours.
So how are they going to stop these non-legit screenshot changes? A dev could simply resubmit identical code with new screenshots, say its a "bug fix". Apple will approve the app update and now there are new screenshots. They might as well have a more simple approach to just review screenshot/meta changes.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 01:00 PM   #97
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So how are they going to stop these non-legit screenshot changes?
By reviewing and approving every screenshot change from now on, to make sure it matches the app being reviewed. That puts changes under Apple's control as gatekeeper.

Apple has been doing the same with keywords for a couple years. Free for all when the store first opened, with evil devs gaming the system by adding bogus search keywords to their apps (e.g. take all the brand names of the top 10 games and add them as search terms to a cheap flashlight/fart app). Then Apple cracked down and required a review and update for any search keyword changes for any app. Same result: Developers screamed that lack of flexibility in hacking search terms at will would kill them. Then developers learned to live with it, and total app store revenue is up.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 01:42 PM   #98
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Very valid concern, but I think this would be better handled if Apple allowed temporary override of restricted operation. For instance, my iPad is sometimes used by my 4-year son. Under Restrictions, it has both Installing Apps and Deleting Apps restricted. IMO, there should be an option to override restricted operation via passcode.
I use those restrictions on my kids iPads/iPods and think it's great. I also have an 11 year old whom I donít want to be scammed by these phoney apps. She does like Pokemon
Itís hard to keep track on my daughters galaxy tab though. It doesnít ask for a password on free apps which is kind of scary. I do use age restrictions itís just hard because itís also my wifeís phone account.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 01:48 PM   #99
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By reviewing and approving every screenshot change from now on, to make sure it matches the app being reviewed. That puts changes under Apple's control as gatekeeper.

Apple has been doing the same with keywords for a couple years. Free for all when the store first opened, with evil devs gaming the system by adding bogus search keywords to their apps (e.g. take all the brand names of the top 10 games and add them as search terms to a cheap flashlight/fart app). Then Apple cracked down and required a review and update for any search keyword changes for any app. Same result: Developers screamed that lack of flexibility in hacking search terms at will would kill them. Then developers learned to live with it, and total app store revenue is up.
Now we are talking in circles.

Circle begins:

1. I agree that apple needs to somehow review all screenshots in order to stop fraudulent developers

2. Now an honest developer must submit entire app update to simply adjust screenshots (or re-order screenshots)

3. There are legit reasons for an honest developer to change screenshots without need of an entire app update - I suggest a separate shorter review process for screenshot changes.

4. You said in reference to my legit reasons to adjust screenshots:
"Not legitimate, as Apple want to control anything and everything in their App store that affects sales in any way."

5. How can apple stop these so called "Not legitimate (your words)" changes to screenshots.. keep in mind these are non-fraudalent screenshot changes. A developer can still change screenshots by submitting an entirely new app update.

6. You said:
"By reviewing and approving every screenshot change from now on, to make sure it matches the app being reviewed. That puts changes under Apple's control as gatekeeper. "
Well yes, I already agreed to this in step 1.. I'm just suggesting a separate review process for screenshot only changes.

Circle complete.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 01:50 PM   #100
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Good start... Now Apple needs to address in-App purchases that target children...
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