Updated iOS App Store Guidelines Clarify 'Cheating', Address In-App Subscriptions

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Alongside today's announcement of its new in-app subscription program and policies, Apple also updated its iOS App Store Guidelines to reflect the requirements laid out in the press release.

But Apple also made several other additions to the guidelines, with the most notable one being new language aimed to help Apple crack down on developers who "cheat the system". The new language appears as a bullet point in the introductory portion of the document, making it one the key points being stressed by Apple.
If you attempt to cheat the system (for example, by trying to trick the review process, steal data from users, copy another developer's work, or manipulate the ratings) your apps will be removed from the store and you will be expelled from the developer program.
The addition gives Apple more ammunition to help it address growing issues regarding easter eggs carrying hidden functionalities, "counterfeit" applications stealing content from other developers, and manipulation of app ratings through the use of shill accounts and other tactics.

Other notable additions to the review guidelines include language directing developers to submit apps that are simply songs, movies, or books to the iTunes Store or iBookstore rather than to the the App Store, and prohibition of arbitrary geographic or carrier restrictions on who may use a given app.

Article Link: Apple Updates iOS App Store Review Guidelines to Clarify 'Cheating', Address In-App Subscriptions
 

zeemeerman2

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2010
272
25
These seem like commonsense updates. Especially attempts to get rid of the cheats.

Not sure about the "copy another developer's work" one... That one is something I recognize a lot as in patents.

For this, there will be only one Flashlight app because all others copied the first one. There will be only one poker app because all others copied the first one.

A personal example; Mega Jump (a popular game) will be deleted because of the less popular and very simple Papi Jump (because they're both jumping games). (Or Papi Jump gets removed, idk, not sure which one came first...)

Etc...
Not good for competition, if you ask me. It's all up to how Apple interprets that rule...
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
Sweet.... a good thing all around. Good for consumers and developers. Just not hackers and companies who want to cheat the system.

Now here comes the trolls to tell us how bad this is... how greedy Apple is, and how they will be switching to Android for the 100th time this month. :D
 

zeemeerman2

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2010
272
25
Manipulating the ratings... Is it forbidden for a developer to rate his own game 5 stars?

Now here comes the trolls to tell us how bad this is... how greedy Apple is, and how they will be switching to Android for the 100th time this month.
[troll]I do it all the time. My mobile phone has Android, while I also have an iPod Touch. Every time I make a call, I have to switch to Android. And afterwards, I switch again to iOS for doing other stuff on my iPod. That happens... like 100 times in a month, as I believe. You, Popeye206, are correct! ;)
[/troll]
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
Not sure about the "copy another developer's work" one... That one is something I recognize a lot as in patents.

For this, there will be only one Flashlight app because all others copied the first one. There will be only one poker app because all others copied the first one.

A personal example; Mega Jump (a popular game) will be deleted because of the less popular and very simple Papi Jump (because they're both jumping games). (Or Papi Jump gets removed, idk, not sure which one came first...)

Etc...
Not good for competition, if you ask me. It's all up to how Apple interprets that rule...

I don't think they're saying you can't develop your own app that does something similar to someone else's, but if you were to blatantly do your own version of Angry Birds and call it "Pissed off Parrots" and the game looked 99% the same... someone might have issue.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,072
34,163
Boston
It seems these items are rather commonsense and help foster a developer friendly atmosphere. Its hard to attract or keep developers if they fear their work will get ripped off, of others are unfairly increasing the visibility of a competing app.
 

troop231

macrumors 603
Jan 20, 2010
5,700
429
What about the people who give a crappy rating on one of your apps and it's not justifiable, Ex: Someone leaves a review saying the font is too small, when there is a pinch to zoom function on a pdf file in the app :rolleyes:
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,552
I don't think they're saying you can't develop your own app that does something similar to someone else's, but if you were to blatantly do your own version of Angry Birds and call it "Pissed off Parrots" and the game looked 99% the same... someone might have issue.

Exactly, or what happened to Lugaru a few weeks ago, when someone blatantly copied it and made it available for .99 instead of $10.
 

rstansby

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2007
493
0
Not sure about the "copy another developer's work" one... That one is something I recognize a lot as in patents.

For this, there will be only one Flashlight app because all others copied the first one. There will be only one poker app because all others copied the first one.

A personal example; Mega Jump (a popular game) will be deleted because of the less popular and very simple Papi Jump (because they're both jumping games). (Or Papi Jump gets removed, idk, not sure which one came first...)

Etc...
Not good for competition, if you ask me. It's all up to how Apple interprets that rule...

I think they are talking about directly copying code, not just coming up with a similar idea.
 

RoboCop001

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2005
1,431
258
Toronto, Canada
I don't think they're saying you can't develop your own app that does something similar to someone else's, but if you were to blatantly do your own version of Angry Birds and call it "Pissed off Parrots" and the game looked 99% the same... someone might have issue.

Who wants to develop Pissed Off Parrots with me??

Here's my idea.......

It's a stress reliever.

For each bird, you touch a button and yell things like "You C&#T!!! I'LL F&@* @#&* YOUR FACE!" or some such nonsense, and depending on how good your swearing and general pissed-off-ness (the Pissedoffometer) is, you destroy the proportional amount of pigs and buildings!!

Your swearing and anger powers the birds!!! :D
 

djgamble

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2006
836
321
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-gb) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Nothing to do with eastereggs... all about people cheating the ratings.
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
What about the people who give a crappy rating on one of your apps and it's not justifiable, Ex: Someone leaves a review saying the font is too small, when there is a pinch to zoom function on a pdf file in the app :rolleyes:

All part of the game... I think most people weigh out the comments as to what others say and take them for what they are. I know I never judge too harshly unless there are a lot of negative comments.
 

Rudy69

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2009
672
1,061
Good, I've always wondered what happened to developers who would try to cheat the process (often using obviously copyrighted content without permission....sound boards anyone?)
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
Who wants to develop Pissed Off Parrots with me??

Here's my idea.......

It's a stress reliever.

For each bird, you touch a button and yell things like "You C&#T!!! I'LL F&@* @#&* YOUR FACE!" or some such nonsense, and depending on how good your swearing and general pissed-off-ness (the Pissedoffometer) is, you destroy the proportional amount of pigs and buildings!!

Your swearing and anger powers the birds!!! :D

I'm in! :D
 

karsten

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2010
887
122
good, hopefully it will get rid of some of the crud. i think the region issue doesnt apply to the bbc iplayer as that is more of a license/legal issue than arbitrary limits.
 

coder12

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2010
512
3
Who wants to develop Pissed Off Parrots with me??

Here's my idea.......

It's a stress reliever.

For each bird, you touch a button and yell things like "You C&#T!!! I'LL F&@* @#&* YOUR FACE!" or some such nonsense, and depending on how good your swearing and general pissed-off-ness (the Pissedoffometer) is, you destroy the proportional amount of pigs and buildings!!

Your swearing and anger powers the birds!!! :D

Angry birds ... 2!
 

troop231

macrumors 603
Jan 20, 2010
5,700
429
Quite frankly, your app should do the work drawing people in, not cheating. If a dev. needs to resort to cheating, he needs to rethink his app.
 

orbitaljunkie

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2011
4
0
My assumption would be that this is Apple's attempt to thwart the new business of paying for reviews. That and certain wily developers who create dozens of Apple IDs and then review their own app. Typical of overseas apps.
 

firewood

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2003
7,851
1,100
Silicon Valley
Manipulating the ratings... Is it forbidden for a developer to rate his own game 5 stars?

I don't know if Apple has provided precise guidelines in this matter.

There's a long slippery slope between asking my mom to buy my app and leave a rating (pretty obvious how many stars it's going to be, since she still has those ugly finger painting I made in 2nd grade on the wall), ...

spending all my time building a facebook fan page hawking my app and begging for 5 star reviews, ...

and paying some company to buy copies of my app using 100 shill accounts and leave all 5 stars ratings, or to buy my competitors nearly identical apps and rate them all 1 star with bogus reviews saying that those other apps are all broken.
 

applefanDrew

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2010
1,437
4
Does the review board see the code? I thought they just got the final product, installed it, tested it, then approved/rejected it? Do they actually take a look at the code and look at your variable names, functions, etc etc?
 

clydefamous

macrumors newbie
Jun 3, 2009
27
0
More User Agreements!!!

It seems like every time I install anything from the appstore, I got to agree to a new User Agreement. What gives? At least this new go around sounds good.
 

BC2009

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2009
1,963
318
Not sure about the "copy another developer's work" one... That one is something I recognize a lot as in patents.

For this, there will be only one Flashlight app because all others copied the first one. There will be only one poker app because all others copied the first one.

A personal example; Mega Jump (a popular game) will be deleted because of the less popular and very simple Papi Jump (because they're both jumping games). (Or Papi Jump gets removed, idk, not sure which one came first...)

Etc...
Not good for competition, if you ask me. It's all up to how Apple interprets that rule...

I'm guessing that "copy another developer's work" has more to do with copying icons, graphics, or even stealing source code.
 
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