New iPhone Rejection Policies

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Post: #1
It's clear Apple is getting tougher on their rejection policies. I had heard reports of this, but considering the huge number of apps that break these policies which are still making their way into the store, I was skeptical that such a change has occurred. Let me tell you, however inconsistently applied, there has been a significant change.

So I want to bring the following to people's attention, because Apple hasn't had the decency to tell their loyal developers this information directly:

1. Apple has become more strict about use of their trademarks and icons. Don't even include things in your app like an icon of an iPhone (even if you made it yourself from scratch!). Even if you think you're not infringing on any trademarks, Apple may see it differently if you reference their products in any way.

2. Apple is enforcing user interface guidelines more strictly than before. Read them, follow them.

3. Do not include any references (AT ALL!) in the free version of your app of what features can be found in the paid version. Do not provide any indications of features that are missing from your free version (no grayed out buttons, no messages that features are locked, nothing).

This last policy will affect the vast majority of free games in the iTunes App store. It is beyond belief that Apple has not notified developers of it.

Apple may apply these more strict guidelines retroactively, rejecting updates to your existing application for features that were always present.
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Post: #2
Thanks for the heads up.

I guess I'll change my games.
"Dawn of the Palms", "WindowsMobile Home of 1,000 corpses", "Zune Patrol"
and "HandDancer: Balmer Monkey Boy Revolution"
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Post: #3
igame3d Wrote:Thanks for the heads up.

I guess I'll change my games.
"Dawn of the Palms", "WindowsMobile Home of 1,000 corpses", "Zune Patrol"
and "HandDancer: Balmer Monkey Boy Revolution"

Heh, I would totally pay 99 cents for Zune patrol. Of course, $1.99 would be a complete ripoff and make you worse than Hitler.

But in all seriousness, I do mean this as a heads up. If you don't know these things, especially rule number 3, which has not been grounds for rejection before now, you could seriously waste a lot of time.
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Post: #4
Holmes Wrote:3. Do not include any references (AT ALL!) in the free version of your app of what features can be found in the paid version. Do not provide any indications of features that are missing from your free version (no grayed out buttons, no messages that features are locked, nothing).

This last policy will affect the vast majority of free games in the iTunes App store. It is beyond belief that Apple has not notified developers of it.
Is this really reasonable? The sensible chain of two or three versions of varying prices is cut off. Why would Apple not want good sales? Fewer free apps?
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Post: #5
Rule 3 has been applied all along, but so far they've only been enforcing it (unfairly) on the more prominent devs. I think the general idea is that they don't want feature crippled demos on the app store, just full apps. You're allowed to upsell in a lite version, but you can't have any disabled features, greyed out buttons etc.

This sucks from the dev's point of view of course as it means we can only use begging and pleading as an upsell and players who have the lite version of your app never realise all the better features of the full version as they never see them in the lite version. They also never bother reading upsell messages, so they assume the full version is exactly the same as the lite version but more expensive.
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Post: #6
Well, and the popularity and the ratings don't carry over to the full version, and you have twice as many non-free games in the App store. The doubling up of games is the worst problem in my view because it dilutes the visibility of all the games and unfairly skews purchases towards the ones already at the top of the heap. Really, Apple screwed up big-time by not allowing demos.
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Post: #7
Holmes Wrote:1. Apple has become more strict about use of their trademarks and icons. Don't even include things in your app like an icon of an iPhone (even if you made it yourself from scratch!). Even if you think you're not infringing on any trademarks, Apple may see it differently if you reference their products in any way.

So now when I come to do the instructions screen of my game (soon hopefully) I won't be able to show hands holding an iPhone like a steering wheel. How annoying as that's the easiest way to explain how to use the Accelerometer to control! Plenty of apps in the app store now that do this, are Apple going to go back and require them to change?
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Post: #8
monteboyd Wrote:So now when I come to do the instructions screen of my game (soon hopefully) I won't be able to show hands holding an iPhone like a steering wheel. How annoying as that's the easiest way to explain how to use the Accelerometer to control! Plenty of apps in the app store now that do this, are Apple going to go back and require them to change?

Apple may end up blocking their updates until the iPod / iPhone images are removed.

Or it may be that Apple was just being a **** in my case. I'll tell you what they wouldn't allow for me. I had an icon of an iPhone / iPod touch which I had created myself which would appear in the local high scores (what better way to indicate local than showing a picture of the user's device). They told me it had to be removed because it infringed on their trademarks. This icon had been present in the game since August! It was not an issue for the initial release or subsequent 3 updates.

[Image: IMG_0033.PNG]
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Zwilnik Wrote:This sucks from the dev's point of view of course as it means we can only use begging and pleading as an upsell and players who have the lite version of your app never realise all the better features of the full version as they never see them in the lite version. They also never bother reading upsell messages, so they assume the full version is exactly the same as the lite version but more expensive.

Yeah, these were my thoughts as well. Does it really benefit users to have demos which merely suggest they are incomplete ("hey, this stupid game only has easiest, and easy difficulty levels, how stupid!", "wow, Rolando's adventures suddenly have come to an inexplicable end, this game is screwy!") versus games that explicitly let you know what you're missing?

And does Apple expect this policy will result in more games that are truly free? To me it just seems like they are making a whole class of games less economically viable to produce, and so those will not end up being created.

It also seems to me that if devs can't effectively advertise their own full version in their free or lite apps, then more devs will resort to using 3rd party advertising. Certainly that doesn't result in a better user experience.
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Post: #10
I wonder if you can have the game cut out and say something like:
This concludes the demo version. If you like this
game and want to do more, please buy the full version.
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Post: #11
kendric Wrote:I wonder if you can have the game cut out and say something like:
This concludes the demo version. If you like this
game and want to do more, please buy the full version.

It's hard to say whether that's acceptable anymore.

The policy is that the app cannot reference features that aren't implemented. Saying the app ends there but implying the full version does not seems to go against that.
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Post: #12
You could say it like, "go buy the sequel!"
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Post: #13
I was planning on doing a lite version of Slope Rider with just the first two (or maybe three) levels. I may as well just see what I can get away with mentioning about the full version, all they can do is reject and then I can try again.
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Post: #14
As an extra query to this - does anyone know if Apple are enforcing no usage of iPhone images on web pages promoting iPhone games? I'm about to put up screenshots of Slope Rider on the iPhone and of course it looks a whole lot better if they are contained within an iPhone shell. I was planning on using the Simulator image, but now I'm worried Apple would ask me to take it down.
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Post: #15
monteboyd Wrote:As an extra query to this - does anyone know if Apple are enforcing no usage of iPhone images on web pages promoting iPhone games? I'm about to put up screenshots of Slope Rider on the iPhone and of course it looks a whole lot better if they are contained within an iPhone shell. I was planning on using the Simulator image, but now I'm worried Apple would ask me to take it down.

You should find a form on the iPhone dev site to fill in and send to Apple Legal to authorise use of the iPhone and App Store logos. Although come to think of it I sent ours off a year ago and haven't heard back yet Smile
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