guidelines October 1

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Is Apple considering another round of major changes to iOS’s Home screen? If watchOS and tvOS are any indication, the answer could be “yes.” Earlier this year, Apple launched the Apple Watch with a purely text-free Home screen, requiring users to identify 20-some initial apps (and manually-added third-party apps) by icon designs alone. This month, it will release the fourth-generation Apple TV with a refreshed UI, again almost entirely eliminating below-app text in favor of redesigned icons with 3D depth.

While it would be easy to write off Apple’s changes to text labels as one-off decisions for “really small screen” and “really big screen” devices, they collectively raise an interesting question: if developers properly redesigned their iOS icons, would text labels — a staple of graphical user interfaces for decades — really be necessary any more? I’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons below…

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guidelines February 12

Apple has apparently been revising its app review strategy this week and has decided to reverse a previous decision that banned MassRoots, a marijuana-centric social app, from its software storefront. The application was booted from the App Store late last year (though it lasted much longer on the store than some other apps).

According to App Store guideline 2.18:

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Apple has started enforcing a long-ignored rule in its App Store guidelines regarding what kinds of content can appear in app metadata. According to rule 3.6 in the guidelines document:

Apps with App icons, screenshots, and previews that do not adhere to the 4+ age rating will be rejected

This rule has been mostly unenforced since the App Store launched, but according to a new report from Pocket Gamer, some app developers are starting to see their apps rejected for depictions of violence in their screenshots.

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guidelines October 31, 2013

guidelines April 11, 2013

AppGratis-645x250Following a controversy in which Apple removed app discovery service AppGratis from its App Store for breaking Apple’s guidelines, Reuters reports today that regulators in France are planning to ask the European Commission and EU member states for better regulation of technology companies. The statement was made by French junior minister for digital economy Fleur Pellerin on a recent trip to AppGratis publisher iMediapp. Fleur described Apple’s decision to pull AppGratis as “extremely brutal and unilateral”:

“This behaviour is not worthy of a company of this size,” Pellerin said. She added that certain Internet companies were guilty of “repeated abusive behaviour” and said she would ask the European Commission and EU member states to better regulate digital platforms, search engines and social media.

The decision comes as Apple is drawing some heat for its broad App Store guidelines that have allowed it to remove some apps that promote App Store content but not others. Apple originally said that AppGratis was removed for breaking a guideline that warns against “Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store.” Apple also said AppGratis was in violation of guideline 5.6 that says “apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.

AllThingsD reported that sources have indicated Apple’s removal of AppGratis is part of a broader crackdown on app discovery applications, but a grey area still remains regarding how Apple decides which apps are approved and which are removed.

Apple told Retuers today that it had discussions with AppGratis prior to the removal and that the developers had “disregarded its technical specifications.” expand full story

guidelines April 9, 2013

After receiving some clarification from Apple last night over the removal of discovery app AppGratis, CEO Simon Dawalt is weighing in today with a statement posted on the AppGratis website explaining that the situation has been “absolutely crazy” to deal with:

And that is pretty much where we stand, still stunned that Apple took the decision to destroy so much value within their own ecosystem, but more than ever convinced that what we’re doing is good, and accomplishing a much needed mission in a broken App Discovery world.

While explaining that App Gratis has gone through a number of rejections for breaking App Store guidelines in situations that were later resolved with Apple, Dawalt shed some light on what happened on Apple’s side: expand full story


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