Apple bans developers from referencing price in app names, screenshots, and previews

“Apple has stepped up its efforts to stop developers from promoting the price of their apps in app names and screenshots,” Jordan Novet reports for VentureBeat.

“For the past month or so, Apple’s iTunes Connect service has been blocking submissions to the App Store or Mac App Store when app metadata includes pricing information,” Novet reports. “For years, developers have mentioned “free” in apps’ names. Apple has previously discouraged developers from doing so in its developer guide for iTunes Connect and its overview of App Store product pages. Now the company has gone further.”

Novet reports, ” This is the error message you’ll see if you mention ‘free’ in the name of an app build that you submit for review: ‘Your app’s name, icons, screenshots, or previews to be displayed on the App Store include references to your app’s price, which is not considered a part of these metadata items. Please remove any references to your app’s price from your app’s name, including any references to your app being free or discounted. If you would like to advertise changes to your app’s price, it would be appropriate to include this information in the app description. Changes to your app’s price can be made in the Pricing and Availability section of iTunes Connect.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good job, Apple. More housecleaning, too, please!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “TJ” for the heads up.]


  1. If the developer was simply using ‘free’ in the name to differentiate from a ad-free (or otherwise) paid version of the App I’m sure some creative dev will find a new naming convention. “Lite” for example.

    1. They cracked down on superfluous metadata in app names, used for App Store Optimization a long time ago. So for example if you named your app “Better Docs (file management, printing, pdf, sharing, drop box)” it could be rejected.

      They’ve always said we can’t use prices in the app description, for a good reason: it doesn’t localize. You can localize the language of your app description, but language doesn’t map 1:1 to currency. So if you said the upgrade was $0.99 that would be incorrect in pesos, and to make it more confusing the peso sign is the same as the dollar sign. This restriction totally makes sense.

      This new crack down on FREE in the name doesn’t make the same sense because free is free in all currencies. But it DOES make sense strategically. Apple’s App Store is where you get premium awesome apps. Google Play is the cesspool of Free crap with ads and malware and getting your personal data sold to advertisers and sent back to nefarious app developers.

      Short version: Apple is strengthening the App Store brand with this move.

  2. I am sensing a theme on MDN. The politically charged word ban (or executive order, or similar) is cheered when Apple or Trump does it, individual freedom be damned. Anyone else proposed a sensible regulation and they are attacked.

    1. Your senses aren’t working.

      I can point to nearly daily occurrences of MDN criticizing Apple, Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, etc.

      I’d also like to see an example of MDN “cheering” a Trump EO, please. I can’t find any.

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