Apple announced on its developer site today that it will be locking down the images submitted along with apps once they are approved for the App Store, locking scammers out of one more tactic used to scam naive app buyers into purchasing apps that may look just like popular games (like Pokemon or Minecraft). The tactic involved submitting apps with basic images for approval to Apple, then switching them out to infringing images that look just like the popular apps.
Apple’s new policy should help cut down on scammer app sellers from deploying the bait and switch maneuver in the future, helping keep app buyers a bit safer than before.
Beginning January 9, app screenshots will be locked in iTunes Connect once your app has been approved. New screenshots may be uploaded when you submit a binary for an update to an existing app or a new app. For more information on capturing and using screenshots, read the Xcode User Guide.
According to MacRumors, many apps have snuck past Apple’s quality controls using this method, including many Minecraft clones that use screenshots from the official Minecraft app after the scam app has been approved by Apple. While Apple does refund the money in these obvious scam situations and pulls the offending apps from the store quickly, there can still be hundreds of users who are taken in by the practice.
But not anymore! Good move, Apple.