iOS and macOS developers are no longer allowed to mention price information in app titles.
Apple has previously discouraged users from including words like “free” in their App Store titles. Now the company has instigated a complete ban, and developers who don’t comply with its new rule will see their submissions rejected.
With an increasing number of iOS and macOS apps using in-app purchases over upfront charges, Apple has moved away from using the word “free” for free-to-download titles; it opts for “get” labels instead. It’s less enticing, but it prevents confusion.
Users cannot be tricked into thinking that the app they’re getting is completely free to use. In many cases, free-to-download titles include in-app purchases that unlock key features, and you don’t find out about these until the app has been installed.
Now, a report from VentureBeat explains Apple is blocking developers from using the word “free” — and any other reference to pricing — too.
“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,” reads the error message to developers when they submit an app for review.
“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.”
Some developers found out about this change before Apple confirmed it. Chris Apostle, chief revenue officer at Moburst, told VentureBeat that his company suddenly started getting their app updates rejected by Apple when including “free” in the app’s title.
You will still find plenty of App Store titles that include price information in their names, descriptions, and screenshots — and that’s likely to be the case for some time. But following this change, Apple will clearly reject new and updated submissions that break its rule.