Apple blocks bogus ‘What’s New’ messages from App Store

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The App Store rules for What’s New change
There’s a change in the App Store‘s policy about “What’s New” messages.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Developers soon will need to get approval from Apple for the descriptions of software updates posted in the App Store. The goal seems to be to prevent unscrupulous devs from using this high-profile messaging area for nefarious purposes.

A note warning developers that this policy will go into effect next month has been posted on iTunes Connect, the online toolbox for managing apps sold on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc.

In the near future, devs will only be able to submit changes to “What’s New” alongside an updated version of the app so the text can be vetted by Apple. In addition, any change to the company’s URL displayed in the App Store will also require approval under the same conditions.

Apple gave no reason for this new policy. The company likely received complaints that some developers used the “What’s New” text to advertise other products or spam consumers.

A downside to the change

The updated policy brings some disadvantages. In the past, some developers used the “What’s New” section to warn customers not to upgrade if a major bug cropped up after the software went live in the App Store. That won’t be possible anymore.

One can hope that Apple’s new policy will lead to third-party developers being more forthcoming about changes made in their software. At this point, some descriptions remain vague at best.