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Apple Starts Rejecting Apps if Name Includes Price

Developers will take any advantage they can get in the overly crowded app stores for Apple's platforms, and that includes reminding potential customers that their app is completely free to use. To that end, it's common to see "free" included as part of the app name. But in the iOS and macOS app stores, such practices are no longer allowed.

Apple makes it clear in the App Store guidelines (section 2.3.7) that app names must be unique and should "not include terms or descriptions that are not the name of the app." But now, according to VentureBeat, Apple is clamping down on the practice by rejecting app submissions with the following reason stated:

"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."

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The rejection goes on to state that any reference to price should be removed from the name, even if it is a reference to being free or discounted. A change in price can only be advertised in the app description of the Pricing and Availability section.

What this means is all new apps submitted to Apple's app stores, be they for iOS or macOS, will cease to reference price in the name (or screenshots and previews). Any apps already referencing price in the name will continue to do so, but if the app gets updated it seems likely Apple will reject it until the price reference is removed from the name. Over time, it means all price references should disappear.

This poses a dilemma for any developer launching two versions of a game, one free and ad-supported and the other paid-for and free of adverts. Will including the difference in the app description alone be enough to differentiate them? Maybe we'll get some clever naming to get around the new restriction.

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