Apple Updates App Store Guidelines, Calls Out 'Creepy' Apps for Exclusion

appstoreApple today updated its App Store review guidelines ahead of the launch of iPhone 6 and iOS 8, adding sections for new features such as extensions, HealthKit, HomeKit and TestFlight. Additionally, Apple tweaked its introductory remark to specifically call out "creepy" apps as unwelcome in the App Store.

We have over a million Apps in the App Store. If your App doesn't do something useful, unique or provide some form of lasting entertainment, or if your app is plain creepy, it may not be accepted.

The new guidelines, primarily in sections 25 through 28, outline what use of the new features would get an app rejected from the App Store. For instance, extensions must provide some functionality and must remain functional without network access. Keyboard extensions can only collect user data for improving the functionality of the keyboard and nothing else.

The sections for both HealthKit and HomeKit include guidelines for user data, with apps using HomeKit not allowed to collect any sort of user data for advertising and data mining while HealthKit is only allowed to collect data with a user's permission. TestFlight guidelines include limitations on distribution and compensation for beta testers.

Additionally, Apple added some notes to its Metadata section for the App Store's new app previews feature, noting that apps may only use video screen captures for previews and that app previews cannot display personal information without permission.

iOS 8 will be included on the iPhone 6 reportedly arriving later this month and likely launch a few days earlier for current devices.

Top Rated Comments

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77 months ago
This doesn’t bode well for my new app Peeping Tom.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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77 months ago
I wish Apple would enable an age based search tool so I can filter out 80% of the top paid and free apps, and be able to find useful apps. Or maybe a "permanently hide" app feature so it never shows up in any results.

I feel like I used to find cool apps a while back, but not as much anymore. Maybe I need to find some review site or something.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 months ago
Some of these guidelines are hilarious!

- "We view Apps different than books or songs, which we do not curate. If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. If you want to describe sex, write a book or a song, or create a medical App."

- "If your App looks like it was cobbled together in a few days, or you're trying to get your first practice App into the store to impress your friends, please brace yourself for rejection. We have lots of serious developers who don't want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour."

- "We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, "I'll know it when I see it". And we think that you will also know it when you cross it."

- "If your App is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps."

- "This is a living document, and new Apps presenting new questions may result in new rules at any time. Perhaps your App will trigger this."

- "2.11 Apps that duplicate Apps already in the App Store may be rejected, particularly if there are many of them, such as fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra Apps"

- "14.2 Professional political satirists and humorists are exempt from the ban on offensive or mean-spirited commentary"

- "15.5 Apps that include games of Russian roulette will be rejected"

- "18.1 Apps containing pornographic material, defined by Webster's Dictionary as "explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings", will be rejected"

:D
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 months ago
How about telling us the screen resolutions so we can have our apps ready for the release...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 months ago

How about telling us the screen resolutions so we can have our apps ready for the release...


Yeah seriously! The resizable iPhone simulators are garbage and impossible to really design around.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 months ago
Jennifer Lawrence approves.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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