Some of you may have received a notification that the iTunes App Stores has gone through a few changes. As always, Apple touted these as improvements (we're not saying they aren't,) but it's not a bad idea to go through the modifications to understand exactly what you should expect for the future of submitting apps to the store.
One thing to remember is that Apple has about 2 million apps available for users to download. Not only that, but around 100,000 updated and newly submitted apps are reviewed each week. That's quite a bit of competition for any of your new apps. Plus, we all know just how picky Apple can be with its new apps.
Although it's tough to understand all of the requirements from Apple, they do a pretty good job of sharing as much information as they can.
For example, two particular suggestions were sent out to the development community:
Shortening App Names
All apps submitted for evaluation are now limited to a maximum of 50 characters. This means that you may have to adjust some of your older app names or think more about what you would like to call your future apps.
Why was this improvement made?
Prior to the change, some developers decided to somewhat take advantage of longer app names, since they could cram in multiple keywords, descriptions and even features. The only problem is that this generally made the app store look more cluttered for the user, and many of these words in titles had nothing to do with the apps.
Therefore, Apple decided that longer app names were a hinderance to the overall UX. After all, you have plenty of room to talk about your features and highlights in the description area.
So, from here on out, just remember that you need to keep the app names short. When making an app in iBuildApp, you'll eventually get to the point where you need to submit to the App Store. Do yourself a favor and follow rules like this one before you get to the submission page.
The Search for Quality Apps
Sometimes it seems tough to get your app listed in the app store. There's a reason for this. Apple wants to make sure that users only have access to quality, innovative apps that are going to help them in their daily lives.
However, Apple never really had much of a process for going through to bump out the older, or obsolete, apps.
With the new improvements, however, you may end up receiving an email from Apple regarding your older, or lower quality, app.
The company has implemented a process of continuously sifting through the app store to locate and remove apps that are either problematic or abandoned.
Don't worry, though. Developers are contacted before the removal takes place. This way, you have an opportunity to either adjust the app, make it up-to-date or abide by the standards set forth by Apple.
What Else is There to Know?
All of these improvements started on September 7, 2016. Therefore, the entire process is already underway. However, we're assuming that going through all of those abandoned apps will take a long time.
We encourage you to go through all of the App Store Guidelines, because every single category of app is going to be evaluated. There's no chance that your apps go overlooked.
One other thing to keep in mind is that any app that crashes upon being launched is going to be removed immediately. So, if you have an app you'd like to keep around, but you need to get it back on track, get in there and start editing.
Finally, if Apple contacts you about your app, you have 30 days to make the requested changes. Otherwise, the app will be removed.
Are You Ready For the New App Store Improvements?
From shorter titles to abandoned app removal, Apple clearly takes its app store seriously. Luckily, Apple keeps us up-to-date on changes like these, giving us a little time to adjust. Furthermore, it's not always all that hard to ensure your app is of the highest quality and has a shorter title.
If you have any questions about the recent changes to the Apple App Store, please let us know in the comments section below.