App Store - Criteria for app approval?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Moonlit, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Moonlit

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    Does Apple have any criteria for descriptions of apps?

    Eg, let's say there's a free app that makes no mention at all that's it's merely a free trial, nor for how long the trial is free, nor what the price of it will be once the trial is over, and that you have to register and provide an email address to use the so-called free app in the first place?

    Or, a free app that makes no mention at all that there's an in-app upgrade purchase to both get rid of ads and to use all the features of the app as shown in the app description. For instance, say it's a word game. The screenshots show the game plays words up to 8 characters. But the free app only lets you use up to 6 characters; if you want to use it for 8 characters, you have to pay. But it's not mentioned anywhere in the description, nor is there any mention of in-app upgrades.

    I've recently come across a couple of apps like this, that don't tell you that the apps are in any way limited. Should this not be considered as misleading?
     
  2. jsh1120

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    Of course it's misleading. But it's called the "app store" for a reason. Apple's objective is to promote paid apps from which they derive a 30% cut.
     
  3. Moonlit

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    Misleading or not, all companies' objectives are to make money :)

    My question was basically asking: Do Apple allow apps to give blatantly misleading descriptions? Apart from which, those apps don't claim to be paid ones, they claim to be free for what they make out to be a full working app - which it isn't and which you don't find out about until after you've downloaded it. They are (purposely) omitting to tell you that you have to pay if you want to get what's in their description of the app and what they show you in their screenshots.

    That aside, how can Apple take a 30% cut of something that's free? (not sarcasm, just genuine curiosity)
     
  4. twerppoet

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    Leave a review on the app's store page, a few negative reviews and the developer should feel some pressure to be more forthcoming. Or if you feel they don't deserve immediate public censure, you could go to their support site and let them know what you think.

    If the app had cost you money, you could ask Apple for a refund. That gets the developers attention real quick, since they have to refund the full amount; Apple keeps their 30%.

    Since it is free, there is little force you can bring to a complaint.

    As for Apple's policies, I doubt they would tolerate an outright lie, but the gray area of omission is something they probably don't want to try and regulate. It would be a huge headache. The policies they do enforce get them enough black eyes.
     
  5. Bob Maxey

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    Since I am an Apple Fanboy, let me defend Apple and ask you this: have you complained to Apple? Perhaps there are rules and something slipped by. Not saying it did, just asking if perhaps you should complain to Apple and see what they have to say. Twerppoet is right. Comments will probably help. As he also said, it is free so stop complaining. Well, I paraphrased him. Smiley
     
  6. hamlot.98

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    How to download PDF dokoments.?
     
  7. Heaviside

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    Well, the advice to leave a review is good---but only to a point. I left a pretty comprehansive review of a terrible app and it never appeared.
     
  8. richsadams

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    I'm seeing this more and more and tend to agree that although it may not fit the definition of misleading, it certainly can be frustrating.

    I like the idea of the "old days" where you could download a trial version of a program and take it for a spin. Some apps had limited functionality or would "expire" after a short period of time (my personal favorite). For some apps, this speaks to that opportunity and that's a good thing IMHO (although it doesn't appear that they've figured out a way to make a full version expire).

    However more often than not, when I see a "Free" app I have to think that there's a string or two attached...otherwise, why would someone take all of the time to develop and get an app approved for sale by Apple? There are plenty of other ways to avoid taxes. So it's a given that it's either ad-supported or it's a limited version of the full app. I'm okay with either or even both IF the developer is upfront about it. If not, that's where I agree that it can be misleading.

    Other than being "Free" you can often spot the ones that have in-app purchase options. The information is usually included in the side bar of the App Store, under the app icon. Here's an example:

    Screen Shot 2011-11-15 at 2.43.11 PM.png

    Whenever I see something like that I start taking a much closer look at not only the app's description, but reviews as well. I guess it's still caveat emptor (although free is free), but I for one would also like to see a little more transparency.
     
    #8 richsadams, Nov 15, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  9. s2mikey

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    I'm pretty new to this app game and I have to say that I agree with the OP here. It's a jungle out there in the app world. There are usually several choices out there for just about any given task and other than reviews, which IMO offer limited value, you are on your own. I've had cases where I've avoided an app because there is no free trial period or I just couldn't figure out what I was getting into. The more pricey the app, the more pain you'll suffer if you get the wrong app. Now, Apple has a good reputation about refunding people if they email them and state their case about an app they didn't like. That's great and all but eventually you have to stop doing that. Plus it's a hassle in itself and you are tying up resources waiting for refunds and emails to be answered.

    I also agree that free apps are likely to be crippled or whatever but that all needs to be clearly spelled out. And, they can't go asking for all this personal info, make you join something, and all that other crap.

    I'd like to see paid apps have a "No questions asked / immediate refund" period where your account either gets credited immediately or better yet, doesn't even get charged until you "sign off" on the app. Of course, this trial period should be short, maybe just 48 hours or something. I dunno.

    It'd be nice to see this whole system improved though. That much I agree with.
     
  10. Bob Maxey

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    I agree. I also look for "lite" versions. I know there is a paid version with added functionality available most likely.

    Perhaps it is just me, but I am often ticked off when people complain about why app developers want to charge for their work. Just today, I discussed this with someone that wanted an app that cost 99 cents. She was looking for a free alternative.
     

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