The Great Apple App Store Clean-up Starts Next Week. What’s In It For You?

Less than a week ahead of the iPhone 7 launch on September 7, Apple is apparently sending emails to its developers about an app store scrutiny process that will begin on the launch date. Since the new devices will only be available in carrier stores later on in the month, this gives developers a few weeks’ notice to make sure that their apps are updated per Apple’s instructions.

Any apps on the App Store found not adhering to their strict review guidelines, or that haven’t been updated properly, are likely to be penalized. In many cases there are apps that have never been downloaded or do not work properly. All of them are expected to be removed starting September 7.


With over 2 million apps, the App Store is a veritable vault of some of the most stunning smartphone apps in the world. iOS apps have been downloaded over 130 billion times around the world since the launch of the App Store, and Apple is merely doing a spring-cleaning type review of apps to make sure that enough apps have been updated for the iOS 10 operating system that the new phones will be shipped with.

In addition to this, Apple is also going to be limiting the number of characters developers can use to name their apps. Obviously, this will make the search function far more effective than it is instead of throwing up results like “Notability – Take Notes & Annotate PDFs with Dropbox & Google Drive Sync”, which is the full name of the Notability app. The current limit is 255 characters – exactly what Google uses as the limit for webpage descriptions.

However, when displayed on your iPhone or iPad, the name is usually truncated after the 23rd character, with an ellipsis at the end. This is what Apple has updated the message to on its product page for developers:

“The length of your app name is limited to no longer than 50 characters. Notice how your app name will appear on the App Store for each device, including each version of iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. We recommend keeping your app name to around 23 characters or less for optimal presentation on every device. Long names may be truncated, which means users will not see all the characters.”

Apart from the app name, there is also a Bundle Display Name, which is basically the short description of the app that you see under the app icon within the app page.

It’s clear that Apple using this clean-up to enhance user experience and guide developers on naming their apps accurately and concisely so users can immediately see what the app does without having to click into the page.

Apple will be taking action on apps that haven’t had downloads in a long time, so some of the results you see with minimal downloads or no updates in the past year or so may disappear altogether.

Developers typically toe the line when Apple barks out instructions for them because it’s a lucrative business for many app development companies. Many of them rely solely on income from Apple and Google’s Android store, Google Play, for their sustenance.

For users, the benefit is obviously not having to scroll through hundreds of irrelevant or old apps to find the ones that you really want.

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