Apple has the largest app ecosystem as of now, and with good reason. It’s pretty strict with its policies and the developers get the best reward for their efforts on iOS compared to other platforms. But a recent exploit in the app submission process has allowed developers to scam a few users of their money. How? Well, these scamsters apparently use one screenshot while submitting the app to Apple and then immediately change it (by borrowing it from somewhere else) so as to scam people into buying the app. This is manageable for free apps, but since some apps are paid, it’s understandably annoying for the buyers.
And now, Apple is all set to crack the whip on this as it has applied a new rule which will lock updating of the app screenshots once the app is submitted with Apple to review. And updating the screenshot will be allowed only if there’s a valid and legitimate update to the entire app and developers won’t be able to switch screenshots according to their liking. This is a great move by Apple and one which will help avoid innocent buyers from getting scammed. Fair and honest developers who aren’t involved in any such business might have to struggle a little because of this, but well, this is a major flaw and needed to be fixed.
This is what Apple had to say – “Beginning January 9, app screenshots will be locked in iTunes Connect once your app has been approved. New screenshots may be uploaded when you submit a binary for an update to an existing app or a new app.” So there you have it, you will not have to worry about having bought something else and paid for something else altogether. This new policy will obviously have its downsides too, but the larger goal here is to avoid scamming. A popular example of this was the app “Mooncraft” app, which is a clear rip-off of the widely popular Minecraft game. For those unlucky bunch who actually confused the two, the screenshots provided with Mooncraft’s listing was exactly the same as Minecraft’s, so they went ahead and downloaded it, thinking it’s the same thing. In another case, a developer switched the original screenshots of the app with the ones borrowed from a Nintendo DS to lure buyers while the actual app had none of that. Needless to say, it didn’t end well for them.
It’s really strange how developers manage to scam people just to make some quick bucks. It is now to be seen if Apple will ban these developers or take some sort of action against them. Because there are plenty of innocent users out there who shelled out their money for something which wasn’t real or didn’t even exist. We hope this new policy from Apple will fix this issue once and for all.
Here’s a video for the scammy Mooncraft game below: