Apple’s App Store in recent years has arguably gotten too big for its own good. With more than 2 million apps currently available for download, finding exactly what you’re looking for can often be an exercise in frustration. This dynamic is only exacerbated by the plethora of unscrupulous app developers who often employ underhanded SEO tactics in order to make their apps more visible in search queries. Additionally, some developers will purposefully employ long app names and alternate spellings of popular apps in order to trick unsuspecting users.
Thankfully, Apple is finally getting around to cleaning up shop. Earlier today, Apple said that it plans to remove much of the clutter that currently resides on the App Store.
In a post published on Apple’s developer website, the iPhone maker laid out a list of App Store improvements designed to “make it easier for customers to find great apps that fit their needs.”
That said, Apple said that it will begin the process of reviewing outdated and abandoned apps on September 7. So, for example, if Apple stumbles across an app that hasn’t been updated since 2011, it will alert the developer of any changes and/or updates that need to be made.
You will be asked to submit an update within 30 days to keep your app on the App Store. If you are unable to make the changes within this time frame, your app will be removed from the App Store until you submit an update and it is approved. Please note that apps that crash on launch will be removed immediately.
This is welcome news and is just one step Apple is taking to ensure that the App Store remains tidy and functional. Apple also told developers that app names must now be limited to 50 characters or less.
Search is one of the most frequently used methods for customers to discover and download apps from the App Store. In hopes of influencing search results, some developers have used extremely long app names which include descriptions and terms not directly related to their app. These long names are not fully displayed on the App Store and provide no user value. App names you submit in iTunes Connect for new apps and updates will now be limited to no longer than 50 characters.
These moves from Apple are long overdue, but hey, it’s better later than never.