Suppose you have an iPhone and want to download ChatGPT. So, you enter the App Store and, after doing a search, you find several applications whose name and interface refer to the famous OpenAI conversational chatbot. If you’re in a hurry and don’t pay a little attention, you may end up installing an app that isn’t official or is a clone.
This scenario does not only occur with ChatGPT —and it is not exclusive to the App Store either. There is a whole scheme of scams and deception that revolves around imitating popular apps and trying to get them published on app stores. We have already seen it with Flappy Bird, Microsoft Authenticator, and many others. Apple wants to say enough to this practice.
The App Store Rules Just Changed
WWDC 2023 has not only brought us the Apple Vision Pro glasses, the new 15-inch MacBook Air and other hardware and software news. As an event for developers, which is still in progress, the Cupertino company has updated the App Store application review process with stricter rules.
As we can see in a document, the new measures respond to addressing the aforementioned problem. “Send applications that are impersonate other apps or services is considered a violation of the Developer Code of Conduct and may result in removal from the Apple Developer Program,” the company says.
Apple invites developers to develop their own ideas. “Don’t just copy the latest popular app on the App Store or make some minor changes to another app’s name or UI to pass it off as your own.” These practices, which have been going on for a long time, are now banned.
Those from Cupertino explain that not respecting the rules of the App Store can not only lead the developer to be left without the possibility of publishing the application in question. In addition, this type of behavior could leave it out of the Developer Program from Apple, a penalty many developers would like to avoid.
While we now know that Apple has clearly taken a stand against apps that copy the interface or name of other apps, we’re not sure how it will enforce these rules. Certain apps may have similar names and their developers do not necessarily seek to mislead users.
Over time we will see if these measures have a real impact on the Apple application store. At the moment, it seems to be a movement promising to avoid scams and deal a blow to scammers who make money by deceiving users.
Images: Apple | Screenshot App Store | james yarema
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