Apple Clamps Down on App Screenshots to Prevent Spam in the App Store

A popular tactic used by scammers to thwart Apple’s App Store approval process was to submit an app, get approval, then swap the screenshots with those from a similar app. The process would result in tricking people into downloading what they thought were legitimate apps, but actually just fake garbage apps.

According to this afternoon’s announcement (as noted by MacRumors) within Apple’s Developer portal titled “Updating Screenshots in iTunes Connect”:

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. For more information on capturing and using screenshots, read the Xcode User Guide.

Essentially, if a developer wants to update their app screenshots they will have to be re-submitted to get final approval.

We’ve seen this happen numerous times, as some crafty scammers have submitted apps pretending to be jailbreak tweaks like SBSettings or even games. These scammers were able to bypass Apple by uploading actual screenshots of the app they were pretending to be after they got approved by iTunes Connect.

Great news that Apple has finally addressed this issue with App Store spam.