Some developers out there try to game the system, which means launching duplicate apps (among other things).
And while that might work for a short period of time, eventually the overseers of the digital storefront will catch on. In this particular case, TechCrunch is offering a follow-up report about duplicate apps in the App Store. According to the publication, some developers have been flooding the digital storefront with similar apps. Spamming the App Store is against the rules. Specifically, rule 4.3. And Apple is cracking down.
App Store rules are oftentimes enforced in one extreme or another. It sounds like in this case, the rules haven’t been enforced consistently. App developers have been able to spam the App Store with duplicate apps for quite some time. In some cases, for years.
“But that rule has been poorly enforced and some companies have taken advantage of that. In my original report, I focused on one category in particular — VoIP apps that let you get a second phone number and send and receive calls and texts from that new number.
Developers release multiple versions of the same app so that they can use different names, different keywords and different categories. This way, they can cover a wide range of keywords when you’re searching for an app in the App Store.”
Releasing duplicate apps allows for developers to game the system in regards to keyword search. If one developer is at the top of the discovery list, and has multiple apps to offer, that limits other options from being viewed.
The original article focused on VoIP apps, but points out that there are other categories where the issue is cropping up. And considering just how many apps are available in the digital storefront, this is probably a much bigger issue.
Back in 2016, Apple announced a concerted effort to clean up the App Store. That meant removing a variety of apps, including non-functional apps and outdated offerings. Apple has been aiming to shed some of the digital fat over the years ever since. However, there are still issues.
Developers game the system, and that won’t stop. Just look at the discoveries tied to the Enterprise Certificate Program. That allowed Facebook to pay iOS users for a ridiculous amount of data from their smartphones. Google, too, was doing the same thing for years.
The App Store is huge, but if Apple has a rulebook it needs to make sure it is enforce consistently across the board.