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App Store guidelines updated for subscriptions, more tweaks

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Apple's guidelines for developers who place their wares in the App Store have been updated, with a few key bullets. Changes to accommodate the new subscription models are there in section 11, along with a stern warning up front to developers who might game the review system or steal other devs' work: "[Y]our apps will be removed from the store and you will be expelled from the developer program."

Additions and changes also include more specific examples of problematic me-too apps in section 2.11 (now noted "such as fart, burp, flashlight and Kama Sutra apps"); section 2.13 citing "simply web sites bundled as apps" or "do not provide any lasting entertainment value"; section 2.21 suggesting apps that are media-only should be submitted to the iTunes store instead.

Section 2.22 warns against arbitrary carrier differentiation in apps (no 'Angry Birds for Verizon'!); section 3.11 cautions apps not to warn users to restart before installing; and section 3.12 tells developers to have all included URLs live and working when the app is submitted (otherwise known by its street nickname, "The Embargo Crusher"). Where Apple was previously "thrilled" to have developers invest time and talent in creating App Store apps, now the company says it is merely "pleased."

The document (hosted behind the Dev Center registration wall) retains its conversational and just-us-geeks folksy introduction -- "We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, "I'll know it when I see it." And we think that you will also know it when you cross it." The opening section still ends with the familiar namaste for responsible and user-centric development:

Lastly, we love this stuff too, and honor what you do. We're really trying our best to create the best platform in the world for you to express your talents and make a living too. If it sounds like we're control freaks, well, maybe it's because we're so committed to our users and making sure they have a quality experience with our products. Just like almost all of you are too.

Our favorite clause remains 4.2: "Apps that use location-based APIs for automatic or autonomous control of vehicles, aircraft, or other devices will be rejected." If you want to use iPhones as the brains of your army of drone dirigibles, you're gonna have to jailbreak.

[hat tip MacRumors]

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