Thursday, January 10, 2013

Morning Brief: App developers discover Apple has locked their screenshots; health emergency declared in Boston due to the flu, as confirmed cases grow nationally

Apple yesterday posted a notice telling developers that their screenshots would be locked in at the time an app was approved. The move was initiated to stop a scam happening when less-than-honest developers of iOS games were switching screenshots in order to lure downloads.

One developer has already started a thread in the developer forums believing, at first, that his lack of ability to edit his screenshots was a bug, only to be told of the new policy.

But it appears that the policy may not effect Newsstand apps, if the messages I have received are accurate. Issue covers can, of course, be replaced, as they are submitted through a different process than screenshots of inside pages, but it may be that Apple is allowing an exception for Newsstand apps. (Of course, not all media apps reside in the Newsstand.)

(Some developers use placeholder screenshots such as the one seen at right for the newly released app Midwest Black Hair. Then, after the app is approved and issues are brought into the new app, screenshots from the newest issue are submitted inside the developer website, replacing the placeholder.)

Nonetheless, many iOS developers are still complaining about declining app sales since the introduction of iOS 6 and the redesigned App Store. One developer, posting inside the Apple developer forums, said he believes that the cause of the drop in sales is tied to the way search results inside the App Store are displayed and the lack of a New Release section (or "All") that makes finding the latest released apps nearly impossible. (Not all the changes seen in the U.S. App Store have been implemented in the various international App Stores, however.)

Google's flu chart & map show the growing number of confirmed cases of the flu nationally.
The major of Boston yesterday declared a health emergency as cases of the flu inundated city hospitals. Over 700 confirmed cases of the flu have been reported in the city, compared with only 70 last year.

Google maintains a chart of the number of cases reported of the flu nationally, as well as a map that shows the states where the cases have been reported – the map is now entirely red.