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There's no App Store 'emoji apocalypse,' just inconsistent policy enforcement

There's no App Store 'emoji apocalypse,' just inconsistent policy enforcement
From TechCrunch - February 8, 2018

A number of iOS app developers have beenmystified by a new wave of app rejections related to their use of Apples emojis. Theyve suspected that a new App Store crackdown is underway. However, the company hasnt changed its policy on Apple emoji usage in apps, nor its enforcement, according to sources familiar with the App Store review teams processes. The policy does seem to be inconsistently enforced at times, though.

Thats led to previously approved apps receiving rejections, while other apps in breach of policy have been let in.

Specifically, Apple told some developers who used its emoji in their apps that they were in violation of the 5.2.5 Intellectual Property guideline.

For example, one rejection notice read:

Your app and apps metadata include Apple emoji which creates a misleading association with Apple products.

The site Emojipedia, which covers the broader emoji ecosystem, recentlydetailed some of the newer examples of apps facing rejections, including Github client GitHawk, bitcoin wallet tracker Bittracker,matching game Reaction Match, emoji-based game Moji Match, and others.

As Emojipedia had determined, weve confirmed that Apple will only allow apps using emojis in specific contexts, like in a text field.

Meanwhile, any other usage should be banned by App Review, including when emoji are used as elements in a game, as replacements for buttons or other parts of the apps user interface, as sticker packs, in app logos or icons, or in promotional images, also as Emojipedia had suspected, based on the pattern of rejections.

While emojis exist as part of the Unicode standard, Apples implementation of that standard is copyrighted. That means the company is within its legal right to control the usage of their own emoji designs, especially in their own App Store.

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