Hey iOS developer: do you think you’ve mastered monetization and app discovery? Think again.

TechCrunch is reporting that Apple might be bringing down the hammer on certain ways developers grow profit and player base – specifically, tools that incentivize the viewing of ads and social sharing.

Why? Because iOS 8 is all about app discovery, and they don’t want anybody else messing it up.

Trying to level the playing field is awesome, Apple, but here’s the problem: if you’re trying to help smaller developers by curbing these tactics with one hand, you’ll be hurting them with the other. Incentivized video ads provide monetization for developers of all shapes and sizes.


It may not be classy, but if watching a video ad for Blitz Brigade gets me premium currency and pays a developer a living wage, I’m all for it.

The fight against incentivized advertising isn’t a new one for Apple. As Touch Arcade was quick to remind their readers, there was a time that you were allowed to incentivize actual app downloads. What’s different this time though is that they’re not just fighting incentivized ads, but actual gameplay mechanics too. Bugging your friends for in-game perks is a cornerstone of free-to-play design. If that’s off limits as TechCrunch suggests, this does more than level the playing field – it changes the game.

As usual, there’s no official word from Apple yet – just some devs who’ve gone public about being handed update rejections that cite the relevant sections of Apple’s Terms of Service. There’s really no way to know how far-reaching Apple’s actions will be, but if you want our advice, prepare for the worst. TechCrunch’s sources are even hinting that Apple may apply these rules retroactively.