iOS app makers may no longer use special emoji characters in their app descriptions and will instead have to rely on standard text, as a result of changes to the iTunes Connect developer portal, according to new reports.

The changes have been made quite recently, with an app developer from Epic Enterprises revealing to AppleInsider that they were able to make use of special characters a little over two weeks ago.

Another developer, Tigerbears, was still able to include special characters into the description that appears on iOS devices for its Felix for App.net app, including a tiger icon, just one week ago, reports AppAdvice.

The iTunes Connect portal is used to allow developers to manage apps sold throughout the App Store, making changes to prices and descriptions, as well as other updates.

 

Special characters are most commonly used in app descriptions as a means of highlighting recent updates, or new additions and features to an app. YouTube’s most recent update on 15 April made use of the checkmark to structure a list of the app’s features.

It’s not the first time that frustration has built up among the App developer community; Apple has recently initiated a crackdown on apps that violate the guidelines all developers are urged to follow. Apple particularly doesn’t like it if apps imitate the basic functions of the App Store, or incorporate the use of push notifications for advertising and marketing purposes.

AppGratis, a popular service that offered people the ability to discover new apps for their iPhones, is the latest to fall victim to Apple’s harsh regime - it was recently pulled from the App Store.

The news came as a shock, as the company had only recently had an iPad version of the same app approved.  The CEO of AppGratis told BusinessInsider that his team worked very closely with Apple to make sure the app met the guidelines, yet to no avail.

See also:

The chilling effect of Apple's App Store censorship

Three wishes for a better App Store

Six ways to master the Mac App Store and the iTunes Store

Apple warns 'we will reject apps that aren't iPhone 5, Retina ready, use UDID'

Apple 'rejecting cookie tracking apps', claim app developers

EU privacy watchdogs tell app developers and app stores to take care of users' data