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18 Rules for Submitting to Apple's Mac App Store

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Because of its lack of Verizon iPhones and second-generation iPads, Wednesday's "Back to the Mac" event flew under the radar for much of the public. But for software developers, one announcement will significantly alter how they create and distribute Apple programs.

Jobs and company gave a sneak peek to the Mac App Store. Similar to the iTunes Store that exists on the company's mobile devices, this marketplace will feature desktop software for the Mac. Although it allows greater exposure and eliminates payment and bandwidth headaches, some developers are dreading yet another forum for Apple to execute its curious and draconian control over apps.

And soon after those fears were voiced, the new Mac App Store guidelines were leaked online. And once again, developers must jump through hoops to see their apps accepted.

ReadWriteWeb focused on 18 of the rules that might have Mac App Store proponents thinking twice:

  1. Apps with Easter Eggs: Apps that include undocumented or hidden features inconsistent with the description of the app will be rejected.
  2. No beta apps: Apps in "beta," "trial" or "test" versions will be rejected.
  3. No duplicate apps: Apps that duplicate apps already in the App Store may be rejected, particularly if there are many of them.
  4. No drinking/drugs: Apps that encourage excessive consumption of alcohol or illegal substances will be rejected.
  5. No License Keys: Apps that require the entry of a license key will be rejected.
  6. No Java: Apps that use deprecated or optionally installed technologies (e.g. Java, Rosetta) will be rejected.
  7. No auto-run: Apps that are set to auto-launch or have other code automatically run at startup or login without user consent will be rejected. Similarly, apps can't automatically add their icons to the dock or desktop.
  8. No copying Apple: Apps that look similar to Apple Products or apps bundled on the Mac, including the Finder, iChat, iTunes and Dashboard, will be rejected.
  9. OS X may not be changed: Apps that change the native user interface elements or behaviors of Mac OS X will be rejected.
  10. No rentals: Apps containing "rental" content and services that expire after a limited time will be rejected.
  11. No RSS Readers: Apps that are simply Web clippings, content aggregators, or a collection of links may be rejected.
  12. No data collection: Apps cannot transmit data about a user without obtaining the user's prior permission and providing the user with access to information about how and where the data will be used.
  13. No Chatroulette clones: Apps that include games of Russian roulette will be rejected.
  14. Define objectionable: Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected.
  15. No porn: Of any kind. (Porn as it's defined by "Webster's Dictionary," that is).
  16. No gambling: Of any kind.
  17. No file-sharing: No P2P apps - apps that enable illegal file sharing will be rejected.
  18. Religious apps must be for educational purposes only: Apps may contain or quote religious text provided the quotes or translations are accurate and not misleading. Commentary should be educational or informative rather than inflammatory.
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