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App Name Expired: Your app has been deleted from iTunes Connect

01-31-2011, 03:03 PM
#1
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 248
App Name Expired: Your app has been deleted from iTunes Connect

I assume I am not the first to experience this, but let this be a warning so it does not happen to anyone else.

I created an entry in iTunes Connect for one of my apps. As is usually the case, the game development is taking longer that I initially expected and 120 days have passed since I created the entry in iTunes.

Since the game is not yet done, I was unable to upload a binary. I then received the following email. The app name has been removed and I added the emphasis.

Quote:
Dear Engineous Games Inc.,

You did not upload a binary for your app, XXXXXXXXX, during the 120-day grace period. As a result, the app has been deleted from iTunes Connect.

This app cannot be restored, nor can you use the App Name or SKU for any other app under your account in the future.
App Name: XXXXXXXXXXXX
App Version Number: 1.0
App SKU: XXXXXXXX
App Apple ID: XXXXXXXXXX

If you have any questions regarding this notice, click Contact Us in iTunes Connect.

Regards,

The iTunes Connect Team
I have not tried emailing them, and luckily I have decided to change the app name a few months ago, so this does not affect me at all. It is still surprising that I can NEVER use the app name again. This could really screw someone over especially if they paid money for a logo, a website, or started to generate hype around the name.

I imagine there could be a way to get around this. Maybe upload an incomplete binary that will get rejected. Or maybe it is possible to upload a binary and then remove it. I am guessing they check for that though. Anyone have any ideas on how to get around this in the future?

Sketch Nation - Create Your Own Game!
Works on iOS, Android, Mac and PC!
Just go to http://sketchnationapp.com/
01-31-2011, 03:24 PM
#2
It's a to prevent app-name squatting... I forget when they started the 120-day limit, seems like it was last year sometime. On the whole I think it's a good policy, but yeah... it can be a problem if you don't finish your app in time.

I ran into this with my recent game Cryptoku. I entered the info in iTunes Connect back in August (suuure, I'll be done within 4 months, no problem!) Hah. It was a race to the finish line to get it in on time. I actually did get it submitted about 2 weeks before the deadline (just before Christmas), where it sat in review past the deadline. It was eventually rejected on Jan. 4th (about a week after the 120-day deadline), and I had to upload a new binary. I was able to reject the old binary and submit a new one without losing the name, but I'm not sure what the time frame on that is. e.g. if you reject the binary, and don't upload a new one, do you lose the name that same day? Not sure. I didn't risk it; I uploaded a new binary within 10 minutes of rejecting the old one.

I suspect they only run the deletion task once per day, though I'm not sure on that.

Anyway, yeah. The thing to do would be to submit *some* kind of binary before your deadline. The binary is going to go through app review, so it'd better be a complete app or it'll just be rejected....

Of course the other (better?) option is to not enter the data into iTunes Connect until you're about ready to upload your app.

01-31-2011, 04:11 PM
#3
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 172
Yes, this policy was created as Apple's response to the growing problem of app-name squatting. Presumably, you may be able to get an extension if you can convince Apple that you are developing a real app that is simply taking a long time to develop. However, you will be entering a gray area and it's up to Apple's whim whether or not they will give you more time to publish your app. For example, if you run into Syndicated Puzzle's reviewer, you are probably dead meat.
01-31-2011, 04:18 PM
#4
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: alea iacta est
Posts: 1,368
01-31-2011, 05:36 PM
#5
My latest App ran into this same issue. It's a complicated app so it was taking me some time to get it down...hey, it's just me working on it ;-)

Anyways, I'm pretty sure Apple sends out reminder emails stating that they will delete your App Name if you do not upload a binary. I know I received these emails...one for about 30 days away from the deletion period, then one 10 days away, and well at that point I just compiled a binary, uploaded it, rejected it IMMEDIATELY, and that seemed to reset the whole grace period. So I'm not sure if Apple sends out an automated email the day before the App Name is scheduled to be removed.

What I did seems like a loop hole and I know other devs have used this method. I do not like the idea of devs creating/squatting on 10-20 App Names just for the sake of "owning" an App Name so I'm all for this automated deletion process. At the same time, I think there should be a better method than this loop-hole method for devs to communicate to Apple that they ARE in fact working on something...and that its just taking more than the 90 days of App Name grace period time to complete.

iPhone/iPod Touch Apps by Tiny Tech Studios
01-31-2011, 09:50 PM
#6
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Portland, OR, Cascadia
Posts: 332
Wow. Good thing I saw this thread. I've had a name since the first week of November. I expanded the scope of the game and simultaneously hit some performance issues. So I don't think I'll have a finally binary. March 7. (Unless things go perfect from here on out.) I suppose if I get the warning I'll do the workaround!
02-01-2011, 03:36 AM
#7
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 248
I am glad to hear the work around works, although it seems to me that it defeats the whole purpose. Just a way for legitimate devs to get screwed while the squatters can use the loophole.

I figured the name would simple become available for anyone else to quickly grab, rather than banning me completely from ever using it.

Sketch Nation - Create Your Own Game!
Works on iOS, Android, Mac and PC!
Just go to http://sketchnationapp.com/
02-01-2011, 12:55 PM
#8
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: ΖΞN
Posts: 304
Hi I'm new here, have been a hobbiest developer for a couple of decades though. We're roughly 1 month away from releasing our entertainment app.

I had a look on iTunes Connect for where to register our name, but it seems that the whole iTunes store description, icons, etc. all need uploading at the same time. Can any of this be edited later? We have a moc up of the info only.

Thanks for heads up OP.
02-01-2011, 02:37 PM
#9
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitter View Post
Hi I'm new here, have been a hobbiest developer for a couple of decades though. We're roughly 1 month away from releasing our entertainment app.

I had a look on iTunes Connect for where to register our name, but it seems that the whole iTunes store description, icons, etc. all need uploading at the same time. Can any of this be edited later? We have a moc up of the info only.

Thanks for heads up OP.
Yes, you can edit your description, icon, screenshots and localisation. Pretty much anything except the name.
02-02-2011, 12:16 AM
#10
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: ΖΞN
Posts: 304
Thanks Moonjump, that's ideal.