Had a bit of a scare when I saw the latest news for Apple Developers.
Apple have decided to freeze App screenshots once an App is approved in iTunes Connect - Updating Screenshots in iTunes Connect
On the face of it, this looks like a sensible move to try and stop "scam" applications as illustrated in this post by Panic. Sensible, but it does impact on legitimate Developers who might want to tweak their application screenshots for valid reasons. The screenshots are hugely valuable for marketing an application, and on the iPad and especially the iPhone, it's crucial you get them right.
This new ruling presented a major potential problem for me with the ScreenCastsOnline Monthly Magazine.
As I've mentioned before, this is a special type of App - a Newsstand app. The App remains constant, but each month, a new issue is published with fresh content.
I've been using the App screenshot feature to display the contents of several key pages such as the cover, the index pages and some articles. I refresh them each month to reflect the refreshed content of the magazine. See the image below (click to see a larger version)
To freeze the screenshots and only allow updates when a new version of the app binary was released and approved would be extremely limiting.
With trepidation, I logged onto to iTunes Connect and sure enough, the Mac and the iOS SCOtutor App screenshots are now frozen and cannot be deleted or changed.
The ScreenCastsOnline Monthly Mag Newsstand app is not affected.
It looks like Newsstand Apps do not have this limitation and the screenshots can still be legitimately swapped out - phew!
Whilst it's still a pain to have the iOS and Mac App screenshots frozen, I'm glad Apple have not applied this ruling across the board and have give the Newsstand Apps a let.
If you want to checkout the ScreenCastsOnline Monthly magazine, you can find our more here.