Windows Phone Marketplace says no to ‘racy’ apps (swimsuits OK)

my first impressions of windows phone 7 5 mango fpIn an effort to maintain control of its Windows Phone Marketplace app store, Microsoft has reiterated its rules for submitted apps.

In a post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog this week, the company’s senior director for Windows Marketplace, Todd Brix, outlined the steps being taken “to keep the quality bar high.”

The four issues highlighted in the post included Microsoft’s wish to keep from its store apps it considers to be too “racy.”

“We’re committed to offering a diverse selection of safe and quality apps that appeal to a wide range of customer interests,” Brix wrote. 

While the mobile store doesn’t allow apps which are “sexually suggestive or provocative,” Brix says it does permit “the kind of content you occasionally see on prime-time TV or the pages of a magazine’s swimsuit issue.”

He added that he wished to see more “subtle and modest” imagery and titles used for app icons.

“Apps that don’t fit our standard will need to be updated to remain in the store,” Brix warned developers. He wrote that makers of apps that contravene the company’s guidelines will be contacted and asked to make changes rather than simply being pulled from the store without notification.

Carolina Milanesi, research vice president of consumer devices at Gartner, told the BBC that Apple has operated a strict policy on such apps ever since its iOS store first opened for business.

“Now Microsoft is aligning itself with it, which I think is the right step to do,” she said, adding “By contrast Android does not implement a vetting system before apps go live — so from a consumer perspective parents need to be aware that their system is not as regulated.”

Brix also advised developers to refrain from using trademarks in the names of apps or app companies, and in app logos too — you might think that’d be obvious but Brix said in his post that sometimes his team receives complaints from large, well-known brands, as well as from new brands. He urges developers to do “a little homework” before submitting their work to the store.

The post warns developers against submitting the same app to multiple Marketplace categories, behavior which goes on but violates the store’s policies. Besides making it easier for customers to search the store, it also ensures an even playing field for app developers hoping to have their work discovered, Brix said. He added that if multiple, similar apps are submitted, they should have unique icons where the branding isn’t overly dominant, helping potential customers to easily distinguish between offerings.

Finally, Brix said that from this week the Marketplace was enforcing a five-keywords-only policy for submitted apps. “Any app that exceeds this number will have all its keywords deleted,” Brix said, though again, developers will be notified so they can add five new keywords. Irrelevant keywords will also be deleted.

Windows Phone Marketplace launched in late 2010 together with the Windows Phone 7 smartphone OS. The store currently contains just over 80,000 apps, with around 340 being added daily. This number is of course small in comparison to figures for the Android and iOS stores, though it means it’s a good time for Microsoft to clarify the ground rules.


DirectX 12 support finally arrives on Windows 7 for World of Warcraft gamers

DirectX 12 support is finally arriving on Windows 7, and Microsoft announced that the first game to support the feature is World of Warcraft. Gamers will benefit from a boost in framerate after they install the latest patch.

Say goodbye to Uber for good: Here's how to cut ties with the ridesharing service

If you thought that deleting the Uber app would also delete your account, think again. You'll have to deactivate your account, then wait 30 days in order to do so. Here, we outlined how to delete your Uber account once and for all.
Home Theater

Need to get rid of an unused Netflix profile? Just follow these simple steps

Need to delete an unwanted profile from your Netflix account? It's easy to do, no matter what kind of equipment you've got. Check out our handy how-to guide for step-by-step instructions.

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…

Even older Apple Watches could be effective at spotting heart conditions

The Apple Watch Series 4 is known for detecting heart conditions like atrial fibrillation thanks to having an electrocardiograph feature. It turns out that older Apple Watches could be effective at tracking AFib, too.

The Black Shark 2’s Ludicrous Mode promises the smoothest mobile gaming

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark has a follow-up to last year's Black Shark gaming phone, complete with high specs and a low price. Here's everything we know about the Black Shark 2 gaming phone.

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for March 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for March 2018.

Amazon drops price on Apple Watch Series 4 with a rare deal

Since Apple first unveiled the Series 4, the price for one has pretty much held fast. This has finally started to change with a nice little $15 discount on Amazon. If you've been wanting the newest Apple Watch, now is a great time.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.

Google's midrange Pixels might be called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs brings 3D demolition into your living room

Angry Birds is releasing its next entry in the spring of 2019 - with a new spin. Bringing 3D environments and destruction, Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs uses augmented reality to add a new dimension to a classic series.

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.