Fixing iTunes Connect “ERROR ITMS-90717” with ImageMagick

When recently publishing an app to the App Store (or at least trying to get it published back then), I couldn’t upload the app via the Application Loader. I got back ERROR ITMS-90717

“Invalid App Store Icon. The App Store Icon in the asset catalog in ‘Your.app’ can’t be transparent nor contain an alpha channel.”

You can also get a likewise warning later on in iTunes Connect, when uploading the “App Previews and Screenshots”

To easily fix this, you can use ImageMagick’s convert command to remove the alpha:

convert input.png -alpha off output.png

To convert all .png files in a folder, combine the command above with find:

find . -name "*.png" -exec convert "{}" -alpha off "{}" \;

Now replace the assets in your Xcode project file, build your app again, and re-send it to Apple 🙂

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Apple, Apps and Algorithmic Glitches

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On October 29th and December 18th, 2014, something very strange happened to the iTunes top apps chart. Like an earthquake shaking up the region, all app positions in the chart were massively rearranged, some booted off completely. These two extremely volatile days displayed rank changes that are orders of magnitude higher than the norm — lots of apps moving around, lots of uncertainly.

Highly interesting analysis and conclusion.

Apple, Apps and Algorithmic Glitches: A data analysis of iTunes’ top chart algorithm →

Apple Developer: Common App Rejections

app-rejections

Before you develop your app, it’s important to become familiar with the technical, content, and design criteria that we use to review all apps. We’ve highlighted some of the most common issues that cause apps to get rejected to help you better prepare your apps before submitting them for review.

58% of all rejections are linked to only 10 reasons.

Apple Developer: Common App Rejections &rarr

“We’ve been conditioned for web apps to suck.”

There is no single explanation [for why people choose a native app over a web based version]. The reason browser apps lose this fight is because of a raft of small things. It’s death by a thousand cuts.

Tiny Little Knives →

(via cameronmoll)

iOS in-app proxy

We received some disturbing tips today that a Russian developer has published a method of obtaining in-app purchases from iOS apps for free. The “in-app proxy” method does not require a jailbreak, can be completed by novices in three steps using just an iOS device, and allows users to install in-app content for free. The hack also works on all devices running iOS 3.0 to 6.0.

Only works if the developer of the app doesn’t verify the store receipt after “purchasing”

Apple’s in-app purchasing process circumvented by Russian hacker →
iOS Developer Library: Verifying Store Receipts →

On the App Store removal of AirPlay apps

The author of AirFloat on its App Store removal:

I realized that this would never make it to the App Store. Even though it would be 100% within the App Store Guidelines – given this was a reimplementation – Apple posible wouldn’t approve it due to the usage of the AirPort Express’ private key.

But then something remarkable happened. Apple approved Air Speakers – an app that enabled you to stream audio to your iOS device from iTunes and iOS devices. Using the private key of the AirPort Express.

But after all, they still got removed. The official statement is that it’s due the use of Private APIs, yet I don’t buy that: imho it’s due the use of the private key which the Airport Express uses to decrypt the audio streams it receives.

Although I’m not surprised with this removal (of course Apple won’t allow it, as they’ll eventually lose money if they wer to allow it!), it once again is a fine example of why the Apple app approval system sucks: at any given time Apple can decide to sack your app because they don’t like something in it. The App Store Review Guidelines explicitly leave wiggle room for Apple:

This is a living document, and new apps presenting new questions may result in new rules at any time. Perhaps your app will trigger this.

Roughly translated: bend over.

Some Thoughts on the Removal of AirFloat and AirFoil →
More on Apple’s Removal of Airfoil Speakers Touch From the App Store →