Recently, we reported that developers were not able to request promo codes for their iPhone apps if the app had received a 17+ rating due to having an embedded web browser, unfiltered 3rd party content, or contained excessive violence or sexual content. This restriction severely limited the ability of the developers to distribute promotional copies of their software to generate publicity and awareness of the app.
Several other outlets picked up on the story, and developers sounded off as well. Luckily, it seems that Apple has been listening: over the past few days, we have received word from a number of developers stating that they are now able to request promo codes for their 17+ apps. While Apple has not made any official comment on the issue, it appears that they have quietly conceded this battle to the developers, once again enabling them to distribute promo codes as needed for all of their apps.
Considering the many other issues developers have faced with the App Store, it's obvious that the process is far from perfect. And given the sheer volume of apps and developers that Apple has to deal with, even the smallest of hiccups can become quite frustrating for those developers out there who invest significant amounts of time and money into their apps and then hit a roadblock at full speed. There are still a number of issues with -- as well as improvements to -- the development process that need to be addressed, however, I believe it is an good sign to see that Apple is indeed listening and willing to make some changes to the process. It may only be one small step in the long road ahead, but I think many of the affected developers will agree that it was a step in the right direction.
Thanks to the developers who sent this in!