Developer PSA: You Can No Longer Edit the ‘What’s New’ or Support URLs for an App Without Submitting a New Build for Approval from April

Apple quietly rolled out a change to a certain feature that allowed developers some leeway with typos and the ‘What’s New’ section in general in addition to support URLs. Beginning April, developers can no longer edit either of these sections without submitting a new app update to the App Store. Until now, developers could change the URLs for marketing and support in addition to the ‘What’s New in This Version’ text to correct simple typos once an update has gone live. This could even allow some developers to roll out a server side change with new client side features and have the update notes reflect this change without actually submitting a new binary. This can even be useful for an app update that actually ends up not working as expected so the developer can notify customers to hold off on an update (assuming said customers don’t have auto updates enabled) like with Super Hexagon.

One could argue that this is good because developers can’t misuse the release notes after an app has been submitted, it actually is a very inconsistent change. With this, while developers can’t actually play around with text in the update notes, they can change things on the server that the support or marketing URLs point to.

This basically nullifies any protection from misuse beginning April when Apple will roll out this change. As expected, Apple hasn’t clarified why this change is happening and it quietly rolled out last night. We might be informed of something either before or around the new Apple event that takes place next week but that isn’t really a developer focussed event.