“Glucose Tracker” search results in App World
It looks like App World is the only major smartphone storefront to allow for app name duplication. A search of “glucose tracker” in App World, App Store and the Android Market, reveals that only BlackBerry returns the same app name from two different companies. It’s not clear whether this is an oversight on RIM’s part, or if the company is taking a stance on the issue by allowing app name duplication.
On the one hand, this can cause some headaches with two companies confusing marketing efforts, or having their support lines crossed by users unsure of which company to contact. From a user perspective, it’s not much of a concern because you generally make your app download/purchase decision based on other factors such as reviews, recommendations and price.
“Glucose Tracker” search results in the App Store
As you can see, Apple’s policy is to give precedence for app names and does not allow two companies to have the same app name. The iPhone Developer Legal Guide states: “You should rethink your application’s name if there is already a similarly named application in the App Store.” The iTunes Developer Guide reads:
Do not include the names of other applications in the description for your application or application keywords. Referencing other applications in your application description and keywords can be considered an attempt to fix search results and is not advised
Please do not use competing app names or inappropriate words for your keywords.
“Glucose Tracker” search results in the Android Market
The Android Market seems to be making sure that apps don’t have the same name as well.
One possible side effect of app name exclusivity is “name squatting”, where developers may rush to create an app called “glucose tracker” with the intent of reserving the name, and less concern with providing value to the user. Domain squatting is a similar industry, where domain buyers register valuable names in order to resell them.