How I lost my App name: Vignette is likely to become Vignettr

There I was, app coded and tested on the iOS devices I had at my disposal – some mine, some friends and some colleagues.

Months before I had decided that the app would be called ‘Vignette’, I like the word, I liked the retro and appealing look that it gave to photos, settled. It was now the big moment to get the iTunes distrubution provisioning profile, code-sign the app and send up the binary for Apple’s approval.

Then I hit a snag. The Bundle ID I have created online when originally registering the app name was bla.blablabla.vignette, but my product name in Xcode was Vignette – notice the subitle case mismatch. After a bit of poking around in Xcode I was unable to change the product name case to match without the app being labelled as ‘vingette’ (lower case) on the iOS homescreens. Not what I wanted.

So then I thought, no problem! I’ll just generate a new Bundle ID (bla.blablabla.Vignette) then change my App registration to use that one. Err, well you can’t. That’s when I made a BIG mistake (this was about 1am)… I’ll just delete my app registration from iTunes connect, then register the App with the new Bundle ID. After deleting it, I attempted to re-register the name ‘Vignette’ but a message “The App Name you entered has already been used.” My heard stopped.

Ok I thought, maybe it just needs some time to re-release then name. Whilst giving it it’s time, I though let me check if anyone else ran into this problem in the past. Not long and I’d found this thread on StackOverflow. The thread makes reference to the Developer Guide – where I found this:

“IMPORTANT: Deleting your app will not allow you to re-use your SKU, Bundle ID or App Name in the same account again and you will not be able to restore your app once deleted.”

My heard stopped again, it’s late, time for bed.

Next day I wake-up and wait until 9am for the Apple Dev Centre call-in number to be active, and I get connected to an agent. They can’t assist, I need to work throught iTunesConnect support team – who seem to only have an e-mail address ( I e-mail them my sad sorry and begin the wait.

The wait lasted 2 days. I excitedly open up the response from iTunesConnect support hoping that they have resolved the issue, but no. They just pointed me to the exact paragraph I listed above from the developer guide. shit. I immediately e-mail back pleading with them to assist to get “my” name back, I’m awaiting for a response.

Whilst all of this was going on I was getting to grips with the fact that I may need to select a new name altogether if I ever want to get this app out on the market. Changing the branding within the app would not be a problem, but I felt sick just thinking about creating new icons for the homescreen, spotlight, itunes – not forgetting needing special res ones made specifically for the iPad, iPhone and iPhone 4’s retina display. I looked at my icons – just two letters ‘vi’, the first two letters of the, should be, App name. I then jumped onto a couple online dictionaries to see if I could find a suitable name by searching for words beginning with ‘vi’. There were a few candidates, but nothing I was really happy with.

So here’s the plan – I’m doing a flickr, and going with ‘Vignettr’

I’ll give Apple a couple more days to assist, else I’ll have to do the rename, code-sign and send it off for the approval process as ‘Vignettr’.

14 thoughts on “How I lost my App name: Vignette is likely to become Vignettr

  1. Exactly the same thing happened to me, only worse: I attempted to submit an *existing* app that I have had for sale for *years* to the new Mac App Store. I had a bundle ID problem, like you, and deleted the app to start over, realizing a fraction of a second too late that a really, really important warning was in view.

    Now, I cannot use my own app name that I have used for years. I have existing customers. What do I do? Have two app webpages? One with the old name, for independent sale as usual, and one with the new name used in the Mac App Store? It’s sickening.

    I have sent a note to the iTunes Connect people, but I am not holding my breath.

    I’m ready to throw up…

  2. I just did the EXACT same thing. It’s really frustrating that the submission process is this bad. There are too many steps that are irreversible before your app is even in the app store. I’ve got 3 appID’s I’ve generated, that apparently will stay on my account forever, and an app name that I can never use now. All because I wanted the first letter of the name to be capitalized on the home screen.

  3. EXACT same thing here! X-( Apple really needs to fix their submissions process. iTunes Connect is just a horrible mess in its current incarnation.

  4. ugh!!!! same thing happened here…well that’s what we get with a “closed garden”. Apple can do whatever the f**k they want

    1. Wow! It’s been ages since I made this screw up – and now to find a work around… 🙂

      Turns out it was a happy accident as Vignettr does better for SEO. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Well, this doesn’t have to be a problem at all. To be fair, I don’t know if it was possible in 2010, but you can actually just change the ‘Bundle display name’ (CFBundleDisplayName) in your info plist. It is normally preset with ${PRODUCT_NAME} but you can change it to something else. It doesn’t have to match your bundle ID.

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