Elon Musk’s renaming of Twitter to X is well and truly underway, but he hit a roadblock over the weekend when it was discovered that Apple's App Store rules require apps to have at least two characters in their name. But that doesn’t seem to have been a problem after all.
Those with Twitter installed on their iPhones and iPads will notice that they now have a new app update available to them — and it has a brand-new name.
Twitter is dead. Long live X, although Apple might have some questions to answer about how that actually came about.
One rule for Musk?
The fun all started when Bleeping Computer reported over the weekend that Apple’s own App Store rules meant that the X app name simply wasn’t available. While Twitter had already been renamed to X on the Google Play Store, it remained 'Twitter' on Apple platforms. The reason was simple — apps must have at least two characters in their name. 'X' is one character shy, so it couldn’t happen.
Except, fast-forward 48 hours and here we are. Twitter has been replaced by X in the App Store and on countless devices around the globe. Quite how that happened remains to be seen, but it would appear that someone at Apple may have manually allowed X through the review process. Whether that was the result of conversations higher up the food chain, we don’t know. But we do know that Apple's App Store doesn't permit apps to have a single character name, and some developers aren't happy about it. "Someone got special treatment" one developer quipped.
On iOS, the situation is distinct as Apple does not permit any app to have a single character as their app name. If they manage to obtain approval, it would mark the first instance since the inception of the iOS App Store that such a permission has been granted. https://t.co/EtzAj76fwx pic.twitter.com/Dzx0HAsz9bJuly 28, 2023
What we also know is that Elon Musk spent time being shown around Apple Park by none other than CEO Tim Cook last December. There is clearly a line of communication there, even if Elon Musk doesn't really like Apple or its App Store policies. Maybe that was leveraged to help kill off the Twitter name for good.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post if and when we hear back.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.