Was your app rejected by Apple? Here's why

The biggest problems involve not giving enough information, as well as buggy and misleading apps

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
September 2, 2014
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Say you're an app developer. You and your team have spent weeks, maybe months, perfecting your app, getting it just right to unleash it upon the world. You submit to get that coveted position in the App Store and... you’re rejected. Sorry, try again next time!

Why did Apple decide that your app was not worthy? Well, there could be many reasons for that. And now Apple has put out a helpful guide showing the top ten reasons that it rejects apps.

Think of this as a handy guide for how to make sure your app is up to snuff.

The biggest issue facing developers getting shut out right now is a lack of information for the company to properly review the app. That means filling out all of the details in the App Review Information section of iTunes Connect. It means providing a username and password if some features can only be accessing by signing in, as well as noting any specific configurations, and a demo video or hardware if necessary.

In all, 14% of of the apps rejected during the seven-day period that ended on August 28th were rejected because of a lack of sufficient information.

The second biggest problem is buggy apps, which took care of another 8%.

"You should submit your app for review only when it is complete and ready to be published," Apple wrote. "Make sure to thoroughly test your app on devices and fix all bugs before submitting."

The next one on the list is, I must admit, pretty vague: "Did not comply with terms in the Developer Program License Agreement." Whatever that means, 6% of the rejected apps fell prey to it, while another 6% were rejected for having an interface that was "complex or less than very good." 

The next two issues, which combine for 10% of all rejected apps, are essentially the same thing. Apps are rejected for violating the following two guidelines:

  • Guideline 3.3: Apps with names, descriptions, or screenshots not relevant to the App content and functionality will be rejected
  • Guideline 22.2: Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations or use names or icons similar to other Apps will be rejected

Similar issues have faced Microsoft's Windows Store, which recently updated its certification requirements in order to create a better environment. The changes include having every app named so that it will "clearly and accurately reflect the functionality of the app." Apps also now have to be "categorized according to the app function and purpose," and their icons "must be differentiated to avoid being mistaken with others."

In response to this, Microsoft has already purged over 1,500 apps that have violated those policies and refused to update accordingly. 

So if you want to be in the App Store or the Windows Store, don't be cute and try to rip anyone, either the consumer or other developers, off. Also, don't use placeholder text, assign appropriate ratings and don't submit a demo version.

In all, nearly 60% of all rejected apps were caused by the same 10 problems, most of which seem fairly easy to solve. 

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