Avoiding App Store Rejection for Your iPhone or iPad App

Having your app approved by Apple is essential to selling your app. Apple won’t let you sell it anywhere besides the App Store, so to be successful, you must have your app in their shop. And, even if you could sell it elsewhere, you wouldn’t want to pass up this golden opportunity.

Having your app rejected can mean losing valuable time that you could be selling your app. It also means you have to go back and rework the code or fix the problems Apple finds.

We want to help you avoid that frustration. If you follow the tips in this podcast, you can greatly increase the chances your app sails through the approval process and ends up in the App Store. Listen now and learn more.

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Podcast Transcript

Having your app approved by Apple is essential to selling your app. Apple won’t let you sell it anywhere besides the App Store, so to be successful, you must have your app in their shop. And, even if you could sell it elsewhere, you wouldn’t want to pass up this golden opportunity.

The App Store is the largest and most popular superstore of its kind. People flock here to download all kinds of applications and Apple has made it super-simple to browse and buy from the comfort of your computer or the convenience of your iPhone. This has made the App Store a huge operation, with billions of app downloads so far.

The process for getting approved to sell in this digital megamall, though, is murky at best. After sending in your app and filling out the form, your app is reviewed by Apple but you don’t know how long it will take or what exactly they’re looking for. The process can be frustrating and inconsistent for many hopeful developers.

Having your app rejected can mean losing valuable time that you could be selling your app. It also means you have to go back and rework the code or fix the problems Apple finds.

I want to help you avoid that frustration. If you follow the tips in this lesson, you can greatly increase the chances your app sails through the approval process and ends up in the App Store.

 

Pleading Your Case

Overall, don’t forget that you’re application will be reviewed by a real person. So, you want to convince them using everything at your disposal that your app is deserving of a spot in Apple’s store.

Make sure your app description is clear, complete, and accurate: The reviewer will look at this to figure out what your app is supposed to do, so make sure it accurately lists the features and doesn’t lead people to think that it does something it doesn’t.

 

Checklist to Avoid Rejection

Here are some of the top reasons apps are rejected by Apple and what you can do to avoid them:

Technical problems: Apple says that bugs are the reason the majority of rejections happen. If your app crashes or has functionality that just doesn’t work, your app will be returned to you for changes.

Bugs in your software is a top reason you might be prevented from selling your app. Apple might send your creation back and request technical fixes. To avoid this delay, test, test, and test again. In addition to trying your app out in the iPhone Simulator, make sure to test it out on a real iPhone too.

This also applies for OS compatibility. Make sure your app works with all the OS versions you say it does.

Violation of Apple’s HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) – (link: http://developer.apple.com/iphone/library/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/MobileHIG/Introduction/Introduction.html) This is one of the most common reasons apps are rejected. Read it through carefully and make sure you follow the letter of the law.

Inappropriate apps: “Inappropriate” content may be subjective, but it can stop you from getting in the App Store. Before you submit your app, make sure you are not coming too close to the line. Of course, Apple is likely to reject your app if it steals user data or is otherwise malware.

Trademark violations: Using images or terms that Apple owns the rights to might get your app in trouble. While you’re at it, make sure all your photos and graphics are OK to use. This goes for icons, music, and code, too. Don’t submit your app if you use an illustration, sound, or other creative work that you do not have the rights to use. While Apple may not catch it, you are putting your app (and yourself) in a dangerous position.

Duplicating functionality of a built-in app: You’re not allowed to create apps that do the same thing as apps already on the iPhone, such as web browsing, email, MP3 player, or app that makes phone calls.

Not providing proper error messages: If your app connects to the internet, you must provide an error message when the network is not available.

Of course, that’s not a complete list, but you could check and double check that you’re following the rules and best practices that Apple expects. Here are some other things to look out for that could cause a rejection:

  1. Your iTunes Store icon not matching your icon displayed on the iPhone
  2. Collecting personal data without a user’s consent
  3. Has an inappropriate age rating

 

What to Do if You’re Rejected

You’ve worked long and hard on your latest app, the one that will fly off the shelf except for one detail – Apple politely said no. What do you do? Don’t take it personally, it happens all the time.

The most important thing now is to make sure you don’t lose momentum. Your app is still great, it still has value, it will still sell just as soon as you can get in the App Store.

What to do if your app is rejected:

  1. Stay calm
  2. Fix the errors
  3. Talk to other developers about what Apple’s often short email really means
  4. Test, test, test
  5. Resubmit

Best of luck!

 

Take Action

When you’re ready to submit your app for consideration, go back through the checklist and make sure your app fits all the rules. Read through the Human Interface Guidelines and look for any reasons your app might be rejected. Test, test, and test some more. Then, just do it – send in your app and cross your fingers. See you in the App Store!

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