With the presence of over 1.5 million applications in Apple App store, Apple runs a tight ship when it comes to approving mobile apps in its app store. There are a series of factors that are taken into consideration before approving or rejecting an iOS mobile application. There could be some very obvious reasons like featuring pornography, gambling, or misspelling Apple product names, etc. Sometimes, the reasons are critical – for example, if you want to have a mobile app that uses GPS to automatically control a real-world aircraft then Apple won’t approve such smartphone app.
The Apple iPhone is a popular brand and its users are increasing every day. Besides the competition between Android and iOS growing exponentially, these factors have increased the numbers of app submissions to the iTunes App store. As of November 2015, on an average 1,816 apps were submitted to apple every day, which was mere 32 apps per day in mid-2008.
The graph below shows a tremendous increase in the number of applications being submitted to the iTunes App store.
All the apps submitted to the app store undergo a strict review process, a phenomenal workload for the employees of Apple considering the number of submissions each day. Hence, this is the reason why Apple released a list of common reasons for rejecting applications. If all the iOS app developers keep these basic reasons for rejections in mind, they could save ample time for themselves and of the reviewers at Apple.
In the article below, I have tried to highlight some obvious and not so obvious reasons which amount to rejection of your application at the Apple App store.
1) Defective or incomplete information
Studies reveal that almost 14 per cent of the applications rejected by Apple are because of incomplete or defective information. So make a metal note, and ensure to fill in all the information which you think may be required for review. Elaborate all the features that are a part of your smartphone app. Mention the special procedures, if any, to run your iOS smartphone app.
Nothing can be as good as presenting a demo video, if the installation or the configuration process is different from the usual mobile applications. It may help you get an upper hand over the other applications.
2) Surpass all the crashes and bugs
Apple is known for rejecting the applications which crash or contains bugs. Almost all the software has bugs, but with the help of thorough testing you can fix most of it. Before submitting your mobile app to Apple for the review process, make sure that you thoroughly test it. Any major bugs that hamper the review process of Apple app store review team is bound to get rejected.
3) User’s privacy
Privacy has become one of the most important factors. If you talk about me, it ranks as number one for me. Most of the applications that you install on your phone seek permission to use some of your personal information. For example, if you install any online dating app, it will definitely ask your personal details such as your name, age, height, interests, etc. What if an iPhone app automatically picks up the data from your phone and uses it without your permission? Without a second thought, I would say, such mobile apps should not be made available in the app store. Trust me, the team at Apple share mutual feelings with you.
4) Religion, culture, and ethnicity
According to section 19.1 of the Apple Store Review Guidelines, apps containing references or commentary about a religion, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory or offensive will not be able to make through. All the religious apps should be clean, educational, and informative rather than misleading.
5) Content and IPR
Apple is very particular about the content displayed by mobile applications.
There is much more to this, any app that appears slightly similar to an existing Apple product or theme will be rejected. Apps that misspell Apple products name in their name or headlines will also add itself to the rejection list.
6) Relevant metadata
Metadata includes names, description, ratings, and rankings. You need to be very specific about the names and description you use for your application. Make sure that the name and the description are relevant to the functionality of the application. Anything which mentions the name of other mobile applications will get rejected.
Instead of choosing tricky screenshots to stand out, choose simple screenshots of your own application and a layover of simple text to explain the screen.
To add more to it, I would recommend you avoid using any music which is not licensed in all the selected territories. Also, any app which would need to restart iOS before installation is likely to get rejected. Thus, be very sure about all these simple yet significant things.
7) User interface
iOS mobile applications submitted for review should follow Apple Human Interface Guidelines. Before you start developing your application for iOS, I would recommend you to thoroughly understand these interface guidelines as any app which does not uses system provided items like buttons and icons is likely to get rejected.
Apple places a high value on simple, refined, creative, and well thought through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple has set a high standard for them. If your user interface is complex or less than very good, your app may be rejected.
8) Don’t game them
One of the most crucial reasons for getting an app rejection is duplicity. Apple is known for adding apps that are completely different from each other. Therefore, do not try to portray your app as something that it is not. Many developers try this act of laying foundation for their apps by creating something which is very similar to the existing successful applications. Apple can easily observe this, so ensure that your mobile app offers something fresh.
The reasons for which Apple rejects any application is quite sensible. Moreover, they do feature a review board to which you can submit an appeal in case your iOS mobile app gets rejected. But make sure that you don’t take this to social media as Apple, like the incredible Hunk, isn’t very good when angry.
There could also be other reasons over and above the ones we discussed in this article. All you need to do is to emphasise on the quality of your iOS app, remember Apple approves any app only if they think that the app can be of some use to the users. Any application that is just a replica of your website without any core functionality of iOS will not be able to sail the sea.
About the Author:
Gaurav Sharma is a founder of Antipull & a Digital Strategist at Nine Hertz, a Mobile app development company and a Marketing - Tech writer. He has expertise in SEO, ASO, CRO, PPC and other parts of Online Marketing fields. He is an enthusiast and love to explore new stuffs. You can check him out on Facebook and Twitter or mail him personally.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)