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Apple Posts Details on App Rejections

Posted by Jim Tanous on September 2, 2014
App Store Rejected

Although we sometimes feel that Apple could be a bit more selective when it comes to approving apps for the iOS and Mac App Stores, the company wants to help developers avoid some common pitfalls during the app submission process. To that end, Apple recently released a new page for developers highlighting “Common App Rejections” for both iOS and OS X:

Before you develop your app, it’s important to become familiar with the technical, content, and design criteria that we use to review all apps. We’ve highlighted some of the most common issues that cause apps to get rejected to help you better prepare your apps before submitting them for review.

The company mentions obvious issues such as crashes and bugs, broken or incomplete functionality, and inaccurate or misleading descriptions. But a few more surprising criteria are also listed, such as not presenting a “clean, refined, and user-friendly” interface or not offering functionality that has “lasting value.” Even a cursory examination of the App Store reveals that Apple doesn’t put much emphasis on these last two areas but, hey, it’s good to see the company at least call it out.

Apple further provides a list of the top 10 reasons for app rejections during the previous week, which breaks down as follows:

  • 14% More information needed
  • 8% Guideline 2.2: Apps that exhibit bugs will be rejected
  • 6% Did not comply with terms in the Developer Program License Agreement
  • 6% Guideline 10.6: Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good, it may be rejected
  • 5% Guideline 3.3: Apps with names, descriptions, or screenshots not relevant to the App content and functionality will be rejected
  • 5% Guideline 22.2: Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations or use names or icons similar to other Apps will be rejected
  • 4% Guideline 3.4: App names in iTunes Connect and as displayed on a device should be similar, so as not to cause confusion
  • 4% Guideline 3.2: Apps with placeholder text will be rejected
  • 3% Guideline 3.8: Developers are responsible for assigning appropriate ratings to their Apps. Inappropriate ratings may be changed/deleted by Apple
  • 2% Guideline 2.9: Apps that are “beta”, “demo”, “trial”, or “test” versions will be rejected

The remaining 42 percent of app rejection reasons comprise a myriad of smaller categories no larger than 2 percent each. Developers and interested consumers can check out the complete Common App Rejections, as well as peruse the broader App Review section, over at Apple’s developer site.

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