Apple explains why apps get rejected from the App Store

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One of the great mysteries of the App Store is why certain apps get rejected and why others don’t. Apple has let a surprising number of ripoffs and clones through the store’s iron gates, yet some developers face rejection for seemingly innocent apps.

“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,” explains Apple on a new webpage called “Common App Rejections.”

At WWDC in June, Apple said that 1.2 million apps are now in the store. What’s surprising, especially given the volume of low-quality titles in the top charts, is that Apple is still pretty thorough in evaluating new apps. For instance, here’s what Apple requires developers to provide with new submissions:

If some features require signing in, provide a valid demo account username and password. If there are special configurations to set, include the specifics. If features require an environment that is hard to replicate or require specific hardware, be prepared to provide a demo video or the hardware.

Apple is also very serious about inaccurate descriptions and misleading users. “Your app must perform as advertised and should not give users the impression the app is something it is not. If your app appears to promise certain features and functionalities, it needs to deliver.” Several tethering apps, which Apple prohibits, have slipped into the App Store over the years disguised as calculator apps and simple games.

At the end of the new webpage, Apple breaks down the top reasons apps were rejected over the last week. It will be interesting to see if the chart stays updated week-to-week.

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About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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