Apple explains why apps get rejected from the App Store



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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  • Apple? What bull crap, all you have to do is read the negative comments on apps, or download one yourself to find out that there is NO Vetting process or 95% of the apps in the App store would not be crappy rip off shit.

    • Bomyne

      There is a review process. Many apps get rejected on a daily basis… Do a Google search. may help too.

    • Tallest Skil

      Yeah, so, no, you’re wrong. If you feel like presenting evidence to support your theory or something that would disprove what Apple just proved, go ahead. We’ll wait.

  • numb_sense

    and that’s why there are no bloated crapware apps in the App Store. DL it yourself and review it, “reviews are very reliable”. <– duh!

  • Ryan

    I have been an iOS app developer for about 4 years. I currenty have two apps on the App Store and honesty the review process isn’t really something I worry about all too much. As log as your app isn’t 1. A copy 2. Containing malicious code 3. Badly designed it will probably be released. I don’t think “iron gates” is a great way to describe the process; there are a lot of bad apps on the store. Personally I think it should be more rigorous.

    • shayneo

      The process certainly does feel a lot more transparent than it did when I started app dev around the same time you did. Back then it was pretty damn mysterious , it would just be rejected, often weeks after submission, and you’d be on the phone for hours trying to find out why. Now its a relatively quick process and they lay it out for you what needs to be fixed.