New Site Catalogs Litany of App Store Rejections


Adam Martin - Game Developer/iPhone Consultant

An iPhone application developer has upped the ante on criticism of Apple’s App Store approval policies with, a website devoted to collating “all the known examples of rejected Apps.”

Adam Martin, CEO of UK-based Red Glasses, makers of three iPhone apps (and a software development start-up with a curiously thin web presence), created the site earlier this month to document and share all known examples of “what is actually rejected” from the App Store — and he pulls no punches in his critique of Apple’s process for deciding which apps and updates make it onto the iTunes App Store.

“Apple has a secret, undocumented, unquestionable, random process for deciding which applications to “allow” onto the deck,” claims Martin on the site. Ironically, his own BrainGame Summation (iTunes link) app had an update rejected this week for using a common workaround to bugs in the official Apple APIs; the worrkaround previously appeared to pose no approval problems but has apprently been the basis for several recent rejections.

“Apple point-blank refuses to document the criteria – or even to discuss the matter on anything except a case-by-case basis,” Martin writes, though he does allow that “in most cases, rejections [are] perfectly reasonable, and/or Apple had officially warned developers “don’t do this; we won’t allow it”.

But the site does take App Store gatekeepers to task for being, among other things, “unskilled staff [who] are given a technical tool (the secret static-analyer) [sic] which they don’t understand – but trust 100%, [causing them to] reject apps that haven’t done anything wrong, but which the tool (incorrectly) flags.”

Martin acknowledges that the fledgling site has only just gotten started, but writes that he’s “been following reports on app-rejection for over a year,” and aims to catalog everything unusual and unfair about the mysterious process for joining the 100,000 (and growing) iPhone apps available now on iTunes.

It’s now gone from “easy” to “tricky” to avoid having your App rejected by Apple, according to Martin.


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