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16 Reasons the App Store Rejects Mobile Apps & How to Avoid Them

By: Pete Peranzo | 0

Getting your mobile app approved by the gateway guardians of Apple can be complicated. In order for an application to make it into the App Store, it must go through an approval process.

Creating a mobile app is a herculean feat in many respects. It takes a great deal of technical know-how to get there and for an app to get rejected after all of that hard work is beyond disappointing. Apple has employees who review each and every single application to ensure quality before they go onto the marketplace. The reason is to ensure the quality of apps and to allow users to get the best possible experience. After all, Apple is all about user experience.

Fortunately, the most common reasons for app rejections are fairly simple to deal with, but if you catch these before submission, your app will be on the App Store sooner rather than later!

1.      Broken links

There are a few required links as part of the App Store application process. For instance, your app has to have a link to your privacy policy. You’ve also got to have a link to app support so that users can contact you. If these links don’t go anywhere, your app will be rejected. Be sure these pages are in working order prior to submission.

2.      Bugs during the review process

Obviously you wouldn’t want a car you were thinking about buying to break down on the test drive. That’s a great way to ensure that the car isn’t going get sold. By that same token, a bug that rears its ugly head during the review process will put your app on the highway to rejection. Every app is going to have some issues when it’s first released, but try to catch as many as possible during testing to avoid rejections and delays.

3.      Crashes during the review process

Instant rejection awaits your app if it crashes during the review process. Obviously the App Store is looking for apps that actually work. If they don’t, they’re getting thrown the “no” pile.

4.      Long loading times

Your app has exactly fifteen seconds to load or Apple is going to reject it. Youcan reduce your app load time by making sure any images used are the appropriate size and prioritizing any bugs that cause the app to crash upon loading. for more insight in decreasing load times, check out this article on Pivotal

5.      Poor user interface

Apps on the app store must offer value and usability to end users. Apple is particular about the high quality of its applications. Look to meet the high level design requirement of Apple, including text size, content format, contrast, alignment, resolution, distortion, hit controls, organization, etc. A cohesive user experience is a key to getting through the App Store.

6.      Apps that are demos or in beta

Demos aren’t ok with the Apple App Store. Words like “demo”, “test” and “beta” are going to get flagged for rejection because the App Store requires final versions of apps. This is easily avoidable and best practice any way. you don't want tusers downloading an imperfect version of your app.

7.      Using Private API

Apple is the only guy on the block that can use a private API. ALL Apple apps have to use a public API in order to make it through the approval process. The reason is that Apple wants to ensure that public APIs are in use is to protect user data from being misused.

8.      Inappropriate ad identifiers

Ads are part of the process of building lots of apps, but if you use IDFA (the iOS advertising identifier) on anything that isn’t an ad, then you’re going to get rejected immediately.

9.      Unrelated keywords

Keywords are how users find your app. However, using keywords that are incorrect or are unrelated to the actual mobile application are cause for quick rejection from Apple.  It’s not legal to use trademarked words, or titles that are misleading. Apps need to present themselves honestly in order to make it through the app store approval process.

10.  Inappropriate content

Gambling and pornography are not allowed in the App Store.

11.  Aggregate content

Content in mobile apps is meant to be unique. Apps that are simply aggregates of content that can be found elsewhere are the web are going to get kicked out by Apple. What goes up on any Apple application must be content that’s usable and original for end users. Plagiarism and aggregation will get your app booted in the blink of an eye.

12.  Offensive language

Apple is meant to be a safe space for people of all religious faiths, ages, orientations, etc. It’s got to all be clean and above board. Anything that is mean to arouse anger or to elicit a violent reaction will get thrown out immediately.

13.  No privacy policy

It’s a hard and fast requirement that every Apple app have a privacy policy in place in order to get approval.

14.  Sharing personal user data

Any app that shares personal user data, from names to photos to contact information, will be rejected. Privacy is a big deal to Apple, and they’ve created a significant amount of trust with users in order to boost their brand and make the most out of their customer loyalty. Invading privacy is just not allowed.

15.  Using Apple Pay without the privacy policy

Another privacy policy issue is using Apple Pay without the privacy policy for it. That includes any of the elements of branding or the interface in general.

16.  Missing metadata

A major requirement for apps in the Apple Store is that they have metadata. That means including screenshots, descriptions, etc. If the metadata isn’t there, then the app is going to get rejected.

The more adeptly you review and test your app, the better your odds are of getting it through the first time. Hiring a professional mobile app development company like Imaginovation can help you navigate the requirements of the App Store and Google Play. 

Do you have a great idea for a mobile app?

Pete Peranzo

Pete Peranzo

Pete is a results driven individual with over fifteen years in the IT and software industry. He is responsible for overseeing Imaginovation’s overall business strategy and direction. He offers a plethora of experience and knowledge, having worked in many domains and industries. Pete’s background in customer support is a driving factor in the company’s long term success and reputation. He has embedded customer service into the company's core culture, and feels that fast turnaround, great communication and high quality support are keys to long term business relationships. Pete graduated from UNC Pembroke with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. View all posts by Pete Peranzo →

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