The day a developer submits her app to Apple is an exciting and nerve-racking moment. It can fill you with pride or leave you feeling defeated. And although app review remains a totally subjective realm, there are some basic tips that can improve your chances of approval. Over the course of submitting hundreds of apps on behalf of our clients, we’ve developed the following 10 ways to avoid the dreaded Apple rejection.
1. Get familiar with the rules.
Apple does publish its rules around App Store approval. Go to your iOS Developer Portal, click on Resources at the top and then click on App Review Guidelines.
2. Don’t let Apple do the bug search for you.
It’s vital that, as an app builder, you test your app on your own device before submitting to the App Store. If you find a bug, fix it, don’t hope that Apple won’t see it.
3. Don’t create a difficult user experience.
If you create a cool app, but users have to shake the iPad while tapping three times in the top right corner, you might be rejected. Or if you have links in your app that don’t work, you might be rejected. Usability is one of the main focuses of the Apple review process.
4. Don’t oversell your app.
If the description of your app says, ‘this app will save your life’, and what it really does is aggregate social media stories, you might be rejected. Apple really does compare what your app does to what’s on your App Store page.
5. Don’t copy another app.
If your app is about shooting birds at pigs, you might be rejected. Apple alone decides when there are enough of any given app, and saying “But you already approved XYZ app,” will not sway your reviewer.
6. Don’t overprice your app.
The app review is done by an actual human. In addition to testing functionality, the reviewer will also evaluate the value of your app. If you are planning to charge $999 for your PDF replica with no functionality, you will probably be rejected.
7. Don’t ignore looks.
Yes, we’ve all seen ugly apps, but Apple does consider aesthetics in the review process—an ugly app is less likely to get approved.
8. Don’t ignore content.
Apple does pay attention to the content of your app and will reject things they just don’t feel are appropriate for the app store, like those containing nudity.
9. Don’t try to fool the system.
If your app does something it is not allowed to do, the App Store will reject upon submission. If your app severely breaks the rules, you might even be expelled as a developer.
10. Don’t be rude.
If your app is rejected, calling the reviewer an a*# in the appeal process will not improve your chances of getting a fair re-evaluation.
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