How to Avoid App Store Rejection

February 25, 2019

Navigating the app submission process can be tricky. If you are planning to launch an app, you may have heard stories about the difficult app submission process on the AppStore or Google Play. For some, the process can seem confusing and frustrating. We aim to avoid this rollercoaster of emotions by ensuring our apps are submission proof.

There can be many reasons that your app is rejected, with Apple being notoriously strict. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Inaccurate Description
  • Lack of Valuable Content
  • Poor UI/Bad UX
  • Incomplete Information
  • Infringement of intellectual property

There are other common larger issues that often result in app rejections. This brief overview should help you understand these and help ensure a higher success rate when submitting your apps to the AppStore or Google Play.

The App Has Performance Issues

An app that demonstrates unstable performance in general due to bugs will most definitely be rejected. Regardless of the high quality of the UI on your app, the app must run fluidly without causing the user frustration due to crashes and a buggy UX. This is why we run extensive tests on our clients’ apps with multiple circulations of user testing to ensure that no bugs slip the net!
Ensure to have your app tested for performance issues before submitting your app to avoid a lengthy submission process.

The App Is Not GDPR Compliant

Both the AppStore and Google Play have cracked down on their app submission privacy policy requirements, particularly in light of recent GDPR laws. Apps must be linked with a privacy policy and have secure storage of user data. Privacy policy statements are required with an explanation of data retention policies. The app must also allow users to withdraw their consent for you to collect their data.
App submissions that do not comply will be rejected. Not only that but existing apps are warned to update their privacy policies or risk being removed from the marketplace.
Concerned about your privacy policy? Check out our blog on GDPR here.

The App Does Not Comply with the In-app Purchase Policies

If your app allows users to make in-app purchases then these transactions will have to be processed using Apple or Google Play. It may seem attractive to use a different payment provider such as Stripe, to avoid Apple and Google’s 30% payment fees. However, the only exceptions to this rule are if the user is paying for a physical product or service, and Apple and Google Play are both on the ball with checking this.
For subscription platforms which are available across browser and other mediums, users can sign up and pay via a website to bypass these fees, so long as users are not encouraged to sign up within the app. Netflix and Spotify are good recent examples of this.
(Note: if you are converting your website into a mobile app then you will also need to change your purchasing process in the app accordingly, and not simply direct payments to your website)

The App Contains Inappropriate Content

As children also use the app marketplaces, inappropriate content is not taken lightly on the AppStore submission process. If your app contains insensitive, upsetting or offensive content then it will be almost guaranteed to be rejected. Your app should be respectful to differing opinions and to not cause the user distress. Make sure you select the correct age category when submitting your app to avoid any issues.

The App Doesn’t Have The Minimum Required Functionality

Your app must provide your users with long-term value and be more than just static content. Some key guidelines for your app are:

  • Your app should not be used primarily to promote marketing material (except catalogue apps).
  • Your app should not require the installation of another app to function.
  • If your app needs to download additional resources, disclose the size of the download and prompt users before doing so.
  • Apps should not be created from a commercialised template or app generation service. Apps should be customised, innovative and provide unique customer experiences.

If your app publication request is rejected, you will get an email explaining the reason why your app was rejected. Do not be discouraged! You can always appeal the rejection or fix the existing issues and try to resubmit the app.

If you have followed these guidelines then your app should have been approved! But wait, that’s not all. Remember that you should update your app regularly to ensure it remains functional and improving the app to keep your users happy.

If you have further questions don’t hesitate to give us a call and we will be happy to help!

Sources:

https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/#minimum-functionality

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