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How To Get Rejected From the App Store 252

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister catalogs 12 sure-fire ways to get your app rejected from Apple's notoriously fickle App Store. From executing interpreted code, to using Apple's APIs without permission, to designing your UI, each transgression has been abstracted from real-life rejections — for the most part because Apple seems to be making up the rules as it goes along. 'It'd be nice for Apple to make conditions for rejection clear,' McAllister writes. 'Apple has been tinkering with the language of its iPhone SDK license agreement lately, but that hasn't done much to clarify the rules — unless you're Adobe. For everyone else, the App Store's requirements seem as vague and capricious as ever.'"
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How To Get Rejected From the App Store

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  • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Thursday June 03, 2010 @05:17PM (#32450828) Homepage

    Microsoft has the same problem. If you read The Old New Thing [], you'll get a lot of stories over time about things that people start doing in Windows/DOS that weren't documented, that were private APIs, etc. But they had to keep them working because otherwise some really important program would break. Microsoft generally seems to try to keep that stuff working.

    Apple is exercising control that Microsoft didn't have over Windows. Since Apple controls distribution, they can prevent people from doing these things, and save themselves hassle later.

    Just because someone discovers that a specific microwave can also open their garage door doesn't mean that all new versions of that microwave should have to do that forever.

    Apple (and Microsoft) never said "If you do this, it will work." Usually they say "DON'T do stuff unless we say it's OK, 'cause it will break."

    Apple just has a chance to force the issue.

  • by DdJ ( 10790 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @05:34PM (#32451044) Homepage Journal

    Part of the problem is that these ways are not sure-fire.

    The app reviewers are overloaded and the app review process gets gummed up, and so sometimes mistakes are made and things are not enforced consistently. So, you can have an app that gets through the process just fine for a while, and then gets rejected. Sometimes, it should have been rejected to begin with, but wasn't, and that makes people think that what they're doing is okay, and they got an explicit "wink" and approval.

    The (specific, not only) problem is that inconsistent enforcement makes it seem more like there are inconsistent rules than is actually the case.

  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @05:42PM (#32451148)

    On the one hand, Apple is trying to regulate its 'image' and reputation when it allows apps to be sold on their store.

    And their image has come down to a fundamentally broken OS and related technologies which claim "revolutionary" new features which are really things that people said that iPhone OS needed from day one.

    Even the non-geeks are starting to realize it, when they can get the full web experience from Android and not from Apple, cheaper, more available devices from Android, they are switching to Android.

    Apple has had several chances to have redeemed itself and each time has thrown away their chances. From not allowing multiple carriers in the US, not allowing various apps, refusing to allow Flash, being so slow to implement things that every other smartphone OS has like copy and paste along with multitasking, etc.

    Really, how many times have you thought "I'd really like to get this smartphone platform, but there are a few apps in here that I don't agree with and it drags down the entire platform" . My guess is never.

  • by Kielistic ( 1273232 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @05:57PM (#32451356)
    Kind of like don't put OS X on anything but Apple hardware, or else we'll take away your licenses and sue you into submission?
  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:06PM (#32451488) Homepage

    Didn't Micro$oft have API's that they used and didn't want anyone else to use? Didn't they get lambasted for that?

    Oh yeah. I worked at Microsoft in the early 90s, and I even worked on one of the flagship applications (Microsoft Word for Windows). I never saw any "secret backdoor" APIs, and I firmly believe that those rumors were wildly overblown.

    But Apple is actually doing it. They have undocumented APIs that they won't let anyone else use. Even on the Mac they have them, and they have been known to break the undocumented APIs seemingly just to burn apps that dare to use them. Now that they have the "app store" it's even more up front: if Apple figures out that you are using their double-secret APIs, they will reject your app.

    Microsoft was widely flamed over rumors of doing this, while few people care that Apple actually does it a lot.

    Feh. Give me Linux, please.


  • by Bobfrankly1 ( 1043848 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:12PM (#32451572)

    The link between iTunes, iPod and iPhone shouldn't be seen as fundamentally different from the link between MS Windows, MS Internet Explorer and MS Office.

    You mean besides abusive contractual obligations to third parties, like Pay for a Windows license even if you're shipping Linux on a computer, or else we'll take away all your licenses?

    Yeah, that's nothing like an absent set of rules for the biggest smartphone OS and it's locked in store. There's nothing abusive when Apple chooses to reject apps that do what Apple does, or wants to do in the future. How about rejecting an app that was previously approved based on an update? Don't update your app, Apple might revoke the entire thing!

  • by yurtinus ( 1590157 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:14PM (#32451594)
    While I still disagree with the monopoly theories, the biggest leverage you're missing is leveraging iTunes and the iPod dominance to gain smartphone market dominance. Playing your iTunes purchased music is (typically) more effort on non-apple smartphones and may even be impossible on some. Personally I don't think anything is to the point of screaming at the Feds to get involved (iPod and iPhone market share are each significant but not a monopoly), but it is worthy of the raised eyebrows it's getting.

    So no, the link isn't fundamentally different, but the results are. When the Apple market dominance in music players and smartphones rivals Microsoft's in OSes and web browsers, then take action. Until then.... business as usual I suppose.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:29PM (#32451772) Homepage

    They are a moving (some might say evolving) target and are most definitely an unknown quantity. Some might say that their "keep'm guessing" style is to their benefit and keeps fans champing at the bit, but for people who are interested in operating a business on their platform, they are anything but stable, reliable or predictable. If there was ever any wonder why Apple hasn't taken over, this paints the most clear and current picture as to why. People bought into iPod and iPhone but it won't be long before Apple pushes enough developers away that those same developers start making really great things for other platforms. Once that happens, all the slick commercials and designs won't keep new customers coming.

    Apple is like a controlling, abusive spouse. You either live with them or you divorce them. In time, though, people will start pitying you and questioning your judgement as to why you stay with them.

  • by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:45PM (#32451984)

    True, but it's not what Apple is doing. Apple is
    1- forcing devs to learn THEIR dev tools, so that they get invested in Apple's ecosystem
    2- enforcing control of what is sold, and above all who's selling it. Like for the "risque" but not porn" apps, it seems there's significantly less risk of being banned when you're big/official... My take is, they don't care for the little guys, only big names get attention.

    The "cross-platform dev tools lead to bad apps" line bunk: a majority of all available iPhone Apps could have been developped with whatever, with no loss of functionnality, and they're clearly NOT vetting apps on quality.

    Let's all pray Android ends this greedy madness. MS is now taking the same "Welcome to MY playpen" tack, which should mean it's on its last legs ^^

  • He missed one (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 2010 @08:20PM (#32452990)

    He missed "if your app is offensive to muslims"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 2010 @09:03PM (#32453318)

    go to small claims court and sue for loss of revenue. costs 50$ or abouts.

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