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Apple Reveals the Most Common Reasons That It Rejects Apps 132

mrspoonsi writes One of the great mysteries of the App Store is why certain apps get rejected and why others don't. Apple has let a surprising number of ripoffs and clones through the store's iron gates, yet some developers face rejection for seemingly innocent apps. "Before you develop your app, it's important to become familiar with the technical, content, and design criteria that we use to review all apps," explains Apple on a new webpage called "Common App Rejections." Rejections include: Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good, it may be rejected; Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations or use names or icons similar to other Apps will be rejected.
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Apple Reveals the Most Common Reasons That It Rejects Apps

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  • by Galaga88 ( 148206 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @09:39AM (#47806249)

    There's not enough fingers in the world to count all the awful apps that violate most of Apple's so-called "standards."

    My favorite are the apps that have a string of words from other popular apps' names in them, just to muck up the search results. And they make sure to periodically change the icon to look like another app as well.

  • License (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @09:40AM (#47806273)

    Also if they're free as in freedom.

  • High bar? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @09:44AM (#47806323)

    Such a subjective phrase. Looking at the App Store I doubt they even begin to comprehend its meaning. For every semi decent app there are a few thousand absolute shites copying the function. For every blockbuster app there's a few million trying to be it.

    Absolute rubbish.

  • by Rosyna ( 80334 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @09:57AM (#47806435) Homepage

    Yup, good news from Microsoft about Quality App Stores [microsoft.com] that never reject clearly bogus apps.

  • No right answer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blueshift_1 ( 3692407 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @10:11AM (#47806537)
    I feel like this is basically the same issue as the "Displaying Top Apps" discussion from a while back. There's no great way or perfect rule to solve the issue. You somehow need to make it flexible enough to be able to work for every possible kind of app, but also strict enough to keep out the riff raff. You have to make some kind of judgement to help the user and the developer both... which at some point will annoy both parties. In my experience, it works well enough. Sure it could be better (and also worse), but it seems to do the job well enough.I just feel like by making them stricter it'd have plenty of seen and unforseen consequences.
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gm a i l . c om> on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @10:21AM (#47806639) Homepage Journal

    But it's their way or the highway if you want to sell to iOS users. And yes, you do want to sell to iOS users. Android users never spend any money. /slight-exaggeration

    So to whom should one sell, say, an app for monitoring a wireless network or a video game in a historical fiction setting? Apple provides no public API for enumerating nearby SSIDs, and under Guidelines 15.3 [apple.com], Apple would reject games whose "enemies" are a particular organization (such as soldiers in a particular country's army).

  • by rasmusbr ( 2186518 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @10:44AM (#47806887)

    yeah it's bullshit.

    anyone in the business knows that they hardly test that it starts up without crashing and that's about it.

    logging in etc - too much trouble.

    What they probably do, and I'm guessing here, is fire up an automatic UI testing tool that navigates through the app and clicks at stuff in order to provoke crashes and other bugs. In addition to that I would imagine they run the app description and the app icon through some sort machine learning system that tries to identify blatant ripoffs, re-submissions of apps that have been banned in the past, etc. Apps that don't pass these tests are looked at manually.

    Again, these are my guesses.

    They also do background checks on new App store accounts to try to tie them to people who have been banned for breaking their TOS.

    The bad app makers are of course one step ahead of this at any given point in time. It's not hard to think of ways of probing the system by using fake accounts.

  • by resfilter ( 960880 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @11:48AM (#47807517)

    i have to hand apple one thing, about their walled garden. although i have some cool android apps on my phone, my wife's iphone is much more of a pleasure to use.

    why? because, for example, there are ten thousand friggn' notepad apps for android, and i'm too lazy to find one that look like the rest of the android interface, so after browsing through a dozen, i just picked one...

    click her notepad app, and it looks like im just smoothly entering another part of the iphone experience... ... click mine, and i'm launched into an ugly frenzy of badly placed wrongly colored controls etc with entry fields that behave strangely, and buttons with icons that i don't recognize.

    when you have 1000 developers making 1000 apps that do the same thing, the only difference being how the ui looks, and none of them even match the rest of the operating system, you fucked up your operating system. that's android for you. nobody even knows what an android app is really supposed to look like anymore, and developers don't care, they're just off in their own little world with no taste in design.

    graphical operating systems need fairly strict ui design conventions. period. they need to be breakable, but encouraged very strongly to the point of where breaking them for no reason makes your app seen as a peice of junk. this is apple's only real advantage in locking out outside apps, being able to blacklist ugly things.

    i appluade them for attempting to force that kind of consistency on their device, not that it always works... no solution is 100%.

    not that i'd buy an iphone myself, and you don't have to either. just sayin'.

  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @12:29PM (#47808033)

    Also if they're free as in freedom.

    With respect to he VLC media player ... Apple didn't care it was GPL, the developer was OK with the App Store, but a 3rd party threatened to sue Apple so Apple pulled the app.

    "The iOS VLC app was created by Applidium, a French mobile software company. In an Ars Technica interview, Applidium co-founder Romain Goyet said "The way I see it, we're not violating anyone's freedom. We worked for free, opened all our source code, and the app is available for free for anyone to download. People are enjoying a nice free and open source video player on the AppStore, and some people are trying to ruin it in the name of 'freedom.'" ... In a follow-up VideoLAN mailing list post, VideoLAN association president Jean-Baptiste Kempf wrote, "With 'friends' like you, we don't need any enemies. If I understand correctly, the FSF new policy is to blow up communities?""
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open... [zdnet.com]

    The FSF argues that Apple prohibits modifying and/or redistributing the app. That is a somewhat bogus argument. The binary is digitally signed, it won't run if modified or transferred to another device lacking the appropriate key. However the source code is available. A user is free to modify and distribute in terms of source code. They can submit their modified alternative binary to the app store. They can give a few friends binaries via ad hoc distribution. Yes, this costs money. The GPL doesn't prohibit things costing money, you can charge for distribution if you like and people are free to ignore your distribution and go to the source code. Nor does the GPL doesn't mandate a free developer environment.

    Its seems the FSF has far more to do with GPL apps not being on iOS than Apple.

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