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Programming Apple

Here's Why Apple Rejected Your iOS App 145

Nerval's Lobster writes Everybody knows that Apple runs a tight ship when it comes to approving iOS apps for its App Store, rejecting software because it features porn, allows gambling, installs types of executable code, etc. But Apple also denies apps for some pretty esoteric reasons, many of which are only just coming to light. Want to have an App that uses GPS to automatically control a real-world aircraft or automobile? Sorry, that's not allowed, presumably because Apple doesn't want iOS to serve as a drone controller. (Imagine the liability issues.) Also, apps that report your location to emergency services are forbidden, as well as any that misspell Apple product names ("iTunz" will never make it through, no matter how much you beg). Even if Apple's not sharing the exact reason why it just rejected your app from its store (what the heck does "Not enough lasting value" mean?), you can check out Apple's own page on the top reasons for iOS app rejections."
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Here's Why Apple Rejected Your iOS App

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  • Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously, I'd get it if some other site had just for whatever reason done a big write up on this. But a shameless dice self post! That's just shitty.

    This is an ancient topic, and we all figured this stuff out a while ago. It basically comes down to:

    - rejected if the app is poorly made
    - rejected if the app is offensive or controversial
    - rejected if the app is stupid or pointless
    - rejected if the app competes in an arena that apple cares about

    Yes we can all piss soup about the 4'th one, but I don't think man

    • Re: Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday October 27, 2014 @02:01PM (#48242941) Homepage Journal

      Yes we can all piss soup about the 4'th one, but I don't think many people are actually blindsided by it.

      Just don't invest in an app that Apple will compete with in the future and you'll be fine. Silly whiners - how hard is that rule to understand?

      • Re: Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday October 27, 2014 @02:13PM (#48243099)

        Just don't invest in an app that becomes successful and attracts Apple's attention and you'll be fine. Silly whiners - how hard is it being Apple's bitch?

        FTFY

        • Actually what happens in these cases is that the original developer ends up selling more. Apple does the basic easy to use version, and anyone who want's extra feature and more customisability goes for the original. Apple introducing people to the app category is what propels the sales for the 3rd party.

    • I would rather we just rage that some company is deciding what we can/cannot run, regardless of their reasons. I won't argue that there is a value in pulling apps from a trusted source, and that I trust the apple app store more than say, the Android marketplace. But if I want an app that Apple has rejected, that I know to be good but simply goes against the grain of some legal/marketing/social worldview (like say a drone app) then nobody should decide I can't run it. Unless you jailbreak your iPhone, Apple

    • This is why socialism revolves around workers owning the means of production.
      This gatekeeper crap should be against the law. I should be able to sell my work to my customers and Apple should have no say in that transaction.
      This is why I've only developed Android apps. I'm not real crazy about their censorship of their App store either but at least I have the option of side loading.

      • by garote ( 682822 )

        If you build a mall on your property, you get a say in who sells there, and how they do it.

        As soul-crushing as malls are, I don't think they should be illegal...

        • by Cederic ( 9623 )

          Yeah, but Apple built a housing estate and are telling you what you can put in your fridge.

          Their app store is their mall; the devices are not.

          • by garote ( 682822 )

            *shrug* Okay, we'll play the analogy game your way.
            You wanna violate the warranty on your fridge and stuff it full of strange items, you go ahead.

            The manufacturer is under no obligation to alter their design to facilitate your efforts, though. If you find it awkward to "mis-use" their fridge, go buy a different one.

            • by tepples ( 727027 )
              In this analogy, how would someone who buys another fridge connect it to the proprietary utility hookups in Apple's housing estate?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My last rejection was interesting. Functionality with an alert showing the user's free trial statistics with additional text asking them to visit the app's Web site was ruled as a rejection for violating 11.1 (Apps that unlock or enable additional features or functionality with mechanisms other than the App Store will be rejected). There was an "OK" and "Upgrade" button to dismiss the alert. "OK" simply dismissed the alert and did nothing, while tapping "Upgrade" took the user to an in-app purchasing view,

      • From your description, it sounds like the rejection was valid. I'm surprised the appeal worked. Free trials, and functions that have a UI but lead only to a dead and and a nag are AFAIUI not allowed.

    • I read the linked page, and everything looked reasonable. May not be exactly developer friendly (although I'd contest that - stopping devs from making bad apps is in the long run good for them), but it does improve the overall iOS experience.

      I wish it were the same w/ Android - I am leery about downloading anything from Google Play unless it's a well recognized brand. Speaking of which, branding is a pretty major issue in the market - how on earth does anyone expect Apple to tolerate someone who makes

  • drone controller (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2014 @01:59PM (#48242911)

    Funny a long-awaited APM drone controller app was just approved yesterday.
    https://itunes.apple.com/app/mav-pilot/id649233096

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      Funny a long-awaited APM drone controller app was just approved yesterday.
      https://itunes.apple.com/app/m... [apple.com]

      Man .. I want one of the drones use to test the software. The "Find My dDrone" screen says that it is 1300km from the users location!

    • No, I think Apple doesn't want an iOS device to serve as an on-board computer for home-brew guided weapons! Well DUH!

  • Um... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shoten ( 260439 ) on Monday October 27, 2014 @02:01PM (#48242943)

    Sorry, that's not allowed, presumably because Apple doesn't want iOS to serve as a drone controller. (Imagine the liability issues.)

    Someone hasn't heard of Parrot, who make some of the best consumer drones there are, which are all controlled by iOS devices running apps that are available on the App Store. [parrot.com]

    • Re:Um... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by coinreturn ( 617535 ) on Monday October 27, 2014 @02:37PM (#48243499)
      You cherry-picked your quote. The summary says: Want to have an App that uses GPS to automatically control a real-world aircraft or automobile? The Parrot does not do that. It is a manual control drone.
      • So Apple really just doesn't want you to use an iPhone as the onboard GPS controlled brain of an autonomous drone, which is a shame, because it would be perfect for that.
        • So Apple really just doesn't want you to use an iPhone as the onboard GPS controlled brain of an autonomous drone, which is a shame, because it would be perfect for that.

          Except for the part about liability where someone gets hit by said drone and sues the deep pocket - Apple.

        • by Zenin ( 266666 )

          I'm not sure about "perfect".

          You can get a dedicated flight controller with better sensors for $20 and weighting under 2g. Contrast that with an iPhone that costs how much and weighs 129g?! Sure, the iPhone also comes with GPS...but again, $20 gives you a massively better GPS unit than an iPhone has. And of course...you've also got to add some kind of additional hardware I/O for the iPhone to talk to the ESCs (more weight, more cost).

          Much of the rest of an iPhone just adds weight and eats power if used a

    • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

      I read it as on the drone itself (using the contextual clue of "GPS").

      "controller" is certainly ambiguous, but not really with full context I think.

  • Top 10 reasons for app rejections during the 7day period ending October 23, 2014.

    13% More information needed

    11% Guideline 2.2: Apps that exhibit bugs will be rejected

    6% Guideline 10.6: 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

    6% Guideline 2.1: Apps that crash will be rejected

    4% Did not comply with t

    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      Obviously, Apple doesn't apply their own guidelines to their iOS 8.x apps. My user experience with their apps on an iPad 2 is clunky at best, taking more CPU cycles than necessary to do the same task in iOS 7.
    • by FSWKU ( 551325 )

      6% Guideline 10.6: 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

      Then how do they explain this [apple.com] piece of garbage. A remote link to a Windows session is NOT a refined interface. Not at all. And it would seem the reviews agree. Yet somehow it hasn't been booted.

    • what's interesting about this is there's a long tail of reasons why things get rejected. The top ten rejection reasons comprise just 55% of rejections. This means that 45% are rejected for reasons other than the top ten, and any reason that's not in the top ten accounts for less than 4% of rejections.

  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Monday October 27, 2014 @02:04PM (#48242979)

    Submission is as thin as saran wrap on a toilet seat, and just as desirable.

    I clicked on the link (without looking at the source) expecting to find stories of all sorts of apps that were rejected for unexpected reasons. The tease was GPS to automatically control a real-world aircraft or automobile. The trouble was .. that was also the only paragraph in the story that mentioned something like that (well ok it also mentioned emergency services) and all that was buried at the end of the article. The rest of the content was a top list from Apple explaining where people go wrong.

    Not news and known to anyone who develops iOS apps, and even if you don't develop iOS apps .. the top reasons are still obvious.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You don't even have to check the links. The submitter is Nerval's Lobster, Slashdot's Dice-bot.

      I automatically bypass any submission from Nerval's Lobster; they're always just Dice-bait. The inclusion of any non-Dice links in the summary are just packing material to deliver the Dice clickbait payload.

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        You don't even have to check the links. The submitter is Nerval's Lobster, Slashdot's Dice-bot.

        I just checked his profile and gave up before I could find a submission that did not contain a Dice link

      • Perhaps Bennett Haselton might like to weigh in on the feasibility and relevance of Nerval Lobster's pithy submission. He is a frequent submitter, afterall.
      • I remember years ago when Slashdot had links to SourceForge or something about VA Linux, which owned Slashdot at the time. I believe there was always a disclaimer stating their relationship. Shouldn't there be a disclaimer if linking to Dice?

    • by jtara ( 133429 )

      I liked Slashdot when the stuff pushed on us was just from nerds with strong opinions who happened to be in control of the site.

  • According to the page you told me to read, it means

    "If your app doesnâ(TM)t offer much functionality or content, or only applies to a small niche market, it may not be approved."

    That's actually pretty useful information, if you want to design something targeted at a relatively small community, perhaps steer clear of Apple.

    • That and your app isn't as cool as you thought it was.
      I have need Apps on the App Store for some relatively small niche markets.
      I expect there are a lot of apps that say customized for your friends and family. Say an app that syncs your and only your schedule with the other peoples phones.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        Or target it more generically. Rather than an app for doctors at XYZ hospital, write it so they all can use it, even if you really want it for a specific set of doctors.

        I've seen a number of Android apps that were written by one person for the use of 5-10 others. Apple would say no to those. As well they should, for the goals of their store.
        • as pointed out above, a developer can distribute to up to 100 "test flight" devices without going through app store review.

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
            Then they should remain "test flight" forever, if allowed. That's end many of the complaints about the app store I've seen.
            • here's the link [apple.com] to testflight on apple's website. Up to 1,000 beta testers. I wonder if this means you can continue to use it as a limited-distribution bespoke app distribution model.

              • moar deets: up to 25 'internal testers', where internal is "Get feedback quickly by sharing your beta builds with up to 25 members of your team who have been assigned the Technical or Admin role in iTunes Connect. Each member can test on up to 10 devices." Up to 1,000 external testers, but to make it to external testing the beta must be vetted "Apps made available to external testers require a Beta App Review and must comply with the full App Store Review Guidelines before testing can begin".

                So it's not a p

    • According to the page you told me to read, it means

      "If your app doesnâ(TM)t offer much functionality or content, or only applies to a small niche market, it may not be approved."

      That's actually pretty useful information, if you want to design something targeted at a relatively small community, perhaps steer clear of Apple.

      Or you use one of 5 Options for Distributing Your iOS App to a Limited Audience [mobiledan.net]

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday October 27, 2014 @02:08PM (#48243031)

    Fine by me, that way I only gotta port it to one platform. Should also make support easier. So if you want my app, get Android. If you don't have one, sucks to be you.

    Seriously, I won't bend over backwards just to appease the maker of some hardware. It's not like I depend on the sales. You offer me a platform I want to develop on and I will develop for it. It's not the other way 'round.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      Fine by me, that way I only gotta port it to one platform. Should also make support easier. So if you want my app, get Android. If you don't have one, sucks to be you.

      Not knocking your choices, but see your deliberate abstaining from iOS made me want to know which platform is better for monetization of apps. That led me to this article: For Mobile Monetization, Choose Android for Ads and Apple For In-App Purchases [forbes.com] and the stats of:

      iOS users are 32% more likely to make a purchase, and spend 10% more than Android users. Developers using the in-app purchasing and freemium models will also want to take note of the in-app purchasing numbers, with iOS users spending 45% more the Android users on in-app purchases.

      Google’s mobile platform typically generates more engagement per app. Although session times remain consistent between Android and iOS, Android users will start more app sessions per month (on average by 17%).

      So to be cynical you need to consider how much money you can squeeze out of each user for each platform and use that to decide whether supporting the platform is a worthwhile ROI. However I also saw a stat that said there are more than 2x num

    • That'll show 'em. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Brannon ( 221550 )

      All those billions of iPhone users won't have access to your critically super-important app, left only to make due with the literally 1 million other apps that are available on Apple's app store.

      And think of Apple, having to wallow in misery that your app isn't available to their customers; forced to lead a hopeless existence of swimming in their hundreds of billions of dollars like Scrooge McDuck while not even knowing that you or your breathlessly important app even exist.

    • But if you app fails the Apples check do we really want your app?
      I mean most of the reasons are due to quality issues or the product that is misleading.

      • If quality is the issue, or deceit, or pestering you with ads for other software of mine, or about 99% of the rest of the reasons why Apple would reject the app, then yes, you would certainly be better off without it.

        The problem is that 1% that's left. The software that simply must not exist because Apple doesn't want it to exist.

        • Or you can try again with better description, or a little tweaking.

          This anger is because someone said YOUR CODE WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH! The shame, the horror, you are the best coder in the world, and Apple said no!

           

        • The problem is that 1% that's left. The software that simply must not exist because Apple doesn't want it to exist.

          As opposed to the software that Google doesn't want it exists and blocks from Google Play? Like add blocking? Or Flappy Bird clones?

      • But if you app fails the Apples check do we really want your app?

        Last time I checked, iOS contained no public API to enumerate nearby Wi-Fi access points' SSIDs. This means Mozilla Stumbler [mozilla.com], an application to help build an open location service [slashdot.org] by trilaterating from nearby SSIDs, can't be distributed in Apple's App Store, and similar programs such as WiFi-Where were pulled [slashdot.org] because they used APIs that Apple deemed private. Or are you claiming that nobody wants to help build an open location service?

        I've made a list of other checks that Apple performs not for quality bu [pineight.com]

    • So if you want my app, get Android. If you don't have one, sucks to be you.

      remains to be seen... let me judge on the quality and utility of the app and I'll be the one to determine if it sucks to be me!

    • Seriously, I won't bend over backwards just to appease the maker of some hardware.

      It's just basic quality control. They have to be picky, or else we will end up with a app store full of trash, like the Windows Store is, and to some extent Google Play is too.

    • Think I'll wait for a VMware iPad app that allows me to run Android in a window.

      • That'll never happen. Virtualization requires that the VMM be allowed to flip pages from writable to executable, and in iOS, only the system executable loader and Safari JavaScript are allowed to do that. And good luck getting Apple to optimize Safari JavaScript for asm.js.
  • Repeated Submission of Similar Apps
    Submitting several apps that are essentially the same ties up the App Review process and risks the rejection of your apps. Improve your review experience â" and the experience of your future users â" by thoughtfully combining your apps into one.

    This would explain why there's 500 flashlight/text-scrolling/mirror apps.

    • Repeated Submission of Similar Apps Submitting several apps that are essentially the same ties up the App Review process and risks the rejection of your apps. Improve your review experience â" and the experience of your future users â" by thoughtfully combining your apps into one.

      This would explain why there's 500 flashlight/text-scrolling/mirror apps.

      Reading comprehension fail. The rejection reason is a single developer submitting multiple apps that are essentially the same.

  • None of this would be an issue if Apple would allow for alternative stores. Even these could be filtered to some point.

    Apple can run their store however they want, but having to jailbreak my phone to install a competitor to iTunes seems like anti competitive behavior.

    • None of this would be an issue if Apple would allow for alternative stores. Even these could be filtered to some point.

      Apple can run their store however they want, but having to jailbreak my phone to install a competitor to iTunes seems like anti competitive behavior.

      It's not an issue. Go buy an Android phone or Windows phone.

      • by jtara ( 133429 )

        | None of this would be an issue if Apple would allow for alternative stores

        They do. You can set-up an Enterprise store.

        However, it is only for your own Enterprise. Currently, you can't even have an app that is for use by, say, clients or suppliers to some Enterprise.

        I expect this policy to change. I think that the purchase of TestFlight is a precursor.

        No, I don't expect to see "alternative stores" for the public. But I think they will be more flexible about Enterprise apps, such that partners can use the a

    • seems like anti competitive behavior.

      A manufacturer's own product doesn't comprise "a market". Apple is entitled to limit what software goes on it's products, same as razor manufacturers can limit what blades you can use and printer manufacturers can limit what ink cartridges you can use. If you can find a way to hack around it, fine, but there's no legal reason Apple have to enable it.

      The market is mobile phones, and there are plenty of alternatives if you don't want to be limited to Apple's App Store. However, many people value the curation

    • That's not what they mean. Different meaning of controller. The rule is to not allow using iPhones as the computing device (controller) WITHIN a vehicle, using GPS. e.g. When the vehicle kills someone they don't want the negative publicity of an iPhone being the autopilot.

  • Apple rejected your app because apple is not selling a product, it is selling a means of consumption to a product. Any productivity or meaningfulness actualized from iDevices is purely coincidental and is designed to keep the user entertained long enough to interact with apples ecosystem of other products which in turn sell other apple products and services, along with the users personal information to third party vendors. Apple isnt interested in making waves, its interested in herding cattle and the bes
  • Does /. have a list of random anti-Apple click-bait posts queued up that get posted when the site traffic starts to slow down? Haven't we been over this a good dozen times already?

    Can't wait for the iFart and Android! Android! Android! posts.

  • 1. Proprietary Software/Closed Source
    2. NSA Spying
    3. Corporate Spying
    4. Cannot (easily) change battery on IPhone
    5. Proprietary power/data cables on IPhone
    6. In the 80's, unlike my TRS-80, Apple computers required a boot disk just to fire up.
    7. Steve Jobs is a weiner (Wozniak, by comparison, is a minor deity).
    • > 1. Proprietary Software/Closed Source

      Like the software that runs on your microwave and your automobile? Do you plan on protesting outside of GE and Ford?

      > 2. NSA Spying

      Do you realize that the NSA is actually not the same as Apple? Do you also realize that no company has made more of a stand against the NSA than Apple?

      > 3. Corporate Spying

      ?!??!??

      > 4. Cannot (easily) change battery on IPhone

      Then don't buy one. It's not a political party--pick the product you want, you don't need to march on Wash

      • > "Could you possibly be more of a cliche?"

        No. The obvious has already been stated.

        1. "Do you plan on protesting outside of GE and Ford?"

        Yes, I'm looking into building a Tabby (https://www.osvehicle.com/tabby-info/) and live off-grid. Corporations, for the most part, are evil and should be shunned from our society.

        2a. "Do you realize that the NSA is actually not the same as Apple?"

        You mean NSA doesn't stand for "Naturally Sweetened Apples"?

        2b. ...no company has made more of a stand agai
      • The early TRS-80s certainly didn't require a boot disk. It cost about $800 to have a disk drive in the first place (counting the Expansion Interface and the disk drive). The Model 4 did require one. Early Apple IIs also didn't require boot disks, since disk drives (although cheaper on those models) were still expensive.

  • >apps that report your location to emergency services are forbidden,

    As opposed to apps that report my location to people who pay Apple to get my location. That's allowed.

    • what's it like to be a huge liar?

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      That's why it's rejected. Apple already tracks location, so adding other 3rd-party tracking apps is not allowed, for competing with the built-in functionality. "Emergency services" is a red herring thrown in to incite the dim witted.
  • Including stuff that didn't meet their "moral" standards, stuff they want no competitors on and stuff they just don't like...
  • Come develop your shit for Windows 8 phone then, where the app store is completely unmoderated and unfiltered. Where the top app is "Google Hangout Features" which tells you Google hangouts lets you chat.
  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Monday October 27, 2014 @02:44PM (#48243613)
    Here is a link to a site that _really_ knows everything about app store guidelines and rejection reasons:

    https://developer.apple.com/ap... [apple.com]
  • One thing that that article didn't mention was that App approvial is mostly automated. That's why so many garbage apps get in (Apps that just display a single jpeg, or Apps that are just repackaged game demos).

  • This is precisely why Cydia and jailbreaking exist: so that you can put the software you want on your phone or tablet instead of being subject to Apple's dictatorship. I have the iPhone and iPad quite simply because it is the best quality hardware/software combination out there. I understand that part of the reason it's so stable is because it's such a closed ecosystem. I wish Apple would have an advanced user mode that would let you use Cydia but a use at your own risk with no technical support clause othe
  • Just what it says, I imagine - your app sucks.
  • dice regurgitates news from two months ago and slashdot posts it. It's like eating your own shit. Or maybe drinking the jizz that drips from your asshole. I'm sure Nerval's Lobster does both, if the slashdice bathroom cameras are accurate.

    Fuck, maybe next they'll post the one weird tip Lindsay Lohan uses to save money on car insurance.

  • Here's Why Apple Rejected Your iOS App

    My iOS app? What iOS app? I haven't written one.

    Just give me the news without trying to pal up to me.

  • what the heck does "Not enough lasting value" mean?

    Two words after this question, you link to Apple's guidelines, which clearly explain:

    Not enough lasting value
    If your app doesn’t offer much functionality or content, or only applies to a small niche market, it may not be approved. Before creating your app, take a look at the apps in your category on the App Store and consider how you can provide an even better user experience.

  • If they reject your app, they can tell you exactly why they reject it.. So why the F don't they do it, it's just ridiculous not to tell the exact reason..
  • Also, apps that report your location to emergency services are forbidden

    ... because that is *exactly* what this app [apple.com] does as it's only purpose. 112 is the emergency number in most of Europe, and the app is the official danish app for reporting your location to the emergency service.

  • by Bender Unit 22 ( 216955 ) on Monday October 27, 2014 @05:30PM (#48245561) Journal

    https://itunes.apple.com/dk/ap... [apple.com]
    It seems to be official and made by government institutions here in DK.
    I don't have a TV anymore so I haven't seen it as a public service announcement, but they might have aired it, I don't know.

    (not in english) https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    Denmark’s official 112 app is developed by The Danish National Police, Copenhagen Fire Brigade and The Danish Geodata Agency. It is financed by TrygFonden.

    With Denmark’s official 112 app you can call the emergency center and simultaneously send the GPS-coordinates of the cell phone. That way you can get help faster.

    - The 112 app is operational only in Denmark
    - The 112 app does not send any GPS-coordinates, if the GPS on the cell phone is deactivated
    - The 112 app can only send GPS-coordinates in locations with data connection.

    If your battery level is lower than 25 % the 112 app will make the call to the emergency center, but it will not send any GPS-coordinates. This is to make sure, that you can talk with the emergency center without running out of battery. The 112 app will also automatically stop sending GPS-coordinates, if your battery level gets below 25 % during your call.

    You can read more about Denmark’s official 112 app at www.112app.dk (Danish)

    Read more about when to dial 1-1-2 at www.112.dk (Danish)

  • Went the Android route and am very happy. I use a basic smartphone --one game that I chose, calculator, sms, telephone, email, camera, internet browsing and hotspot

    It fits into my shirt pocket. I don't expect it to break if I accidentally sit on it or drop it.

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