It just works.
This is one of the most famous mantras of the Cupertino corporation and represents one of the most successful marketing ploys that Apple has ever touted. Apple has long leveraged this idea to attract users to its Mac and iOS platforms – promising a seamless digital environment free of bugs, software hiccups, and tech nuisances.
However, for the immensely popular iOS platform, which powers all iPhones, iPads, and iPods – “it just works” means that every single app goes through a rigorous review and approval process. While this has helped avoid subpar software that has plagued other operating systems for years – Apple’s approval guidelines have often led to some questionable rejections and even company withdrawals of highly visible content. And when dealing with the highly competitive landscape of this market, developers and companies can ill afford to get their apps delayed unnecessarily.
So, how do you ensure your app gets through the submission process smoothly and efficiently?
Think Different: The world does not need another fart app – no matter how awesome it is. Likewise, there is a surfeit of tip calculators, weather indicators, and flashlight apps on the store. To that end, avoid the headache of rejection and avoid making an app that has already been made 100x over. Apps like this get rejected on a daily basis – odds are, yours will be no different.
Be efficient: No one likes a resource hog. Smartphone and tablet apps have limited computing power allocated to them. Apps that excessively use 3G or 4G data, or non-gaming apps that max out on graphics are more prone to get rejected for multiple reasons. First, they kill battery and they can lead to users going over on their data plans. Second, extremely resource intensive apps need to be developed with far greater acuity – they are more prone to crashes and are the first processes to be killed during multitasking.
Avoid Private frameworks: This one is a bit more technical, but essentially, iOS comes with a toolkit that makes it easy to access commonly used frameworks when building an app. For example, the toolkit has a framework that makes it easy for developers to access your device’s Address Book. These frameworks are categorized into 2 buckets: private and public. Apple condones the usage of public ones but will immediately reject any app using private ones. This is where it’s crucial to gauge whether your development team is coding to standard and isn’t cutting corners during app development – because it’s often extremely expensive and time consuming to correct this error.
Prioritize Design: We have an internal motto – “Design isn’t how something looks, it’s how something functions”. By this, we mean that poorly built apps, ones that do not take pride in craftsmenship and have no forethought in creating usable experiences are often easy to reject. With 700,000 apps on the Store, Apple is not starving for attention or demand – so they can easily afford to shun apps that don’t create compelling experiences for their customers.
By no means is this list comprehensive, but these are some common ways to avoid app rejection. And moreso, if your team does have an app that gets rejected – stay calm. If you’re willing to put the effort into fixing the problem points, engage actively with Apple’s judgment team, and have a strong, agile development team in your corner – you can often correct mistakes quickly enough to resubmit and (hopefully) get downloaded by million of customers.