Failure to Launch: Rejected from the App Store

Being rejected from the App store doesn’t mean it’s the end, but it does mean you should re-evaluate what you’ve previously created. Check out some of the reasons your app may have been rejected – it may just be that you need to make some easy changes or start back at square one – but we doubt the latter. Take a peak!


Your app takes awhile to load

You may not have known that there is an enforced start up time for all of the mobile opporating systems including iOS, Android, and Windows.  The limit for iOS, is 15 seconds – talk about a quick first impression. If your app doesn’t load by the 15 second allotted time, the App Store won’t be interested. Unfortunately in some cases your app will load within that time say, at home on your wifi, but it all depends on local testing and slower network connections, hardware, and seemingly small differences in the testing environment can cause your app to start too slowly during the review process.

To combat this issue, look beyond the iOS simulator and test on a variety of hardware, including older models to assure your app starts smoothly and within those 15 seconds – you’ll be happy you did it and you’ll be handing off a better product in the longrun.


Payment outside your platform

Apple has a requirement that states that any digital content in your app must be sold through the built-in iTunes-based in-app purchasing mechanism already in place. This rule actually applies to both one-time purchases and digital subscriptions. That means, if your app accepts a different payment mechanism, it will more than likely be rejected – which is why apps like Kindle app do cannot allow users to purchase new books. This also applies to web pages linking from your app: remember when Dropbox was rejected by Apple because they had a web based screen containing a link to purchase more space?

It happens to the big guys too, so your best bet is to remove any linked purchases or tweak them to meet the demands of the App Store.


You mentioned the word “BETA”

The use of the word “beta” is generally a tip off that your app is unfinished. Where Google has a standard to launch services into beta, Apple has not and can be rather strict about what gets through, because of what they deem “finished”, and unfortunately beta is a red flag. The same rule applies for apps labeled “preview, or version“


Pretend there are no other platforms

It sounds deceptive, but how offended would you be if your significant other called you by another name or mentioned an ex? It’s kind of the same rule, and this isn’t only Apple specific. Basically, don’t mention rivals and don’t let the App Store know that your app is able to run on other platforms. Make Apple feel special, it’s all part of the courting process. If you want to make your app available on Windows or Android, tell users that on your website, but not in the app or App Store description.


The use of trademarks and logos

This is a big one and while you may already know this but do not use any trademarked material, Apple icons, or logos anywhere in your app or product images! It’s something you may not have even considered, but this list includes using icons that feature a drawing of an iPhone. Apps get denied all the time for having trademarks in the keywords of the app.


Crashes after denied permissions

In case you haven’t noticed, in iOS 6 users are supposed to give initial permission for apps to access things like your contacts, photo gallery, location, camera, Facebook, Twitter, really anything. Users can choose to grant or deny access to apps and if someone testing it does deny access and the app crashes or exits – this is a giant no-no. The app should be able to function without granted access – even if that is the sole purpose of the app. Think Instagram, if a user says “absolutely not, I do not want this app to access my photos, I only made an account to stalk my ex” then technically the user is able to do that and the app should function as such.

This is one of the things that they will absolutely test for, and you’ll need to test as many combinations of “allow” and “deny” the entire data range your app uses, and don’t forget if the user ends up allowing access, but later but later denying it in Settings to cover all your bases.

There are other reasons your app may have been rejected by the App Store, but you shouldn’t freak out, it happens to a lot of people, and it doesn’t mean you can’t try again. If any of this didn’t make sense, or you feel in over your head, consider working with a company that knows the rules of the road to make your next submission, for a stress free chance of getting your app up and running.