The 4 Reasons Your App is Being Rejected and What You Can Do to Prevent This Best practices when dealing with Apple's app review team

App Review | AppManager

One of the worst things an app developer can experience is when their submitted app is rejected during the approval process. We’ve compiled the major reasons apps will be rejected by reviewers, and how developers can prevent this from happening to them. Reasons for rejection usually boil down to the following

Missing Demo Account

If there are features on your app that require signing in, please ensure that you provide the reviewers with a valid demo account username and password. If your app includes interaction between multiple accounts – e.g. following or sending items to each other, then it would serve you better to have at least two functional demo accounts that can be used by the App Store Review team.

A guide, indicating how two users can interact with each other, would be helpful too. It’s something we tell our customers everyday: Use the review notes proactively. It’s the best way to “start” the conversation with the reviewer and avoid rejections in the first place.

Use the review notes to tell the reviewer how to use your app, what the main functions or interactions are. Anything that’s not 100% obvious should be within the review notes. From our experience deploying 100s of apps per month, they also seem to set a better tone with the reviewer then in the end: they are also just people doing their job!

Screenshot of app review notes and login field in AppManager.io
Example of the app review notes field and login. Source: AppManager.io

Crashes and Bugs

This one should be a given. If the App Review Team finds that your app crashes or bugs out regularly, they will reject the app immediately. The presence of crashes or bugs on the app is a clear indicator that you need to test it further and iron out all the kinks before submitting it for approval, again. Ensure that you test your app on multiple devices to make sure that it runs smoothly on all of them, too.

Same goes for any placeholder content: Apple is very rigid when it comes to any “unfinished” stuff within your app: No mentioning of beta, alpha, testing or any other “coming soon” stuff that makes your app look unfinished or still in the works.

Make sure you have an up and running app, without any obvious bugs and crashes. Use real devices to test your app, before submitting it to the stores. Apple’s own TestFlight makes on device testing even easier. With their latest addition of the public sharing links, getting external testers is just a click away.

Inaccurate Descriptions or Metadata

Descriptions are a key part for any app – how else do you expect potential users to understand what your app is all about? Providing insufficient or inaccurate descriptions for your app will lead to a negative App Store experience for any user – and this is grounds for immediate rejection. Attention to detail is important when it comes to app development. You can’t afford to be slack with your descriptions.

Screenshots are also a part of your app’s description. They help users understand what to expect from the app. It doesn’t help to have a couple of vague screenshots of your app’s interface. We’ve seen Apple reject apps for only providing a screenshot of the login page, so they actually do care about a great experience for everyone.

You need to make sure that you have 5 – 7 screenshots that give viewers a clear depiction of the app’s interface and features. Failure to do so could cost you the approval of your app and draw time and resources.

Overview of the most “obvious” rejections:

  • Mentioning future functionality and features like: coming soon, coming shortly, with the next release, arriving soon
  • Mentioning alpha, beta, testing or similar (see above)
  • Using placeholder text
  • Mentioning other platforms like Android, Amazon, Blackberry or Windows
  • Mentioning Apple products and copyrights in an incorrect way (https://developer.apple.com/app-store/marketing/guidelines/#section-legal)

Little to No Lasting Value

 If your app has little to offer when it comes to functionality or content, there is a very high chance that it will not be approved. The App Store is an incredibly competitive platform, and the App Review Team is focused on ensuring that the store offers users the best apps possible. Before you develop your app, you need to observe the apps that are in the same category as yours and find ways to provide a far better user experience. The core essence of all apps is value. What are you trying to offer users that they have not received elsewhere?

You also need to be wary of the niche your app belongs to. Developing an app for a small niche market will lower your chances of being approved.

A few other things developers need to be aware of are:

  • App metadata: Make sure that the information provided in your app’s metadata is correct – and present. This also includes links, make sure that all the links are working.
  • App Store Guidelines: This one should be a given, too, but you need to be 100% certain that your app is aligned with the App Store Guidelines otherwise it will not be approved.
  • Personal Information: Every bit of information you request from users – email address, date of birth, phone number, etc. needs to be for a valid, specific reason otherwise your app will be rejected.
  • Placeholder Data: This is almost as bad as having major bugs in your app. If there is any dummy data, “Lorem Ipsum” text, or inactive links present on your app, it will be rejected.
  • Guides: If your app features functions that need explaining, you need to include a demo video that explains these functions properly. The App Review Team receives hundreds of app submissions – the last thing they want is to try and figure out how your app works.

Developing a successful app is hard work. It’s easy to get caught up in the process and forget a series of important things. Additionally, no one wants to have their app rejected. Having to go through the process of fixing the app, resubmitting, and hoping it is approved is an experience many can go without.

That’s why developers are turning to AppManager – a platform that’s made the app development process much easier for teams all over the world. Whether it’s an app for the App Store, Google Play, or even the Amazon Appstore[*], AppManager has got its clients covered.

Choosing to sign up for AppManager’s services could save you and your team an incredible amount of time and money.

What are you waiting for? Contact us and find out how we can make your life that much easier for you, today.

[*]Services for developers working on apps for the Amazon Appstore is still a beta version.