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App Rejections from Apple: Main Reasons and How to Make a Comeback


Written by on Monday, February 16th 2015 09:00

You’ve worked so hard to create your beautiful app, and in your opinion it is flawless...but then Apple informs you that they have rejected it. Now what? First you have to understand exactly why your app has been rejected, and then you need a game plan for what to do next. Read on to understand what to do if you find yourself in this disappointing situation.


What’s wrong with my app?

App Rejections from Apple: Main Reasons and How to Make a Comeback

First you need to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. Apple will send you an email with a yes or no decision, but they will not provide the explanation you are hoping for in this message.

You will need to go to your iTunes Connect account, and check the Resolution Center (a red link on the Version page of your app). There lies a more explicit explanation on what went wrong during the review. Apple may also provide screenshots or crash logs with messages, so don’t forget to have a look at the attached files as well. Doing this may be the simplest and quickest way to get answers to your questions.

Here are some of the most common reasons for rejection that we see here at GoodBarber:

 

Metadata Rejected

If your app has to be rejected by Apple, a metadata rejection is the best case scenario! This means that the review has only just been interrupted and can be resumed once you provide the missing information. In this case, you haven’t lost your place in the review line, and will not need to upload a new binary once you are done making the changes. 

The type of “missing information” that can cause this is most often an incomplete submission form, not providing a demo login account, lack of configuration instructions, or even outdated contact information. It is an easily avoidable situation usually caused by carelessness! 

Misleading , fraudulent, or irrelevant information in the app's description can also be problematic. If the way in which you describe your app isn't in total alignment with the actual content of the app, this will not fly.  

Metadata rejection can also be due to a screenshot issue, such as not enough screenshots, an irrelevant , useless, or misleading screenshot, or a screenshot that is not appropriate for all audiences (even if you have specified your app is for 17+). 
App Rejections from Apple: Main Reasons and How to Make a Comeback

Binary Rejected

If your app has been binary rejected, a little more work will be required for you to make a comeback. Some of the most common reasons for binary rejection are as follows:

App Rejections from Apple: Main Reasons and How to Make a Comeback
Get rid of the bugs before Apple catches them. Test your app over and over again and ask your friends to test it out too, as they will catch things that you may have overlooked. Your best bet is to go to the Test page of the My GoodBarber App, which will enable you to test the Native preview of your app. Most importantly, you will be prompted to download the test (Ad Hoc) version of your app, which is identical to what your users (and the Apple review team) will see, so this is crucial. Careful examination of all of these should reveal any problems or bugs which the GoodBarber support team can certainly help you to resolve before submission. Apart from bugs, be sure that the testing reveals all of your links to be working properly, including the required link to contact information. 

Undesirable content being present in an app is a common reason for rejection. Undesirable content can obviously include inappropriate or offensive subject matter, but could also be signs of Apple’s competitors (such as Android devices, Windows phones, etc.) being present (see section 3.1 of the Developer Guideline), whether pictured or referred to. Content that may be copyrighted is also a red flag for the review team, and you might need to show proof that you have legal rights to all of the content in your app, so be prepared to do so. 

Beautiful design is very important to Apple (you’re in luck because design is our specialty here at GoodBarber!), and a lot of emphasis is placed on User Experience. There are very strict design guidelines that must be followed in order to be up to Apple’s standards, and it is important to read these over and make sure you are in compliance before submission.
You need to make sure your app has a simple, intuitive, and attractive interface, and is 100% ready for customer download (this means no content placeholders!). Think about the type of product Apple puts out—shiny, sleek, classy, and overall gorgeous. Keep this standard in mind, and listen to Apple’s words of advice: “If your App looks like it was cobbled together in a few days….or if your app is plain creepy, it may not be accepted”. 


Consider the overall value of your app in terms of what is already out there. Your app may be perfectly crafted, free of bugs, and the loveliest thing you’ve ever seen, but does it offer something better than the other apps already in the store? If the review team believes that there is not a lot of demand for your app and it has nothing useful or unique to bring the table, it will be rejected. So do your homework: try to get a feel for the demand in your market, check out your competition, and figure out how to differentiate yourself. 

Now what?

Hopefully after having realized why you were rejected, you have a second wind and are ready to make the necessary changes! In Apple’s own words, “If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps.” You may be frustrated and angry, but going online and badmouthing Apple’s review team will get you nowhere! In order to continue with your efforts, you should first make sure you completely understand the grounds on which you were rejected. 
If the reason given in your Resolution Center is not clear enough, or if you feel it’s inaccurate (Apple can be wrong too, sometimes!), you can send a message and ask them for further clarification. They will provide a more detailed explanation and answer your questions. 

If your app has been Metadata rejected, just fix the issue and submit the app review again, there is no need to upload a new binary (.ipa file).
If it has been binary rejected, you will need to fix the issue, as well as upload a new binary, and then you may resubmit it for review.  If you are unsure where to begin, the GoodBarber team is happy to help you—you’re not alone! Just send us the whole report that is in your Resolution Center (including the screenshots) via a support ticket, and we will come to your rescue! 
If you feel that there has been a misunderstanding and they have made an incorrect or unfair conclusion, you can submit an appeal to Apple’s Review Board. 

It isn’t the end of the world if your app is rejected, because you can always try again. However, to avoid this hassle in the first place and the annoying wait period during a second review of your app, read our previous article on how to prevent being rejected and follow the steps closely. You should have nothing to worry about! 





1.Posted by Jeremy on 04/12/2015 5:37 AM
There are so many more hurdles to apple app submission than google store. I think we've managed to have apps rejected for most of the above reasons. Making sure that all of the 'electronic paperwork' to do with taxes etc are fully completed is a good idea too.

2.Posted by Mazi Oyo on 01/17/2017 1:27 AM
My app was rejected, and I do not understand the reason they gave, how can I send it you you for an explanation?

3.Posted by Isabella Leland on 01/17/2017 9:18 AM
Hello @Mazi Oyo, you should open a ticket to our Support team, right from the back office of your project. You can provide details or even a screenshot of the issue, and they will get back to you as soon as possible. Have a good day!

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