Apple: 'Plain creepy' or 'cobbled together' apps should brace for rejection

Apple: 'Plain creepy' or 'cobbled together' apps should brace for rejection

Summary: Apple has updated its App Store review guidelines ahead of the unveiling of the iPhone 6 and release of iOS 8, telling developers of "plain creepy" or "cobbled together" apps to brace for rejection.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iOS
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(Source: Apple)

Apple has updated its App Store review guidelines ahead of the unveiling of the iPhone 6 and release of iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

The new guidelines are written in a clear, and mostly jargon-free language, and Apple even provides a list of bullet points outlining the broader themes of the guidelines. Apple doesn't pull any punches here.

What qualifies for rejection? Here are just a few pointers given by Apple:

  • "If your App doesn't do something useful, unique or provide some form of lasting entertainment, or if your app is plain creepy, it may not be accepted."
  • "If your App looks like it was cobbled together in a few days, or you're trying to get your first practice App into the store to impress your friends, please brace yourself for rejection. We have lots of serious developers who don't want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour."
  • "We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, 'I'll know it when I see it.' And we think that you will also know it when you cross it."

The bullet points conclude with this rather ominous warning:

  • "This is a living document, and new Apps presenting new questions may result in new rules at any time. Perhaps your App will trigger this."

There are sections in the guidelines covering HomeKit and HealthKit too.

HomeKit apps that gather data for "purposes other than improving the user experience or hardware/software performance in providing home automation" will be rejected, as will HealthKit apps that don't have a privacy policy.

HealthKit apps also "may not use user data gathered from the HealthKit API for advertising or other use-based data mining purposes other than improving health, medical, and fitness management, or for the purpose of medical research."

Also, if you are worried about your health data being stored in the cloud, then don't be, because apps that use the HealthKit framework to store users’ health information in iCloud will be rejected.

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Topics: Mobility, Apple, iOS

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50 comments
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  • I see nothing clear about...

    "...if your app is plain creepy..."

    and:

    'We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, "I'll know it when I see it"'
    ye
    • Creepy, as in "fart" apps and underarm noise apps, and facial contortion

      apps. They are creepy or useless or both.

      When they get cut from the Apple store, the number of apps in the store will be cut in half, at least. ;)
      adornoe@...
  • What the hell does "cobbled together" mean

    is that technical language? Thanks for the precision Apple.

    After all, t isn't as though we developers are detail oriented, right?
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • They're trying to give the impresson that, they're looking after the apps

      store, and for the good of it's customers.

      IN the end, Apple won't remove anything from the store that brings it any kind of income, and that add to the number of apps in its store.
      adornoe@...
    • ???????????? Looks like Android OS; you know, cobbled.

      Nuff said.
      Cayble
  • Well, the reason I won't buy an iSomething

    They could just go right ahead and say "We'll arbitrarily decide if we want your app in the store or not".

    There was a time when I kinda liked Apple, the 80s and 90s. The Mac was considerably more user friendly than the PC. My GF in the 90s got one, and.. It just did what she wanted to no fuss. They had a bit of a control freak mentality back then too, but since they were so small, they couldn't really push it that hard. The iPhone and it's rise to dominance kinda shows what they would've been like if the Mac had been able to get Windows kind of market share back then.

    Seriously, Apple has made and still makes a lot of good products, but they really need to be in a niche position, to keep their strong "we will decide what's good for you" tendencies in check.
    Dear Holy Stasis
    • Apple already in niche position

      Apple is already in a niche position: EXPENSIVE high end technology that the many in the mass public cannot afford if they had to full price. Apple iphone products are for people who want the product that works and doesn't need customization. And then that's where android phones satisfy many users who have to tweak their fancy dancy not-super-expensive phones like how android users used to constantly tweak and customize their windows computers back in the old days because computer users have old tweaking habits that they cannot break.
      i-want-gizmos
      • Windows Phone is also a great "It just works" option.

        Plus one can be had for under a $100 without contract.
        ye
      • High-end prices...

        ...but not high-end features. Apple's costs are exactly like those of other manufacturers, meaning they do NOT use premium components. But their prices are much higher and that explains their much higher profit margins. It's really simple math, although clearly beyond the grasp of the fanboys...
        siskol
        • The scary thing is fanbois are happy to trumpet how Apple is...

          "But their prices are much higher and that explains their much higher profit margins. "

          ...taking more money out of their pockets. As if what's good for Apple is good for them! They've come to identify themselves with Apple.
          ye
          • No one cares about any of that

            What do I care what money a company makes or doesn't make - what is this to me?

            Does a product work for me or not? Why I should care about anything else is beyond me.

            (The people who make my phone are near bankrupt I mighty note.)
            Mac_PC_FenceSitter
          • Yeah, why should you care...

            ...if a corporation mistreats workers in China. After all, they're just an inferior race that Apple fanboys make fun of all the time (and the irony being that science departments are crammed with Asians...) Right?

            ...if a corporation evades taxes. What do you care, right?

            ...if a corporation treats their customers like dirt (not that they don't enjoy it, of course, but that's another matter...)

            ...if a corporation is a serious environmental offender.

            All you care is to be the first to grab the iPhone 6!!

            Welcome to America!!
            siskol
          • Oh please

            you do know they're all using the same contractors to build their stuff, right?

            If you want an "all made in America" solution, I'm sure there's a hammer for sale at the hardware store... because that's about all you're going to find whose manufacturing chain is purely stateside.

            Worst argument ever.
            Mac_PC_FenceSitter
          • Ya siskol, your argument against Apple is weak.

            There really isn't any significant point to Apple being kicked around like some ugly duckling of an American company or something. Let me explain some things here.

            A long time ago in the western world we decided to let corporations exist. Many people in the psychological sphere over the years have pointed out that one of the major problems about a corporation its treated as an entity unto itself, and really does become an entity unto itself and psychologist's have said if ever such a person as a corporation existed, it would clearly be exhibiting psychotic tendencies with its built in lack of concern for humans on a human level as opposed to only profitability concerns to the exclusion to all else.

            For example, its well known and has been revealed on numerous high profile occasions that a company with a flawed product that is likely to cause "some" currently unknown level of human suffering will not be recalled on that basis, just to remove that "possibility of human suffering", that's not part of a corporations "thinking" because it dosnt necessarily translate into better profitability although it obviously translates into greater likelihood of less human suffering. The corporation will only want to recall that product if the "bean counters" find that keeping the flawed product on the market is more likely to have some kind or another net negative effect on profitability. Like law suites or negative press.

            We as democratic societies have allowed this kind of entity to exist and as such they do and to a very close degree all the large ones are close to the same in most respects. That includes Microsoft, Google and Apple as well as many many many more across the world.

            Complaining much about how one acts this way or that only begats fair comment on how the competition has been comparatively lousy in their own search for profits.

            Now, Im not saying we shouldn't be concerned about this built in problem corporations have in their mentality; oh no, far from it. I think we need to be thinking all the time about how to get some of this anti human outrageous behavior of corporations under control. Look at the issues and problems they now assess to BP for the gulf oil spill. That happened because of someone, or some 'many' under the corporate spell of seeking more profit over not only human safety in immediate terms, but in the long term as well by way of potential massive environmental damage that's impossible to put right in any short order. So ya, we need to have the kind of concern big time in this regard.

            BUT! Is there any point in trying to say that Apple is some kind of greater more unique corporate offender? Not really. All these corporations need to start answering to humans for a change yes, but trying to make Apple sound worse than the rest dosnt get much traction for any important purpose.
            Cayble
        • I beg to differ: Apple offers something than no other maker does,

          and that's the Apple logo.

          It's a fashion statement, and the iFanatics will pay anything to get it with the latest piece of Apple gear.
          adornoe@...
  • uh oh, the App Store could be loseing some weight

    Instead of a million apps it may drop to 250kmor less. Certainly fart apps are creepy :-) and as a performance engineer I know most of the apps I've seen appear cobbled together as best in a most haphazard fashion befitting the throw stuff against the wall and see want sticks project style.
    greywolf7
    • You have this thing

      about fart apps in Apple's App Store but fail to recognize that fact that fart apps are present in Android's Play Store, in the Windows Store, were present in other app repositories that WM and BB devices could access prior to Apple's foray into the app world... funny thing about hypocrisy - it blinds you to the facts.
      athynz
      • The article is about Apple and Apps in its App Store

        Typical Fanboy, can't stay on topic and has to try to distract from the truth.
        greywolf7
        • Yes it is

          but the point remains germaine. Your original comment was meant to imply that the Apple store is uniquely inflated due to what we can only read into your comments as a lack of curation up to this point... perhaps resulting in a number of apps that would make your favoured platform look better by comparison.

          athynz responded (correctly) with the app store's lack of exceptionalism in this area.

          That might not be a liked point, but it is a valid one. Since the app store appears to be no more or less prone to "fart apps" and the like than other stores, it stands to be no more pruned than any other store, when it comes time for curation.
          Mac_PC_FenceSitter
        • Whiny Fandroid Troll

          You really invest a lot of your self esteem into the perceived superiority of your tech choices, don't you?
          suicidy