Apple has published a list of the top 10 reasons why it rejects apps from the App Store, in order to help developers prepare for its tough review process.
As Microsoft knows, keeping an app store clear of misleading or half-baked apps isn't easy. To clean up its young Windows Microsoft Store, the company this week gave removed 1,500 misleading apps that didn't comply with its current policies.
While Microsoft has perhaps been too lax in the past, Apple has gained a reputation for being tough — being at times overly picky and vague about its reasons for rejecting apps, with some decisions giving rise to the occasional conspiracy theory that Apple rejects apps to protect its payments turf or steals features from apps it's barred from the store.
Apple has now shed some light on reasons for common app rejections with the list, to be updated monthly. According to the company, it's meant to help developers prepare before submitting their creations to Apple for review. The list also highlights the lengths Apple goes to curate its store.
While it might help clear up some the small things developers forget before submitting, there are loads of reasons why Apple rejects apps, some clear and others not so transparent.
For example, the top reason for apps rejected in the week prior to 28 August was "more information needed". While it's a fairly vague reason, Apple notes in its "incomplete information" guidance that developers need to provide a valid demo account username and password if their app has features that require signing in. Other items under the list include providing up-to-date contact information.
The second most common reason for rejection was "apps that exhibit bugs", followed by apps that don't comply with Developer Program License Agreement — the one Apple updated recently to prevent HealthKit app developers from selling user's health information to ad networks and data companies. The fourth reason was apps with overly "complex or a less than very good" user interface. Together, the top four accounted for 36 percent of rejections.
Some of the main issues that may be familiar from Microsoft's recent tackling of its Windows Phone Store and Microsoft Store come in after that.
Five percent of rejections were for "apps with names, descriptions, or screenshots not relevant to the App content and functionality" and five percent for "apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations or use names or icons similar to other apps will be rejected".
And while Google has set a pattern of releasing products that can seem to be indefinitely in beta, Apple rejects any apps that are beta, trial, or test versions.
The top 10 reasons account for 58 percent of rejections, while "other" reasons each at less than two percent make up the remainder.