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Home » Blog » Dealing with Apple App Store Rejection

Dealing with Apple App Store Rejection

Published on March 29th, 2012

As a beginning developer, I’ve only submitted a handful of Apps (9 total) to the iTunes’ store. I’ve been rejected a few times on submissions due to icons not matching or using trademarked materials (I was using a Windows icon on a button that I had to remove), but each time, I was given suggestions on how to fix and resubmit. This evening I received the following submission letter for my new zApp called iLost. This zApp was supposed to be a flashlight, compass, and map all in one.

We found that your app duplicates the content and functionality of apps currently available on the App Store.

Apps that simply duplicate content and/or functionality create clutter, diminish the overall experience for the end user, and reduce the ability of developers to market their applications. This is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.

We recognize that there is a wide range in the quality of flashlight apps and that yours may be of better quality than many others out there. Or, it may include features or characteristics that distinguish it as more than just a flashlight app – or even something other than a flashlight app. But your app prominently features flashlight functionality, which classifies it as a flashlight app. And we simply have enough flashlight apps in the App Store.

We encourage you to review your app concept and evaluate whether you can incorporate different content and features that are in compliance with the Guidelines.

Alternatively, you may wish to consider building a web app using HTML5. HTML5 is the major new version of HTML and enables audio and video to play natively in the browser without requiring proprietary plug-ins. Using HTML5, web apps look and behave like native iPhone and iPad apps, and using HTML5’s Offline Application Cache, your web apps work even when the device is offline. With web apps, you have flexibility to deliver as much or as little functionality as you desire.

If you wish to build an HTML5 web app, you can do so and distribute it directly from your web site. It is not appropriate to submit an HTML5 web app to the App Store.

The most interesting point was their suggestion to make a Web App after denying it for being a Flashlight. Do you think this reviewer realizes that HTML5 is unable to hook into the mobile phone’s light without xCode? While I understand their reason for denying my App, it is odd to think that if I remove the light, everything will be accepted as a compass and map. I’m going to resubmit this App and take the flashlight description out of the App text to see if it makes it through. Wish me luck!

About the Author: Sprawl

Stephen Russell is a Mobile App developer and all around IT geek that spends his days running data centers and his nights coding. This site is the go to place for all of zSprawl's work and the infamous development blog. In his free time, he enjoys tinkering with web code, playing video games, and otherwise plotting to take over the Internets.


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