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Developers all want to release the next big app.
That being said, for every SnapChat there is an app that never even makes it onto the App Store in the first place. Apple are renowned for being stringent in what they let onto their store and many developers find their ‘next big idea’ rejected before anyone can even download it.
So, how do you get an app accepted by Apple?
There are over 2 million apps currently available for download on the Apple App Store. Surely that means your app has a good chance of success? Well, not exactly because many people submit their app to Apple on a daily basis.
We can’t give you a 100% foolproof method to having your app listed but we can tell you what to do and what not to do if you want your app to at least have a fighting chance.
Test For Errors And Test Again
One thing that Apple absolutely hates is errors.
This can be an error in the code, a mistake in the navigation that sends everything haywire or it can be that simply your app just crashes regularly. Before you even think about submitting your app to Apple, test it and then test it again. Even a faulty version number can see your app being rejected and send you back to the drawing board.
The Fix-It feature on Xcode, Apple’s development software can be a great help here however don’t rely on it completely. Ensure that you have tested your app extensively for any errors that might cause Apple to reject it straight away.
Your App Takes Too Long To Load
We all hate websites that take an age to load even with the superfast internet speeds that most of us enjoy these days. Apps are no different.
The Apple cut off time for an app to load is 15 seconds. Any longer than this and iOS will shut the app down. So, any longer than a 15 second load and your app isn’t getting onto the App Store.
Remember to take into account slower connections and mobile data speeds too. Not everyone is connected to fibre wireless internet.
Avoid Mentioning Other Platforms
Apple don’t like it when you start to talk about Android and other app stores like Google Play on your app.
Even mentioning another operating system in the metadata will see your app being declined. Keep it strictly to Apple and to iOS. Any information that mentions other systems in the metadata, description, headers or anywhere that can be seen on the app itself will see your app being rejected right away.
Try using phrases such as ‘other devices’ to get around this if you have to because that is generally OK or if it does need to mention another operating system then this page will need to be opened externally rather than on the app itself. It is a small thing but something that can cost you big when you submit your app.
Describe Your App Accurately
This should be a straightforward thing but many apps get rejected because, well, Apple don’t know what the app is even meant to do.
Make sure that the description for your app is detailed (although it doesn’t need to be an essay) and sets out clearly what the app does and how it can benefit anyone that downloads it. Why would anyone download your app if they don’t know what it is about?
Even short descriptions can be rejected so keep this in mind. Having the price of your app in the name is leading to rejections too which includes it being free or at a reduced cost.
Be Creative With Your App
So far, we have just looked at what you shouldn’t do when pitching an app to the Apple App Store. When it comes to what you should do then being creative is the main method you should take. Apple’s own guidelines states that you should:
“Come up with your own ideas. We know you have them, so make yours come to life. Don’t simply copy the latest popular app on the App Store, or make some minor changes to another app’s name or UI and pass it off as your own.”
The message is clear. You may think that you have a great idea for a new app but is it really just a rip-off of something else that is on the App Store already? Slightly tweaking a popular app won’t get you on the Store. You need to create your own ideas. If you don’t have anything that is unique and distinctive then it probably doesn’t belong on the App Store anyway. Think of something that someone needs but isn’t there already. What do people want but they don’t have an app for it already? It isn’t easy but then again that’s why getting on the App Store is so difficult.
Getting Your App Accepted By Apple
If you follow these guidelines then there is a strong chance that your app will be listed on the App Store.
Nothing is certain. Even if you think that you have done everything right there is still the possibility that your app will be rejected. If this is the case then there is an appeal process than you can try to have the decision overturned.
For many developers, Apple can seem like a hard taskmaster when it comes to accepting apps however they have good reason for this. The Apple App Store only lists the best apps that actually work. There is no room to accept an app that crashes, doesn’t do what it is meant to, takes an age to load or is just a rip off of something else that is already on there.
If you really want your next big idea to be featured on the App Store then make sure you put in the preparation before you submit it. Put in the groundwork now and the chances of your app being accepted will be quite high.
Izaak Crook is a Digital Marketing Executive for AppInstitute, a SaaS App Builder platform that allows anyone to create their own iOS and Android app without writing a single line of code.