All applications should be built according to the requirements that the Google Play Store and Apple App Store provide. If you want your app submission to go smoothly, you must follow these requirements. If you don't, your application may be rejected. It’s necessary to get acquainted with the reasons why apps get rejected in order to safeguard your development and avoid app rejection.
The following list is the peak of the iceberg in terms of what you need in order to upload your digital solution to Google Play and the Apple App Store:
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To publish your app, app owners need to create either Enterprise or Individual (Small Business) account. To maintain accounts on both stores, you need to pay a yearly fee. An account for apple costs $99, and an account for Google costs $25. If your submission is incomplete, review times may be further delayed or your app may be rejected. Once your app has been reviewed, its status will be updated and you will be notified. The publishing process takes from 1 to 2 business days.
Once you’ve submitted your app for review, you can view its status in the My Apps section of iTunes Connect or on the iTunes Connect App for iPhone and iPad or in the Google Play Console for Android.
You should always take into account holidays and maintenance days because they can significantly delay publishing. If you don’t get a reply, you can always check Apple services at developer.apple.com or check the Google Play Console.
You should familiarize yourself with possible reasons for rejection to make sure you build your platform with the proper technical, content, and design criteria. We’ve picked out the most common issues for which apps are rejected to help you prepare for reviewing your own app.
For a detailed list of guidelines used to review apps, visit App Store Review Guidelines.
Crashes and bugs. Apple will reject any application that has bugs or that crashes. Test your digital solution on devices and fix all bugs before submitting.
Irrelevant content. Your app will not be approved if images and text haven’t been finalized. Applications that are still in progress and contain placeholder content will not be approved.
Incomplete information. Make sure you enter all detailed information needed in the App Review Information part of iTunes Connect. If your application features require signing in, provide a valid demo account with username and password. If there are special configurations to set, include the specifics. If your app has a hard-to-replicate environment, you’ll need to provide a demo video. What’s more, you need to keep your contact information complete and up-to-date.
Poor UI. Apple wants to ensure that every app’s interface is clear and user-friendly, and they highlight their expectations in their design guidelines and UI Design Dos and Don’ts. If you fail to meet interface requirements, you’ll get a rejection from Apple.
Inaccurate descriptions. If your description and screenshots don’t clearly explain the app’s functionality, it will be difficult for users to understand what your platform does and your app will be rejected.
Misleading users. If you promise certain features and functionality in your advertising and don’t deliver on what’s promised, you won’t get an approval from Apple either.
Advertisements. Test whether your app displays ads properly across all devices. You’ll be asked if your app uses the Advertising Identifier (IDFA). If you indicate that your app uses IDFA but it doesn’t have ad functionality or doesn’t display ads properly, your app won’t be approved. Similarly, your app will be assigned the Invalid Binary status if you hide the fact that it does use IDFA.
Web content. Apple expects the most efficient use of unique iOS features when it comes to websites, web content, and web interactions. You app shouldn’t be anything but responsive, useful, and engaging to be approved.
Similar apps. If you’re submitting two applications that are similar, that may be grounds for rejection. Consider combining your apps into one in case they don’t get approved on their own.
Lack of value. If an app doesn’t offer sufficient functionality or content or only applies to a small niche market, it may also not be approved. Take a look at the apps in your category on the App Store and consider how you can provide a better user experience.
Interesting fact: in 2017, more than 700,000 apps violated Google Play policies. Google removed these bad apps. In fact, 99% of apps with abusive content were identified and rejected. This was possible through significant improvements in Google’s ability to detect abuse through new machine learning models and techniques. 100,000 applications were also taken down. This has made it more difficult for bad actors to create new accounts in an attempt to publish another set of bad apps.
- sexually explicit content
- things that potentially endanger children
- graphic depictions or descriptions of violence or violent threats to any person or animal. Instructions how to engage in violent activities like bomb- or weapon-making.
- apps that promote self-harm, suicide, eating disorders, choking games or other acts that may result in injury or death.
- bullying and harassment
- hate speech
- reference to sensitive events like disaster, atrocity, conflict, and death gambling
- illegal activities
- inappropriate user generated content
Impersonation. Google doesn’t allow apps to use another app’s or entity’s brand, title, logo, or name in a manner which may mislead users. Impersonation can occur even if there isn’t an intent to deceive. Be careful when referencing any brands that do not belong to you. This applies even if that brand doesn’t yet have a presence on Google Play. In short, don’t steal anyone’s intellectual property. Always strive to be one of a kind.
Neglecting privacy and security. Google is committed to protecting user privacy. They provide a safe and secure environment for users. Apps that are deceptive, malicious, or intended to abuse or misuse any network, device or personal data are strictly prohibited.
Monetization. Apps that have in-store or in-app purchases must comply with the Google Play In-app Billing Guidelines. Apps that don’t clearly state specific or additional charges to access certain features in their descriptions will not be approved.
Ads. Google Play doesn’t allow ads that are deceptive or disruptive. Ads must only be displayed within the app serving them and are considered part of the application. The ads shown in your app must be compliant with all Google policies.
Spam and broken functionality. Apps that crash, force close, freeze, or exhibit other behavior not consistent with a seamless user experience usually get rejected. Apps that spam users or Google Play with unsolicited messages as well as duplicate and low-quality applications also get rejected, especially when they don’t install, install but don’t load, or load but aren’t responsive.
Families and COPPA. Google Play is a rich platform. It aims to offer trusted, high-quality, and age appropriate content for families. If your application doesn’t comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and other relevant laws, it will get a rejection.
Apple and Google moderate submissions and sometimes reject apps after the first review. They usually send an email that describes the violation. Then you need to delete the old build and load a new build that fixes the issues stated in your rejection letter. After that, Apple or Google review the application again and give you a reply within two business days. In addition, you can open a ticket in the resolution center if you feel there was a misunderstanding regarding your Android app. As far as Apple, you can write a comment on the Apple developer iTunes Connect site. If the mistake is on the side of either app store, your build will be approved when the issue is resolved.
If you want to get your app published, you need to follow the guidelines that the app stores provide. These guidelines aren’t designed to restrain you but rather to help you create an app that results in returning customers. These requirements allow stores to determine whether applications are reliable and perform as expected. If you take these requirements to heart, they’ll allow you to develop a digital solution that will be approved quickly. Remember that avoiding violating requirements is always better than trying to rework your app to meet them after the fact. However, you shouldn’t get discouraged if you get a rejection since there’s always the possibility to fix errors and submit your app again.
If you’re looking for a skilled development team to build your app with, contact one of our sales representatives. We’ll be happy to create a frictionless user experience for your target audience that adheres to Google’s and Apple’s policies. See our portfolio to get an idea of our expertise.