5 Reasons Your App Could Be Rejected on App Store and Ways to Avoid them

Congrats, you have already spent months developing a mobile application; your team has been running various tests and getting ready for the release. Now is the time to publish your app and introduce it to users.

Irrespective of the software quality and the number of times you have tested, it is still subject to app store reviews. Submitting your ready-made app to the stores may be challenging. You will need to follow the guidelines and submission requirements to succeed.

It is crucial to consider the period of the application approval in your project timelines. It might cause delays in your operations if you plan on a promotional campaign.

The most famous app distribution platforms, App Store and Google Play, each have regulations. For example, the App Review team for the iOS platform receives thousands of app submissions weekly, and 40% of them get rejected.

Imagine that the manual review team is engaged in checking your app for violations, and it takes longer to approve. As an owner, you will receive the list of issues and the dismissed guidelines. Your team will have a chance to fix any mismatches with policy requirements before re-submitting.

The app submission process on Android is less complicated, and the review time is reduced to a few hours. The process is less time-consuming because it is optimized with the help of automated tools. The review algorithms check the app for any policy violations, and the review team looks through the application.

Imagine that the manual review team is engaged in checking your app for violations, and it takes longer to approve. As an owner, you will receive the list of issues and the dismissed guidelines. Your team will have a chance to fix any mismatches with policy requirements before re-submitting.

Even though the app store regulations are strict, you will experience fewer headaches working with Cypress. Our tech-savvy project managers and the development team already know the ins and outs of the app stores.

We have compiled a list of the most common reasons for getting your app rejected and have found ways to deal with them.

1. Permission Requests and Accessing User Data

One of the rejection reasons can be requesting permissions in the app that you do not use. Sometimes, it is not clearly described why the app needs to use its location. This will be a legit reason to reject the app as it can be a potential security breach.

Apps should follow the privacy rules set by Apple. It refers to storing, tracking, and sharing data with third parties. If your permission showcases any breach of these rules, your app will be removed from the store. Moreover, Apple policies claim that the control over their data belongs to the users only. Hence, you need to grant access to deleting all the copies of personal information you have ever acquired from them and stored on your side.

It is easily fixable as a mild violation if you receive a message about rejection. However, it is sometimes unclear where the issue comes from at first sight. Our team is already used to digging deeper, as the permission can also come from third-party services. In one of our recent cases, the app was rejected because our team used a third-party service. Eliminating the issue helped us get app store approval.

2. App Crashes and Significant Bugs

It is the straightest and easiest route to app rejection if your app crashes during the review process.

How does this happen? It is a lovely indicator of how thoroughly the App Store team reviews your app. It faces a range of stress tests as high quality and superb performance are in the first place of Apple standards.

How do you avoid this kind of rejection? You may need to perform the same level of performance testing yourself before submission.

If you plan to outsource your mobile app development, make sure the team has quality assurance engineers. Ensure that all the minor features are tested and exposed to possible scenarios. It is of utmost importance to test run your real devices to catch any glitches in the layout. You can use Apple’s TestFlight environment to test with beta users before launching on the App Store.

If professionals run both manual tests and use mobile application testing tools, your app will be fine-tuned for app store approval.

To stay realistic, we should mention that it is next to impossible to catch all the bugs. However, a highly experienced team can detect all major and significant bugs.

3. Absence of Privacy Policy

We have already talked about data collection and requesting permissions in the app. To elaborate more on this, let’s underscore the importance of a privacy policy. As a rule of compliance established by Apple, you should follow all the privacy regulations. Such organizations specify standards of conduct as GDPR in Europe.

Note that a privacy policy is a must-have even if you are not collecting any personal data from users.

The privacy policy should shortly describe how you use the data and whether you are sharing it with any third parties. Even if the privacy policy is a legal document, it is not that hard to write. If you find it hard to talk legal, you can use privacy policy generators. However, if you are still confused about handling the privacy policy, you can always ask a lawyer.

4. Issues with the Content and Plagiarism

What do we mean by this? First and foremost, let us clarify that gambling and pornography are prohibited in the App Store.

Apart from this prohibition, mobile apps should not play around with their brand identity. It is advised to present your services or products honestly, without misleading content.

How are your users going to find your app? Yes, strictly, keywords should be used according to the relevance of your app content.

If your app content or the functionality is an exact copy of an existing application, that will also lead to rejection. Apple accepts original content only because it cares about its end users. No level of plagiarism should be around during the app store review process.

Mind the use of language in your content, as Apple claims to be a safe place for all people. Stay clean and refrain from violence and discriminative content. Otherwise, you will be kicked out of the competition.

What else can go wrong with the content in the app? The links might be left broken; double-check them before a final run. Broken links are an indicator of poor performance.

Have you left any placeholder text unchanged? That “lorem Ipsum” content is incompleteness and poor quality. You need to run a thorough inspection of the app before submission.

Bonus tip for privacy policy:

Another element of the content consistency that our team has dealt with refers to Apple Pay use. When using Apple Pay, make sure you use all its branding elements in the app interface. That will count as one plus point.

5. Poor quality or an unfinished app

High quality and delivering value to end-users is the highest priority for the App Store.

Be cautious about meeting the text size, resolution, hit controls, and organization alignment requirements.

Apple has vast resources for developers to look through all the interface requirements. Our development and design teams follow the Human Interface Guidelines by Apple. A poor User Interface is a warranty for your app rejection. You can look through our blog article Mobile App UI/UX Design: Best Practices to have better insights into the industry standards.

What about an app that is halfway through? Don’t submit it yet; beta and 0.1 versions do not get approval. Beta versions and trial apps are to be tested on TestFlight.

So, we have covered most criteria that will ensure app submission approval. Make sure to tick all these on the checklist below before submission. Good luck with the project, and let us know if the Cypress team can be of any help for your mobile app.

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