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Appstore App Rejection Criteria – What Does Apple Try to Hide?

Why Appstore app rejection criterial seem so misleading? No wonder that Apple’s app store has been under sever attacks in the past months. Indie iOS developers are abandoning the platform concluding that the platform goes towards consolidation where no place is given to them. Its policy of featuring Top lists has discouraged developers from focusing on quality apps and instead focus only on quantity. The Open Letter to Tim Cook by an ex Apple executive just shows how serious the situation is in this regard.

Most of all the double meaning and practically ridiculous app submission review process which flooded the web with satirical stories featuring why different apps’s submission inside Appstore has been rejected seems to be the cherry of the top (read the story of the founder of Tapdaq).

Eventually Apple decided that it may be time to give us slice of bread instead of breadcrumbs. Although it does not tell a lot as publicized, Appstore’s latest update does provide some level of certainty over what are the most common Appstore app rejection criteria . Below follow the Top 10 reasons why your iOS apps could be rejected from the Appstore (courtesy of the official Apple developers page):

Crashes and bugs

You should submit your app for review only when it is complete and ready to be published. Make sure to thoroughly test your app on devices and fix all bugs before submitting.

Broken Links

All links in your app must be functional. A link to user support with up-to-date contact information is required for all apps, and if you’re offering auto-renewable or free subscriptions or your app is in the Kids Category, you must also provide a link to your privacy policy.

Placeholder Content

Finalize all images and text in your app before sending it in for review. Apps that are still in progress and contain placeholder content are not ready to be distributed and cannot be be approved.

Incomplete Informationapp store app rejection criteria

Enter all of the details needed to review your app in the App Review Information section of iTunes Connect. If some features require signing in, provide a valid demo account username and password. If there are special configurations to set, include the specifics. If features require an environment that is hard to replicate or require specific hardware, be prepared to provide a demo video or the hardware. Also, please make sure your contact information is complete and up-to-date.

Inaccurate Descriptions

Your app description and screenshots should clearly and accurately convey your app’s functionality. This helps users understand your app and makes for a positive App Store experience.

Misleading Users

Your app must perform as advertised and should not give users the impression the app is something it is not. If your app appears to promise certain features and functionalities, it needs to deliver.

Substandard User Interfaceappstore guidelines

Apple places a high value on clean, refined, and user-friendly interfaces. Make sure your UI meets these requirements by planning your design carefully and following our design guides and UI Design Dos and Don’ts.


When submitting your app for review, you’ll be asked whether your app uses the Advertising Identifier (IDFA) to serve advertisements. If you indicate that your app uses the IDFA, but it does not have ad functionality or does not display ads properly, your app may be rejected. Make sure to test your app on an iOS device to verify that ads work correctly. Similarly, if you indicate that your app does not use the IDFA, but it does, your app will be put into the “Invalid Binary” status.

Web clippings, content aggregators, or a collections of links

Your app should be engaging and useful, and make the most of the features unique to iOS. Websites served in an iOS app, web content that is not formatted for iOS, and limited web interactions do not make a quality app.

Repeated Submission of Similar Apps

Submitting several apps that are essentially the same ties up the App Review process and risks the rejection of your apps. Improve your review experience — and the experience of your future users — by thoughtfully combining your apps into one.

Not enough lasting value

If your app doesn’t offer much functionality or content, or only applies to a small niche market, it may not be approved. Before creating your app, take a look at the apps in your category on the App Store and consider how you can provide an even better user experience.


Frankly our team of iOS developers was not thoroughly impressed by these recommendations, attributing them as too generic. Apple for example is far more nebulous when it comes to more specific reasons why an app is rejected or a developers’s account is flagged, such as:

  • Keyword stuffing,
  • Using of private APIs,
  • Incentivized or purchased reviews of past apps,
  • Frequent app re-skins
  • User scenarios of utilizing push notifications for marketing purposes
  • Strict attitude towards apps that mimic some of the AppStore’s basic functionalities (the famous example of Appgratis)

What say you? Are the Appstore app rejection criteria listed above useful to any extent for you or you would rather join the club of iOS developers who would simply describe App Store as Just One Inconsistent Loop?

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