Apple App Rejections and How to Resolve Them

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Whether it's a new or existing app, the information you have added in your AppBuilder may be rejected by the app stores during their review. Make sure to check the App Store Review Guidelines so you can be confident your app will get through the review process quickly. 

App Store Review Guidelines 

 

IN THIS ARTICLE

1. Common Rejection Causes

2. Common Rejection Messages and How to Resolve Them

3. Frequently Asked Questions

 

Apple App Rejections and How to Resolve Them

Common Rejection Causes

Here are the common rejection causes for newly submitted apps or new releases:

  • Wrong Metadata

    Metadata refers to your app's description, developer name, title, icon, screenshots, and promotional images. 

    Descriptions are a key part of any app – this is what potential users will see before purchasing, and they need to understand what your app is all about. Providing insufficient or inaccurate descriptions for your app will lead to rejections.

    Overview of the most common causes of rejections:

    Ensure that all your app information and metadata are complete and accurate including links that are added. Links should be working. 

  • Screenshots

    These are part of your app’s description. They help users understand what to expect from the app. You need to make sure that you have at least 3-4 screenshots that give viewers a clear depiction of the app’s interface and features. According to the App Store Guidelines, your screenshots should show your app in use, and not merely the title art, login page, or splash screen. They may also include text and image overlays and show extended functionality on the device.

  • Using Placeholder Texts

    Apple doesn't allow any placeholder text, such as "coming soon”, “This is an example", or “Lorem Ipsum”. Submissions to App Review should be final versions with all necessary metadata and fully functional URLs.
  • Changing Your Pricing Plan Prices Often

    You can continue editing your app while waiting for it to be approved however, changing the subscription price before approval causes rejections and back and forth messages with Apple as this usually causes major confusion with the reviewers. Please wait for the recent submission to be approved before making any changes to your subscription prices.

     

  • Monthly Subscription for 6-week Plans

    Rejections may arise when you write "6 weeks" anywhere in the app summary, price name, sales page, etc but set the plan price as a "monthly subscription". This will not make sense with Apple since the course will only last for weeks.  

    To avoid this rejection, kindly state that new content will appear every month and that end-users will achieve great changes within 6 weeks.

  • Mentioning COVID/Corona or Similar Terms

    App stores are very conscious about the current global situation and don't want anyone to take advantage or profit from the pandemic.

  • Data Protection

    Including sentences in your app description like: “Bonus: You will be included in an exclusive WhatsApp group”.

    Apple may reject your app due to conditions that:

    1) They don’t know how you are going to obtain the subscriber’s phone number

    2) They are worried your app might be malicious and obtain data without the person’s consent. In these cases, rejection is immediate, and you have to explain the whole process of acquiring the subscriber’s phone number, making sure you comply with the GDPR (European) and PII (American) regulations.

    Best solution: Avoid including phrases like this in your app summary or in any of your content. You can instead share this in your ads, webpages, community posts but not in the content that is visible in the app stores.

  • Promoting External Payment Outside of Apple/Google in the App Summary

    Both Apple and Google take 30% commission from the payments performed in their app stores, and they don’t allow anyone to use their stores while taking payments externally since it goes against their guidelines. If you want to unlock features or functionality within your app, you must use in-app purchase.

  • Not Having Any Products Published

    At least one product (course) has to be published and added to the pricing option. Otherwise, Apple sees an empty shell of an app and it gets rejected.

Important: Take into account that all messages start the same way: We discovered one or more bugs in your app when reviewed on iPad running iOS XXX on Wi-Fi. This doesn’t mean that your app doesn’t work on iPad running iOS whatever version on Wi-Fi. That is just the device the reviewer used to see your app, and they have to include it in the message. 

 

Common Rejection Messages and How to Resolve Them

Note: Please remember to take a careful look at the examples and make sure it’s consistent with the message that was sent to you specifically. Feel free to add/edit what you may think does not apply before sending the message over to Apple. 

 

  • Guideline 2.1 - Performance - App Completeness

    We still discovered one or more bugs in your app when reviewed on an iPad running iOS 13.4.1 on Wi-Fi.

    Specifically, we were unable to sign up for an account. An error message was displayed during the process.

    Resolution: (Use response below to send to Apple)

    Thanks for your response. Please note that this is not an error.

    When you get an error message when signing up, it means the email address you provided is already in our database and you can just log in using that email and the associated password.

    You can also sign up using an email address that has not yet been associated for sign-up with any apps from Passion.io apps

    Kindly review again.

  • Guideline 2.1 - Performance - App Completeness

    We discovered one or more bugs in your app when reviewed on an iPad running iOS 13.4.1 on Wi-Fi.

    - We were unable to buy a subscription, the “Start Now” button was unresponsive.

    Resolution:

    If you receive this rejection, check the Pricing Plans that you're offering in your SalesPage and make sure that the information matches that on App Store Connect. If it's missing any of your pricing plans, follow the steps on how to re-submit the In-app purchases. Make sure to reply to the review team first before sending the app again for review.

  • Guideline 4.2 - Design - Minimum Functionality

    We found that the usefulness of your app is limited by the minimal amount of content or features it includes.

    Next Steps

    We encourage you to review your app concept and incorporate different content and features that are in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.

    We understand that there are no hard and fast rules to define useful or entertaining, but Apple and Apple customers expect apps to provide a really great user experience. Apps should provide valuable utility or entertainment, draw people in by offering compelling capabilities or content or enable people to do something they couldn't do before or in a way they couldn't do it before.

    Resolution:

    Check your PassionApps specifically PassionProducts if the app has sufficient content. If not, add more content before submitting the app for review.

  • Guideline 3.1.2 - Business - Payments - Subscriptions

    We noticed that your app offers a free trial without implementing the offer in App Store Connect. Offering free trials through App Store Connect ensures that when the free trial period is over, the user will automatically be billed (unless the user has canceled the subscription).

    Resolution:

    Make sure to add the free trial period if your pricing plan has a free trial added to it. If not, you can respond to Apple and let them know that you don’t intend to provide a free trial for the contents.  

  • Guideline 5.1.1 - Legal - Privacy - Data Collection and Storage

    We noticed that your app requires users to register or log in to access features that are not account-based.

    Resolution:

    Advise the app review team that your app is account-based and users need to at least register an account before gaining access to the app.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. The rejection message isn't shown in this article. What should I do? 

Some rejection messages from Apple are new or maybe uncommon. If the rejection requires technical intervention from our side, please don't hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. You can reach out via email or chat. 

2. When can I expect a response from Apple regarding my rejection response? 

Apple usually responds and provides feedback within 24-48 hours. 

 

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