As part of preparations for the iOS 8 release, no doubt, Apple released a list of the top 10 reasons why apps were rejected near the end of August. This is a gift for all developers really. Not only does the list point the way toward avoiding common blunders, but it shows that the easiest way to position yourself for success is by taking care of the simplest details.
Here are a few guidelines for ensuring that your app receives the green light to enter the App Store and continue on to glory:
Submit all required information
If they’ve asked for it, it means they want it. There’s no free pass, no wiggle room. Give them everything that they’ve asked for. Guys and girls, slow down for a second and don’t give anyone a good excuse to ignore you. Think about how many apps the average person must have to review. Incomplete information is a worker’s golden ticket to go to lunch early.
Similarly, if someone wants to test your app, set them up with a valid username and password. This is just basic courtesy. Show people that you value their time and effort. Make life easier for people to give your app every chance it deserves.
Probably you spend a lot of time thinking about your ideal user, but what about the user least likely to give his approval? Imagine your app in the hands of the laziest person, the most cynical, a nervous wreck. What nudge would it take to bring them onboard? If getting started is a little complicated, provide a demo video or instructions. That way, if they don’t bother, it’s at least not your fault.
Asking someone to use your app is sort of like inviting them into your house, right? You want your guests to feel comfortable and excited to share time together. That’s not gonna happen with bugs around. So, clean up your mess as best you can before inviting anyone over. Or they’ll stay away.
Remove Placeholder Text
Leaving placeholder text on your app is like showing up to a party with yellow stains on your shirt. Even if some people need to look a little closer before they figure out what’s not quite right, a wider and wider empty circle is going to form around you.
Show who you are clearly and accurately Don’t fudge when it comes to advertising or license agreements, or categorizing your app. Make sure you’re ready for the leap into the public. This isn’t the place for “beta”, “demo”, “trial”, or “test” versions.
Does your name, your icon, reflect your app fittingly and stand apart from other apps? Just because Angry Birds and Twitter are huge hits doesn’t mean you should go for an aviary theme. If your app helps people find dog grooming services, birds will confuse users. Not to mention, as a newcomer, you’re setting yourself up for unfavorable comparisons with smash successes. Be original and memorable.
Links should work. Screenshots should be helpful and descriptive. People will have to find you for the right reasons and grasp what you’re about incredibly fast. No margin for error here.
Offer a Smooth Interface
Apple stresses that they place “a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought through interfaces.” Look at the examples they provide (seen below). Do you know anyone who would tolerate working with that mess on the right? Of course not. And you’re app shouldn’t aim to be the first.
Follow the design guides and UI Design Dos and Don’ts. Have content fit screens. Be legible. Align text and images (clear images) so that relationships are understood effortlessly. Supply easy and natural touch controls.
If Apple rejects your app for any of these reasons, they’re doing you a favor. It’s hard enough to stay visible once in the market with a zillion other apps. Without passing these basic tests you’d only be guaranteeing yourself a much more painful and expensive heartbreak.