You’ve spent months working with an app development team to create an innovative and user-focused app for your customers, and now it’s the moment of reckoning: submitting it to the App Store. Although Apple reviews thousands of new applications every day, the truth is that not all of those will be accepted; even Microsoft and Google have had apps rejected.

The last thing you want to do is spend several months and thousands of pounds on a new app for your business, only to be told that it’s not suitable. To help you, we’ve put together a simple guide to ensure that your new app will be approved on the Apple App Store first time.


See what Apple rejects

Every day, the App Store receives thousands of new submissions – but not all of them will be approved and made available to the public. The good news is that Apple is pretty clear on what it does and does not accept, and even has a dedicated section on its website outlining the most common reasons for an app to be rejected. Make sure that your app developer has read and familiarised themselves with the App Store guidelines before they start building.

One of the most common causes for rejection is bugs and crashes. You should only submit your app once it’s ready to go. Ensure it’s been tested on multiple iOS and iPadOS devices. Broken links are another common problem – everything from your contact information to your privacy policy must be tappable and lead to another page or pane within your application.

Placeholder content can also mean an automatic rejection. If your app is still in development, it’s not ready for the App Store, and you should turn to Apple’s TestFlight platform instead.

It is also important to ensure that App Store screenshots accurately communicate your app’s value and functionality – if the screenshots don’t match the user interface, Apple will reject it.


Keep it simple

We all want to create award-winning, career-defining applications, but the truth is that simple and straightforward apps are more likely to be approved quickly. Remember: you can add new features to your app whenever you want, so we recommend starting off with only the core functionality and then building upon it as users begin to use your app. That way, you’ll also be able to gather feedback from real-time users and tailor your software to their needs.

That’s not to say that Version 1 of your app has to be basic or a clone of an existing product.

Submit an application that you’d be happy for customers to see and interact with. But keep the bells and whistles to a minimum to help you sail through the App Store review team. The more features and functionality included on day one, the more likely you are to have to go back to the drawing board when something minor is flagged or rejected by the review team.


Be clear on what your app does

Unlike other app platforms, Apple physically reviews each and every application that wants a spot on the App Store – and because of that, your app needs to do what it says. Writing an app description may seem like a pointless exercise (who reads them?), but it can assist in speeding up your review process. By giving Apple (and end-users) an accurate and detailed overview of what your application does, the review panel will make an informed decision.

Outline what users can expect when they download your app, and why your software stands out from competitors’. Don’t be vague or promise future updates: sell your application in your description today. Why should someone download your application over another? What have you created that is so good, it cannot be ignored? You don’t need to be long-winded, but you do need to clearly outline and communicate your application’s objectives and selling points.


Be patient

When you do submit your application, it’s important to be patient. During busy periods, it can take several weeks for an App Store representative to look at your case, but according to the AppReviewTimes website, most applications to the App Store are reviewed within 48 hours.

Remember: your application will be reviewed by a real human working in the App Review division. These are actual app developers who have handled thousands of applications in their time working for Apple. Although Apple aims for 50% of apps to be reviewed within 24 to 48 hours, some cases may take longer when referred to the Executive Review Board.

Though it’s natural to be anxious about your application and want to see it in the App Store as soon as possible, you’ll need to exercise some patience. Spend some time preparing a marketing plan for your new iOS app so that, when it goes live, you can reach the masses.


Accept their recommendations

Even the best app developers in the world have applications rejected from the App Store from time to time. Although rejection can be discouraging for the entire team, it’s not all bad news: Apple allows developers to resubmit their applications once recommended changes have been made. Read through the reasons as to why your app was rejected and fix the issues as soon as possible. Apple occasionally uses a traffic light system if there are multiple issues with an application – amber for medium-priority, and red for high-priority tasks. Once changes have been made, you can resubmit your application and keep your fingers crossed!


If you’re looking to develop an application for iOS, reach out to the experts at Zudu today for a free consultation. We have years of experience helping businesses across the UK develop apps that revolutionise the way they work and change relationships with their customers.

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