Make no bones about it, getting any rejection is a kick in the teeth. You’ve poured your blood, sweat, tears (it happens) and hard investment into developing an app. There’s been highs and there’s been lows, but you’ve finally managed to drag it over the finishing line, kicking and screaming.
...But before you can find out whether your app is even any good, the App Store rejection email lands on your digital lap. :Facepalm. It’s almost like being dumped by text message. One of those real pit of the stomach breakup feelings…
But I thought we were over this!
But as with every break up, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Let us be your shoulder to cry on. And, when you’ve wiped the tears from your eyes, we’re conveniently here to guide you through next steps to help rebuild those bridges and get your app back on track.
It’s easy to feel deflated in the face of rejection but, in the majority of instances, the problem’s easily resolved. Over 14% of cases are rejected simply because they require more information. So, before you start cursing your app developer, assess the situation in detail – it might not be as bad as you think!
To do this, you’ll need to read more than your initial rejection email. The email may outline the “highlights” of the problem but you’ll need to login to your iTunes Connect account to get the gritty play by play. Once logged in:
Go to My Apps > Select your rejected app > Issues will be highlighted at the top of the page - click on this and you will be taken to the Resolution Center.
Here you will find the full extent of your woes, or not, as the case may be. Once you’ve fully understood all the pieces that make up your rejection puzzle, you and your developer can set out a plan of action to reassemble your app.
If your app developer isn't willing to help you with this, you might need to ditch them. Check out our free download on how.
If you’re still confounded as to what needs to be done to resolve the issue, then use the Resolution Center to talk the the reviewers of your app. Don’t look on them as the schoolyard bullies stealing lunch money from whomever they come across - instead, imagine they’re the Head Boy or Head Girl; polite, rather nerdy types who are utter sticklers for the rules. By going straight to the gatekeepers, you can save yourself a lot of time and stress by clarifying directly with the people with the keys.
The ‘resolution’ you negotiate with Apple may go through several steps where you will clarify what they are asking and suggest appropriate solutions. There are times when Apple will play coy (often in relation to in-app purchase restrictions) and you will just have to make changes and see if it makes Apple happier.
If you get really stuck you can request a call and get to talk to a member of the App Store review team.
With a response time of 2-3 business days, they will have the most experience with common app issues and should be able to shed light on your particular case and explain, in plain English, what your next steps should be.
Ask the audience
But what if the problems still persist? Well, now it’s time to call in the A Team of internet geekery for a second opinion because, in the vastness that is the internet, your answer is almost certainly out there. The most helpful forums to look at are:
- Google – Everything’s worth a Google, right?
- Reddit/Quora – These sites both rely on solving user problems and queries
- Stack Overflow – The world’s largest community for programmers (for the really complex nerdy issues)
Hopefully, trawling through these sites will give you some reassurance that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
When your frustration has abated, if you still seriously disagree with the reasons given for your rejection, it may be that the reviewer has made a mistake and this needs to be highlighted. Mistakes do happen and if you, or your developer, think that you are following the guidelines to the letter, you can contact Apple and ‘Appeal an App Rejection’ option in the Apple Review Members area. A word of warning - only use this as a last resort. You only want to go here if you have exhausted all options in the Resolution Center… Appealing an app rejection means you are going toe to toe with Apple and this step should not be taken lightly!
Take heart though. Unless a fundamental error has been made by you and your developer or a key guideline has been ignored - for example, you've developed an app which uses private APIs to record a user’s phone conversation without their knowledge - you should be able to find a compromise that satisfies Apples. At best, your release will be delayed while you negotiate with the review team. At worst, you will have to ask your developer to make changes to the app.
Don’t wallow in self-pity if your app gets rejected because, in the long run, they might have even saved your blushes. Clear it up with Apple, your developer and get the issue resolved as soon as you can. Then you can re-submit and prepare for app success!