Under the Radar

Under the Radar 21: App Store Rejection


00:00:00   welcome to under the radar a show about

00:00:02   independent iOS app development I'm

00:00:04   Marco Arment and I'm David Smith under

00:00:06   the radar is never longer than 30

00:00:08   minutes so let's get started so today we

00:00:11   wanted to talk a little bit about app

00:00:15   review and specifically avoiding App

00:00:17   Store rejection I've run into some

00:00:19   recent challenges with app review and

00:00:22   this is just sort of par for the course

00:00:24   and it seems like a good opportunity to

00:00:26   talk about this like it's a as much as

00:00:28   it's easy and nice and fun to talk about

00:00:31   the building an app process like the

00:00:34   part of actually you know designing it

00:00:36   implementing it testing it and even in

00:00:38   some ways even like submitting it that

00:00:40   process like avenge at some point your

00:00:43   app is going to go through the app

00:00:44   review process if you're you know if

00:00:46   you're an iOS developer and there's you

00:00:49   know a very reasonable chance that at

00:00:52   some point one of your apps is going to

00:00:54   be rejected and it's probably worth

00:00:57   saying that this is very common

00:00:59   like I've been rejected I've been

00:01:00   rejected many times over the years I've

00:01:02   been doing this for seven years and it

00:01:03   isn't like you know somehow and I get

00:01:06   rejected it's always been sad and and

00:01:09   and complicated but it isn't something

00:01:12   that that's like and life-shattering and

00:01:14   like oh no this is terrible because you

00:01:16   know it's a process and you can usually

00:01:18   work your way through like for the with

00:01:20   a very few exceptions almost all the

00:01:21   times I've had an app rejected I end up

00:01:23   working with without review that's

00:01:25   either a misunderstanding or I just need

00:01:26   to change something small and subtle in

00:01:28   my app and you can work your way through

00:01:31   but there's a lot of things that you can

00:01:33   probably do to avoid it in the first

00:01:34   place and then just sort of some things

00:01:37   that I think we're going to talk about a

00:01:38   - of things - how to respond in an

00:01:41   appropriate and constructive way when

00:01:43   things don't go quite your way because

00:01:47   it's a big part of the process and it's

00:01:48   also certainly something you want to

00:01:49   keep in mind when you're planning your

00:01:51   release

00:01:52   like if you're especially if you're

00:01:53   trying to release something with a

00:01:55   specific date in mind I think right now

00:01:57   Apple quotes that like 98% of new apps

00:01:59   are reviewed within five days right now

00:02:02   click on the on their support website

00:02:04   which is probably I think you don't take

00:02:06   them at the word that's probably true

00:02:08   but you that doesn't mean that once you

00:02:11   submit your app will be ready in five

00:02:12   days

00:02:13   is you know every time you get rejected

00:02:15   you kind of have to restart that clock

00:02:16   and so I tend to expect things to take

00:02:19   at least two weeks like 14 days to be

00:02:23   you know from when I submit it when it

00:02:25   will be ready for the store and by and

00:02:27   large unless you know things are going

00:02:28   very problematic or it's a really really

00:02:30   really busy time of the year that

00:02:33   usually sort of seems to work out yeah I

00:02:35   mean it you know it this is probably a

00:02:38   bigger problem with consulting where you

00:02:39   have to where the client wants to know

00:02:41   like when's it's gonna be ready and you

00:02:42   kind of can't give them a guaranteed

00:02:45   date but you know anytime you're

00:02:47   planning any kind of marketing push

00:02:49   which you probably should be with almost

00:02:50   any kind of app you make these days it

00:02:52   is kind of a problem to not know when it

00:02:55   will actually be released and you know

00:02:57   if if you can if you can have everything

00:02:59   kind of like uncommitted and just kind

00:03:02   of like in draft mode you know with all

00:03:04   your marketing and everything then you

00:03:05   can you know just release it whenever

00:03:07   you get approved or you know within that

00:03:09   ideal day of you know if you want to

00:03:11   wait till it's on a weekend or wait till

00:03:13   it's not midnight or whatever that's

00:03:15   probably a better idea but otherwise if

00:03:18   you have to commit to a firm date to

00:03:20   somebody the only real way to do that is

00:03:23   to set the app for hold for developer

00:03:25   release and get it approved first and

00:03:28   then set it to 8:00 and of course that's

00:03:31   very time-consuming because then you

00:03:33   have to basically write the entire app

00:03:35   like maybe a month before you want to

00:03:36   actually release it because you have to

00:03:38   allow all these padding for everything

00:03:39   so I think it's just you know anything

00:03:42   you can do both for your for your client

00:03:44   if you're a consultant or for yourself

00:03:46   if you're not - and anything you can do

00:03:49   to kind of reduce people's expectations

00:03:50   of having a precise release date for an

00:03:52   app store app will help you if there

00:03:55   because that's that's the reality of

00:03:57   what we're dealing with here with that

00:03:58   review and it's always been that way and

00:04:00   it's always been you know it's always

00:04:03   been you can get it released within a

00:04:05   week most of the time but not all the

00:04:08   time and you can't guarantee that and it

00:04:10   might be long or you know and you can't

00:04:11   even say oh well maybe we'll get

00:04:13   rejected once and then second time well

00:04:15   it will get through you can't even say

00:04:16   that because the second time you know

00:04:19   first of all it might take longer there

00:04:20   there's occasionally times where you get

00:04:22   stuck in i purview for weeks and you

00:04:23   don't really know why and maybe you got

00:04:25   a like email developer relations to have

00:04:27   kik-kik it for you and get it going

00:04:28   again or something and sometimes things

00:04:30   require manager review if you're like

00:04:32   kind of on the edges I mean which we'll

00:04:33   get to so there's you know you can never

00:04:36   really be sure how long it will take and

00:04:38   so anything you can do to not depend on

00:04:41   that or to not guarantee that to anybody

00:04:43   else the more you can do that the better

00:04:45   yeah

00:04:46   and it's just sort of part of the

00:04:48   process and it's probably one of the

00:04:49   things to keep in mind with like the

00:04:50   number one rule of app review in some

00:04:52   ways is to like keep calm and try and

00:04:55   not have it be a pressure thing because

00:04:58   it was just very easy much easier said

00:04:59   than done and I'm speaking that from

00:05:00   very specific experience where it's hard

00:05:03   to not be calm but anything you can do

00:05:06   like you're sort of like to take

00:05:08   pressure off that process to have it not

00:05:09   be like but I have to have this out by

00:05:12   this particular day like that is a

00:05:14   makeover asking for trouble because this

00:05:17   is the process we have like app review

00:05:18   exists for a purpose

00:05:19   you could disagree with that purpose or

00:05:21   not but like it exists so this is the

00:05:23   like these are the rules of the store

00:05:24   and so it's just something that we have

00:05:26   to as developers keep in mind and plan

00:05:29   accordingly yeah it's not going anywhere

00:05:31   like if you if you're sitting I mean

00:05:34   even the most hardcore developers who

00:05:37   were really super against the idea of

00:05:39   the App Store in the early days I don't

00:05:41   know anybody who is still fighting the

00:05:44   fight of saying there shouldn't be a

00:05:45   preview like everyone fought that fight

00:05:47   in 2008 and I don't think anyone is

00:05:50   still is still expecting that to change

00:05:52   and ultimately I like the idea of a

00:05:55   preview and I usually like the imitation

00:05:57   of it there are parts of it that I think

00:06:00   need to be reconsidered or need to be

00:06:03   improved but overall the concept of app

00:06:06   review and most of the execution of it I

00:06:09   think is actually beneficial to both us

00:06:11   and our customers and as an app store

00:06:13   customer also I appreciate that as

00:06:16   they're exactly because it's you know

00:06:18   it's its goal is to try and maintain

00:06:21   sort of a certain like be this line in

00:06:23   the sand to try and say like you have to

00:06:25   meet this bar and we can argue about

00:06:28   where that bar is but yeah I'm very glad

00:06:30   that there is a bar and both it's

00:06:32   helpful as a developer to you know have

00:06:35   some have a goal in mind and I think in

00:06:37   general I wish the bar were a bit higher

00:06:39   for a lot of in a lot of

00:06:40   cases but it's the bar that exists that

00:06:43   we have to at the very least reach

00:06:46   so let's probably start talking about

00:06:48   that bar and there's a couple of links

00:06:52   we'll have in the show notes about this

00:06:53   that Kapil is pretty helpful in terms of

00:06:55   their documentation about app review

00:06:57   about what to expect and they have a

00:07:00   really helpful page that if you haven't

00:07:02   looked at your of kind of doing this

00:07:03   wrong of common a projection reasons and

00:07:06   they have a page where they list out

00:07:08   like what are these our most common

00:07:10   reasons and they even include at the

00:07:12   bottom like for certain periods of time

00:07:15   they'll say what the most common reasons

00:07:17   were for a projections before we get

00:07:20   into those first thing you always have

00:07:21   to do when you think about app review is

00:07:23   read the actual app review guidelines

00:07:25   like if you haven't read the rules

00:07:27   there's really no way that you could

00:07:29   reasonably expect for your app to pass

00:07:32   review except by luck and there's a lot

00:07:35   of them I counted them up but in

00:07:37   preparation for today's show and there

00:07:39   are currently a hundred and eighty-two

00:07:40   app review rules and they're broken down

00:07:43   into all kinds of different categories

00:07:44   they're all different kinds like there's

00:07:46   ones that are functional there's ones

00:07:47   that are more privacy related there's

00:07:50   ones that only apply to certain apps you

00:07:52   know so if you're a health app there's

00:07:53   certain rules that apply to you if

00:07:55   you're a insurance company there's

00:07:58   certain rules like there's all kinds of

00:07:59   very some of them are very specific some

00:08:01   of them are very broad and it's one of

00:08:03   these things that periodically you

00:08:04   should probably just like read through

00:08:06   the app review guidelines and make sure

00:08:07   that you at least know what begley

00:08:09   what's going on there it's good you know

00:08:11   sort of ignorance of the rule isn't

00:08:13   going to be a particularly useful

00:08:15   defense if app review comes back and

00:08:17   says hey you know you need to change

00:08:18   this like oh I didn't know it's like

00:08:20   well you know it's it's in it's in the

00:08:23   guidelines but on that page the most

00:08:26   interesting thing that I see that when

00:08:28   they break down kind of the typical

00:08:30   reasons that people get rid get rejected

00:08:32   like at least a quarter of them are in

00:08:36   some ways entirely avoidable

00:08:38   so fourteen percent they said of a

00:08:40   projections happen because the developer

00:08:43   did not provide enough enough

00:08:44   information that's like the service

00:08:46   catch-all more information needed which

00:08:48   I would take to me like you didn't

00:08:50   complete you didn't do something

00:08:52   complete and you're

00:08:53   like episode description your

00:08:55   screenshots or your doing something

00:08:57   funny that they need more clarification

00:08:58   on which is a just as a side note is

00:09:01   when you submit an app there's a little

00:09:04   box that says review reviewer notes and

00:09:06   if you don't you're not putting anything

00:09:08   in there you're probably like way sort

00:09:11   of doing doing it wrong because I'm

00:09:13   doing that I think that's your

00:09:14   opportunity if there's anything that's

00:09:16   weird or edge KC or that your reviewer

00:09:19   could get confused by like you can write

00:09:21   a little note and review will row but

00:09:23   will read it before you before they look

00:09:26   at your app and so anytime you're doing

00:09:28   anything that could be problematic like

00:09:29   kind of preempt that by saying hey I'm

00:09:32   doing this in this app you know maybe

00:09:34   like in if it requires a certain kind of

00:09:37   permission or you can explain why it

00:09:39   requires that permission you know so

00:09:40   like in pedometer plus plus it's like I

00:09:42   have a little note that I usually submit

00:09:44   along with it it says like it requires

00:09:46   motion tracking permission and that's

00:09:48   what it uses to come you know to counter

00:09:49   steps if you don't provide this

00:09:51   information it shows you an

00:09:52   informational screen in the app

00:09:53   indicating that you know it needs that

00:09:55   permission in order to gather the data

00:09:57   or something like that but like 14% of a

00:09:59   projections are because you didn't

00:10:01   provide enough information and then

00:10:03   another 10% our apps that exhibit bugs

00:10:07   which is typically I in this case I

00:10:09   think crashes is probably the biggest

00:10:11   category of um of bugs but like

00:10:14   ultimately if you're submitting an app

00:10:16   that's crashing in the brief window that

00:10:20   the app reviewer is looking at it like

00:10:23   something's got missed in QA probably

00:10:25   because they're probably really not it's

00:10:27   not the kind of bug that they're going

00:10:28   to be like importing you know 10,000

00:10:30   records into your database and really

00:10:32   working I like pushing your app to the

00:10:34   limit like I expect they're probably

00:10:35   sitting down with your app and using it

00:10:37   for five minutes at most and so if it

00:10:40   crashes in that first five minutes like

00:10:42   you've probably done something not quite

00:10:43   right in your testing phase like you

00:10:46   should probably have been able to

00:10:47   replicate the crashed if they're having

00:10:49   in the first place

00:10:50   yeah I mean it this is and this is one

00:10:53   of the reasons why a projectionists or a

00:10:55   preview is so good for work for

00:10:57   everybody because yeah I mean there are

00:10:59   there are lots of crashes that get

00:11:01   through review and that shipped to

00:11:02   customers but I know a lot of developers

00:11:05   myself included who

00:11:07   who a preview has saved us from

00:11:09   accidentally shipping something that

00:11:11   would have affected a lot more people

00:11:13   like you know they test a lot about the

00:11:16   app like you know for instance like if

00:11:18   you if you're new user registration or

00:11:20   login process is broken and you ship a

00:11:23   bug fix update that you think it's just

00:11:24   a bug fix and you don't test new user

00:11:26   logins because you didn't hit that

00:11:28   during your like hour of testing on your

00:11:30   own phone they will hit that and and

00:11:34   then you don't accidentally break the

00:11:35   app for all of your customers during the

00:11:37   next week while you can get in while you

00:11:39   can't get other bug fix out so this is

00:11:41   like the the guideline where like if

00:11:43   your app crashes or exhibits obvious

00:11:45   bugs during review you will definitely

00:11:47   get rejected that is great and I think

00:11:50   that's totally unarguable like whether

00:11:52   that should be there or not exactly yeah

00:11:54   like that's the kind of and it will a it

00:11:57   certainly happened to me too yet where

00:11:58   you it's it's a lovely thing where

00:12:00   they'll catch something that you just is

00:12:02   it's usually not hard to recreate but

00:12:05   it's just a situation that you may not

00:12:06   you may have missed like it's on a

00:12:08   particular device or like on a fresh

00:12:10   install on a particular device you'll

00:12:13   have an issue or are things like that

00:12:15   and it's certainly the nice thing that

00:12:16   it's like there's this last sort of

00:12:17   sanity process like definitely don't

00:12:19   rely on it as a QA process like app

00:12:21   review is not a like it's not like oh

00:12:23   you know I don't need to worry about

00:12:25   doing basic QA because f of you will

00:12:28   find it like that is entirely the wrong

00:12:30   way to look at it it's more like it's

00:12:32   this last chance to catch a bug that may

00:12:35   otherwise get through but once we're

00:12:39   through kind of like that was those

00:12:40   first two like you just didn't provide

00:12:42   enough information to app to Apple or

00:12:44   there's like obvious and clean sort of

00:12:47   glaring bugs in it like we'll then we

00:12:49   start to get into rules and things that

00:12:52   become much more I don't know like

00:12:55   squishy you know things like they like

00:12:57   got a guide let rule 10.6 is one of

00:12:59   these like apple and our customers place

00:13:02   a high value on simple refined creative

00:13:04   well-thought-out interfaces they take

00:13:07   more work but they're worth it annapolis

00:13:09   that's a high bar if your app is user if

00:13:11   your user interface is complex and less

00:13:13   than very good

00:13:14   it may be rejected and like six percent

00:13:17   of apps are rejected for not meeting

00:13:20   that criteria

00:13:20   I wonder I'd love to see those six

00:13:22   percent because if you look if you look

00:13:25   at what's in this store I would describe

00:13:27   many apps that I come across in the

00:13:30   store as having you eyes that are less

00:13:32   than very good it's so you've got to

00:13:35   wonder what else they're seeing that

00:13:36   gets that six percent rejection because

00:13:38   this is one of those areas where I would

00:13:39   love for the bar to be higher yeah

00:13:42   exactly like it's been it's just this is

00:13:44   these are they're like there's some of

00:13:45   the guidelines that are like negative

00:13:47   and there are some that are almost like

00:13:49   more positive like a more like

00:13:50   aspirational like I like the concept of

00:13:52   this rule and like I like the way it's

00:13:54   written even like I think that's a

00:13:55   really good thing and like being more

00:13:58   strict on that is certainly something

00:13:59   that could be helpful but it's certainly

00:14:02   something to keep in mind that like yeah

00:14:03   like Apple is going to look at your app

00:14:05   and if you really is just kind of like

00:14:07   shoddy and thrown together there's a

00:14:09   good chance that it'll be rejected as a

00:14:12   result and so you know like work hard on

00:14:15   your app make it look good you know try

00:14:17   your best like especially an ice since

00:14:19   like at the iOS 7 stuff like a lot of

00:14:21   these things are much easier to do then

00:14:23   they may have once been to kind of make

00:14:25   an app that looks and feel that you know

00:14:26   feels at home on the platform and you

00:14:29   know is is good in the in that kind of

00:14:31   visual sense but you know like know that

00:14:33   if you don't you might get called on

00:14:36   this yeah and it's this is one of those

00:14:39   rules that it's it's very hard to

00:14:41   enforce consistently by a large staff of

00:14:44   a whole bunch of humans and and this is

00:14:46   part of the problem that review well you

00:14:48   know one of the biggest problems they

00:14:49   have is just inconsistency of

00:14:51   enforcement and you know we can sit here

00:14:53   and we have and say like we'd love for

00:14:55   that for the bar to be higher on like

00:14:57   the UI quality rule but the higher they

00:15:01   make it the the more we're gonna see

00:15:03   people getting rejected for things that

00:15:05   are arguable or that they shouldn't have

00:15:07   been rejected for and we don't like that

00:15:09   and we blog about that so you know I I

00:15:12   don't know I think it this is one of

00:15:16   those things where it I wish the rule

00:15:17   was more strict but if it were it might

00:15:20   just cause more problems

00:15:22   maybe yeah and then it's like it's

00:15:25   probably also worth it's like the

00:15:26   reality with app review is and this is

00:15:28   something very important when you are

00:15:30   dealing with the rejection is the

00:15:31   understanding that like the people who

00:15:33   are doing app review

00:15:34   our people like their individuals whose

00:15:37   job it is to go to work every day and

00:15:39   they sit down and they go through

00:15:40   applications and they try make decisions

00:15:43   about them and you know people are

00:15:46   flawed and make mistakes and if they

00:15:48   make mistakes and my experience half of

00:15:49   you is very good about correcting those

00:15:51   mistakes but you know you're there some

00:15:54   inevitably there's going to be

00:15:55   subjective decisions that someone has to

00:15:57   make they have to look at it and it's

00:15:59   like is this good enough is this good

00:16:00   enough like it's there's something like

00:16:02   if your app crashes like it's a binary

00:16:05   thing like it as soon as I grab crashes

00:16:07   it's failed for a review like that's

00:16:08   just sort of like the rule it's

00:16:10   something like a you know a refined

00:16:12   quality interface like finding that line

00:16:16   is inevitably going to be more difficult

00:16:17   and so just sort of give a preview some

00:16:20   grace about if we're having a Miss if

00:16:23   you have a misunderstanding with them

00:16:25   about what that might be

00:16:26   then you know just kind of have to have

00:16:28   to work through that at a human level

00:16:30   that you're just trying to convince

00:16:31   somebody who's doing their job you know

00:16:34   that your app is actually good enough

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00:18:27   course there are many other rules that

00:18:30   we could talk about oh yeah

00:18:32   and just like kind of like as a guiding

00:18:34   principle like in general I feel like a

00:18:36   lot of people look at the app store

00:18:39   rules as though they as though it's like

00:18:41   a legal contract you can try to really

00:18:43   wiggle your way around and it's very

00:18:45   important to consider that the app store

00:18:47   rules are not laws an app review is not

00:18:50   a court of law

00:18:51   and you know while while you can like

00:18:55   whether there are parts of it the kind

00:18:56   of sound like it like there's the appeal

00:18:58   process and everything but it's always

00:19:00   important to remember that these rules

00:19:04   are broad usually they're vague they are

00:19:08   made to be subjectively interpreted by

00:19:11   the app reviewers and their managers and

00:19:13   they also are not the complete list of

00:19:15   rules and the rules can change over time

00:19:17   so really what matters is the spirit of

00:19:21   the rules not the letter of the rules

00:19:22   because they're all being subjectively

00:19:24   evaluated and you can't guarantee that

00:19:28   if you if you are trying to skirt around

00:19:30   a rule by using some kind of

00:19:32   technicality in the wording or

00:19:33   interpreting something differently

00:19:35   that probably won't work and if he gets

00:19:37   through once it probably won't get

00:19:38   through the next time you gotta do an

00:19:39   update and so it's it's wise in general

00:19:42   to just avoid being near the edges of

00:19:45   the rules you know avoid relying on

00:19:48   things that are almost disallowed or

00:19:50   almost against the rules but you're

00:19:52   living on the edge because it's going to

00:19:55   bite you eventually you know again you

00:19:57   might get through this time but then

00:19:58   when you need to submit an urgent bug

00:19:59   fix that might get rejected for

00:20:01   something the first

00:20:02   past four that wasn't even included in

00:20:04   the bug fix but like it you know just so

00:20:06   happened Oh like Oh your login screen

00:20:07   plays weird tricks that are kind of

00:20:09   against the rules so we're gonna reject

00:20:10   those important bug fix so generally

00:20:13   speaking this is not a place to to try

00:20:16   to play fast and loose or try to live on

00:20:18   the edge of a certain interpretation of

00:20:20   a certain rule because that's not how

00:20:22   this works

00:20:22   yeah exactly and like and especially

00:20:26   when you start to get into like the next

00:20:28   most popular reasons that people are

00:20:30   rejected or become start to become

00:20:31   things that are very obvious that aren't

00:20:34   good like they tend to start to get into

00:20:35   things around like to being fraudulent

00:20:37   or misleading be not dealing with

00:20:40   people's personal information correctly

00:20:41   like having misleading or inappropriate

00:20:44   trademark violations like things that

00:20:46   are kind of obvious and problematic and

00:20:47   if you're doing those things like you

00:20:49   really are in trouble like the place to

00:20:51   push the boundaries in your application

00:20:53   is not on the policy side it's almost

00:20:57   certainly going to be on the technology

00:20:58   side like doing something new and

00:21:00   interesting functionally rather than

00:21:03   trying to like find some new way to sort

00:21:06   of game the App Store because like you

00:21:07   said like Apple at any point like it's a

00:21:10   very one-sided relationship and you

00:21:12   could argue back and forth about whether

00:21:14   that's a good thing or not

00:21:15   but at the end of the day if Apple

00:21:16   doesn't like your app they don't have to

00:21:18   publish it it's not a situation that

00:21:20   even if if we know if like you could

00:21:24   you're you in your heart of hearts could

00:21:25   thinks this app belongs on the App Store

00:21:27   if Apple disagrees that's where the way

00:21:30   it is and by and large I think they're

00:21:32   fairly good stewards of that power but

00:21:35   ultimately that's the reality and so

00:21:37   trying to do things that are gaming or

00:21:40   being aggressive with the you know

00:21:41   against the rules is just never going to

00:21:43   work and it's just not productive yeah

00:21:46   you you basically you can't rely on

00:21:48   getting away with it you know like this

00:21:51   like if if you if you think you can get

00:21:52   away this thing's another you know

00:21:53   they're parts of your life because you

00:21:55   can live on the edge of rule or you can

00:21:57   find a little loophole Apple doesn't

00:21:59   care if what you do technically is

00:22:02   allowed by the wording of a certain rule

00:22:04   if it violates what they believe to be

00:22:07   the spirit of the rule you're gonna get

00:22:08   rejected simple as that

00:22:10   and you can complain as much as you want

00:22:11   you can you can blog about it you can

00:22:14   get pressed about it but ultimate

00:22:16   yeah they they make the final call and

00:22:19   you you just have to accept that and you

00:22:22   can you can you can argue about it but

00:22:24   that arguing about it won't usually get

00:22:26   your app back in the store unless it's

00:22:28   really unless it's like really truly

00:22:30   arguable and they are undecided

00:22:32   internally about what the policy should

00:22:34   be and then you can you can argue for

00:22:36   certain things to be changed like when

00:22:37   things are new and they're still

00:22:38   figuring out the rules around certain

00:22:39   things but stuff like the 30% cut and

00:22:41   trying to get around that which

00:22:42   everybody wants to try to get around

00:22:43   these days trying to have like an in-app

00:22:46   purchase through your website that's not

00:22:48   running through their system and

00:22:49   everything like stuff like that the

00:22:51   rules pretty the rules are pretty clear

00:22:52   and you you won't skirt them by some

00:22:55   technicality exactly and so lastly I

00:22:59   think the place to talk through is the

00:23:02   process of when you get rejected what

00:23:05   that's like and then maybe some

00:23:07   recommendations around like constructive

00:23:10   approaches to it you know and so you

00:23:12   submit an app and you put it in out in

00:23:13   the App Store and you're you know you

00:23:16   kind of it goes into waiting for review

00:23:17   like as its status and then eventually

00:23:19   it'll pop over into in review which is

00:23:22   always very exciting and it's terrifying

00:23:24   terrifying yeah it's it's that's you

00:23:27   could use that word it's it's it's very

00:23:28   it's very similar so you're in this

00:23:30   terrified state just waiting for and if

00:23:33   you probably should have the iTunes

00:23:35   Connect app installed on your phone in

00:23:37   that you can turn on push notifications

00:23:39   so you can be really aware of if

00:23:42   anything's happened with your app and

00:23:44   then you're hoping for it'll probably

00:23:45   come back to pry the processing for App

00:23:48   Store or pending developer release if

00:23:50   it's been approved that's like those are

00:23:51   the good ones or you may get your app

00:23:54   has been rejected which is a bit of a

00:23:58   harsh thing that can mean a lot of

00:23:59   different things it could be rejected

00:24:01   there's what's called metadata rejection

00:24:03   which is the app is fine but there's

00:24:05   some issue with your screenshot or

00:24:07   description or something along those

00:24:09   lines or your keywords aren't quite

00:24:10   right or those types of things where

00:24:12   it's more of a very minor fix like you

00:24:14   don't have to resubmit your app you can

00:24:15   just change the metadata and resubmit

00:24:18   but you know it when it happens

00:24:20   usually Apple bullion though they'll

00:24:22   provide you a reason in what's called

00:24:25   the resolution Center in iTunes Connect

00:24:26   and you know they'll just basically

00:24:28   usually though excited

00:24:29   like I have pretty much always had a

00:24:30   rejection that's always - always ties

00:24:32   back to some rule sometimes the rules

00:24:34   are the very like sort of catch-all

00:24:36   rules sometimes they're very specific

00:24:37   they'll say like this is what you know

00:24:39   this is what the rule that you violated

00:24:41   they give you like a one or two sentence

00:24:44   description about your specific

00:24:46   violation and then they'll usually give

00:24:48   you a couple of sentences about you know

00:24:50   what you'll need to change if anything

00:24:52   could be changed to be in compliance

00:24:54   with the rule and when this happens like

00:24:57   number one advice and this is

00:24:58   hard-fought advice that I've learned

00:25:00   over the years is like the first thing

00:25:01   you need to do is like calm down because

00:25:05   there's so easy I this for myself for

00:25:07   this to be a very emotional thing that

00:25:09   like someone has it's kind of like when

00:25:11   you read a one-star review in the App

00:25:12   Store or something like that where it

00:25:15   can be very emotional like you can

00:25:16   become very attached to your software

00:25:17   and then suddenly someone is saying they

00:25:19   don't like it it's rejected it's a

00:25:21   pretty harsh thing and so you kind of

00:25:23   have to just like take a step back take

00:25:24   a deep breath like you don't want to

00:25:26   just like immediately you know go to the

00:25:28   Resolution Center open that up and start

00:25:30   yelling and screaming and saying AHA you

00:25:31   know I can't believe you did this like

00:25:33   the reality is you need to be

00:25:36   professional you need to be polite

00:25:38   understand that there's just someone

00:25:40   doing their job at the other end of this

00:25:41   so being polite considerate patient like

00:25:44   writing in full sentences with not full

00:25:47   all caps like these are things that are

00:25:49   probably going to help your case because

00:25:50   shouting at them isn't going to help

00:25:53   your case being clear and constructive

00:25:55   might might be or at least will help and

00:25:59   the thing that I found most helpful to

00:26:00   is to take a step back and try and put

00:26:03   yourself in the app reviewers shoes and

00:26:05   see why they rejected you like if it

00:26:08   isn't immediately obvious like if

00:26:09   obviously if they just said like your

00:26:10   app crashed but that's not a big

00:26:12   surprise but if you're on one of these

00:26:14   things where it's more subjective just

00:26:17   being like well you're wrong like that's

00:26:19   not what I'm doing there or that's

00:26:20   different or you're you know that rule

00:26:21   is stupid none of those are gonna help

00:26:23   but if you can understand why they're

00:26:25   doing it like where they're coming from

00:26:26   what that the spirit of that rule is

00:26:29   probably around and frame your response

00:26:31   to them accordingly you probably have a

00:26:35   much better chance of kind of clearing

00:26:37   it up and just sort of having it be a

00:26:39   misunderstanding that gets fixed rather

00:26:41   than being

00:26:42   like a confrontation that just began and

00:26:45   beyond that you just kind of have to

00:26:46   work the process like it'll take time

00:26:48   you you know you write them a message

00:26:50   and then within you know a few hours a

00:26:52   few days you'll get a response back if

00:26:54   you need to you can go to the app review

00:26:56   like appeal board which I think would

00:26:58   take even longer when if you really are

00:27:00   like pushing up against something that

00:27:02   is kind of gray in the policy but in

00:27:05   general you just kind of have to state

00:27:06   you know sort of keep calm and just like

00:27:08   work the process and understand that it

00:27:11   happens it's nothing like personal in

00:27:14   that way like it's not like oh man

00:27:16   you're a failure you got your app your

00:27:17   app was rejected initially like I've had

00:27:19   a lot of apps many of whom went on to be

00:27:21   very successful that their first

00:27:23   submission was rejected for all kinds of

00:27:25   reasons and so it's just part of the

00:27:27   process Keep Calm be respectful and

00:27:29   it'll probably work out okay in the end

00:27:31   yeah I mean because we all go through

00:27:33   this

00:27:34   everyone gets rejected and you know even

00:27:36   not just your first version like it

00:27:38   updates can get rejected for all sorts

00:27:40   of reasons too and I mean my ass get

00:27:42   rejected all the time like you know

00:27:43   probably I would say maybe 10 to 20

00:27:47   percent of my submissions get rejected

00:27:49   for some reason and that's because and

00:27:51   it used to be a higher rate like I've

00:27:52   just gotten better over the years of

00:27:53   trying to avoid this issues you know it

00:27:56   just it happens right and we all deal

00:27:58   with that I mean right now like I'm on

00:27:59   edge right now against all the advice

00:28:01   you just gave I'm not calm right now

00:28:02   because I have a bug-fix update for

00:28:04   overcast that's been in review through a

00:28:07   night boundary and usually what that

00:28:09   means like in review is fine when it

00:28:12   last one day when it crosses a night

00:28:15   boundary and you and you're in review

00:28:17   for multiple days what that sometimes

00:28:19   means is they're busy but what most of

00:28:22   the time means is you're being kicked

00:28:25   back to a manager for something and

00:28:26   that's usually not good I'm probably

00:28:28   about to get rejected for some reason

00:28:30   that I consider like BS but I'm just

00:28:33   gonna deal with it and I'm resubmit and

00:28:35   I'll move on and that's life that's just

00:28:37   being app developer and it's you know

00:28:38   it's no big deal

00:28:40   exactly and we just you know we just

00:28:42   make them make the best of it like maybe

00:28:44   and it's a kind of an example of a place

00:28:46   where it's just like part of being like

00:28:48   what you use the kind of the word

00:28:49   professionalism or something like this

00:28:51   is a very an area where that comes very

00:28:53   much into play that like okay it happens

00:28:56   like let's just move on try and make it

00:28:57   on as unemotional as we can let's be

00:28:59   respectful as best we can and in the end

00:29:01   like I said I've been doing this a long

00:29:03   time I've been rejected many times I've

00:29:05   had some very I've had a lot of feelings

00:29:09   about it at times but by and large I can

00:29:13   look back and like the reason I'm still

00:29:15   doing this you know seven and a half

00:29:16   years later is because in the end I care

00:29:20   Li look back at the way that app review

00:29:22   has behaved and look at it in - but you

00:29:25   know and sometimes I'll disagree with it

00:29:27   but the I can respect it and I can

00:29:29   understand where it's coming from and

00:29:30   that helps a lot in keeping well handed

00:29:33   and you know being reasonable in this

00:29:35   process well said

00:29:37   all right thanks like for listening

00:29:39   everybody and we will talk to you next

00:29:40   week bye