Getting an app onto the App Store is an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience. My app Whippo failed five times before finally getting onto the App Store. As Apple cleans out the App Store, I have included tips from my experience for future developers on how to get their apps either back in or get a new one to replace the old app.
- Explain the things you ask permission for. The one permission you don’t have to talk about is Push Notifications. Anything else, contacts, locations, etc. needs to be explained out. If you use locations, explain what you do with the locations. Do you track the user? Do you not? Do you do something else? Explain how you take user privacy seriously. Apple wants to see you put in a serious effort to monitor and protect user privacy.
- Explain how interactions between users will be monitored. If users can post content to other users or post content that other users can see, make sure that the users can block the other user or report that content if it is offensive, etc. If it isn’t like that, either Apple will not let your app through or force your app with a higher rating than the one that you would like to have.
- Make sure that your app can run only on IPv6. I have another article about this, but this is now required starting from this year. Some providers (cough cough) AWS, Azure, Google Cloud (cough cough) don’t provide this yet or choose not to. If you use one of these services, add an extra DigitalOcean server or Vultr server for an extra $5 a month. It’s not the best, but it’s not the worst thing in the world.
- The most common rejection is Metadata rejection or rejection for lack of complete information in the App Review Notes or in the App Description. For example, if your app uses GPS location, you need to include in the App Description that there might be increased battery usage due to your app because of prolonged GPS usage. Put anything that you can think Apple would ask regarding privacy into the App Review Notes. User information, location information, contacts information, health information, anything that you get from the user, put it in there and explain why.
- Your Info.plist is important. Make sure that you have the necessary privacy statements in there for push notifications, contacts, locations, and anything else you ask permission for.
- (Optional) Link to a video that explains the app out. I did not do this, but I can see where this would be extremely helpful.
With these tips, I hope that you’ll have a much easier time navigating the muddy waters of the review process than I did.