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App Store Review Guidelines. How to make everything in "Apple"-pie order without going bananas.
App Store Review Guidelines – these four words are quite a magic spell for advanced Apple testers. This doc is no joke!
by Olga S
QA engenier
by Olga S
QA engenier
App Store Review Guidelines

these four words are quite a magic spell for advanced Apple testers. This doc is no joke! "Guidelines" summarizes Apple's requirements for applications to be placed on the App Store. It is on the basis of these rules that the application is checked by the (Almighty) Review Team. So if you come across the "Guidelines" for the first time, it will be helpful for you to read the following post.
App Store Review Guidelines

these four words are quite a magic spell for advanced Apple testers. This doc is no joke! "Guidelines" summarizes Apple's requirements for applications to be placed on the App Store. It is on the basis of these rules that the application is checked by the (Almighty) Review Team. So if you come across the "Guidelines" for the first time, it will be helpful for you to read the following post.
In the Introduction section, the App Store Review Guidelines describes its approach to reviewing applications: «We will reject apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, "I'll know it when I see it". And we think that you will also know it when you cross it».
In the Introduction section, the App Store Review Guidelines describes its approach to reviewing applications: «We will reject apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, "I'll know it when I see it". And we think that you will also know it when you cross it».
So how, in the name of the Apple, are we supposed to know where this line is? Let's see.
Most of the requirements are taken into account and analyzed by the developers at the stage of creating the application. However, we should not exclude the fact that errors may arise during the preparation. Sometimes some insignificant nuances can be crucial when the Apple Team is deciding whether to add an application to the App Store. In this case, after a detailed review of your application (this whole process takes from one day to several weeks), you may receive a rejection due to some missed details, which at first seemed insignificant.
Let's take a look at the App Store's application requirements. The document contains as much as 40 points.
App Store Review Guidlines
1. Safety
1.1 Obectionable Content
1.2 User Generated Content
1.3 Kids Category
1.4 Physical Harm
1.5 Developer Information
1.6 Data Security

2. Perfomance
2.1 App Completeness
2.2 Beta Testing
2.3 Accurate Metadata
2.4 Hardware Compatibility
2.5 Software Reguirements

3. Business
3.1 Payments
3.1.1 In-App Purchase
3.1.2 Subscriptions
3.1.3(a) "Reader" Apps
3.1.3(b) Multiplatform Services
3.1.4 Hardware-specific Content
3.1.5 Goods and Services Outside of the App
3.1.6 Apple Pay
3.1.7 Advertising
3.2 Other Business Model Issues
3.2.1 Acceptable
3.2.2 Unacceptable

4. Design
4.1 Copycats
4.2 Minimum Functionality
4.3 Spam
4.4 Extensions
4.5 Apple Sites and Services
4.6 Alternate App Icons
4.7 HTML5 Games, Bots, etc.

5. Legal
5.1 Privacy
5.1.1 Data Collection and Storage
5.1.2 Data Use and Sharing
5.1.3 Health and Health Research
5.1.4 Kids
5.1.5 Location Services
5.2 Intellectual Property
5.3 Gaming, Gambling, and Lotteries
5.4 VPN Apps
5.5 Developer Code of Conduct
But, despite such a detailed checklist, not all developers completely check the application for compliance with the rules before submitting it for review. We advise you to pay attention to several parameters of your application.
1. Application's title and English localization.
Before the application enters the store, it's placed in the so-called "pre-store" area (now called iTunesConnect, or TestFlight). So if the application's iTunesConnect name does not match the title that appears on the screen after installation, the application will be rejected. Apple is strictly enough to ensure that the extra information could not appear in the App Store.

Due to its regional characteristics, Apple also religiously checks the English localization of the UI (user interface) and product descriptions. If you are not confident in your English, assign someone competent to take on these issues.
Apple has always been different from competitors in its tough approach to placing applications in the store. In particular, this applies to censorship. Despite the presence of age restrictions and parental control functions, the company has always been very tough on the presence of various forms of unacceptable content in applications. It is easy for the developer to understand whether there is any prohibited content in the application or not, but sometimes unforeseen situations occur.

For example, there was a case when a developer received a rejection from Apple due to the fact that a girl with a kiss print on a T-shirt was depicted in the standard set of the application avatars. One of the most remarkable cases of censorship occurred when a well-known publishing house was denied placement in a store since one of the pages of the latest issue showed a girl in a bathing suit. So they must be right when they say: no woman – no cry.
2. Censorship.
3. Links inside the app and iTunes Connect.
Here is a common situation for novice developers. Imagine that you have already completed the development of the application, but only when downloading to the App Store you noticed the three data entry fields: Support URL, Marketing URL, and Privacy Policy. No, you won't have time to whip up a promotional website, while Apple will be considering your application. Placing parked pages is not an option too. Otherwise, you can get into a situation where your application will be reviewed and rejected before you fix the detected faults.

Remember: a mandatory requirement of the App Store is a correct performance of all external links in the application and in the metadata. Please take care to prepare your project web-support in advance, or wait until the sites are ready, otherwise, your app will be refused.
Everything is very simple here. You need to remember that if your application:

– is designed specifically for children and you're going to distribute it through the appropriate category of the App Store;
– requests or collects user's personal information (including name, email, location, photos, etc.);
– allows a user to register or login to an online service account,
So you just have to develop a privacy policy in English. Otherwise, you'll get a hundred-per-cent refusal.
4. Privacy Policy.
That even if your application meets all 40 requirements, but you still have doubts about its quality or uniqueness, it is better to take steps to remedy this situation in advance. That means, if you're uploading a great flashlight application, please make sure that iOS users have not seen such a flashlight yet! Otherwise, do not be offended if the Review Team says "goodbye" to you. You can also read about the most common official causes of rejection on the developer.apple.com portal in the rejections section.
Remember
Based on our own experience, let's say that the utmost honesty and the most accessible explanation of how an application works are the key to success in communicating with Apple.

They always say exactly what needs to be done so that they like your app.
However, this company has its own vision, and it's almost impossible to disagree with it. But if your application is rejected, and you do not agree with this and can give specific arguments, do not hesitate to describe your point of view in detail. If it does not contradict Review Guidelines, then it will be accepted and the application will be placed on the App Store.
Or simply seek a professional help. It's us! Everything is going to be appletastic.

We love what we do and do it with pleasure. Stay tuned!
QAcamp team

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