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Apple's most common rejection motives

The app has been rejected by Apple

Apple typically informs you about the rejection of your app by email, as well as in the Resolution Center in your App Store Connect account . The Resolution Center is the interface where you can talk with Apple in case your app was rejected. 
It is possible that Apple will first reject an app in order to make extra sure it is compliant with their guidelines. Not to worry, though: it usually only takes a few extra explanations to get it in the store.

In case your app has been rejected, you should open a ticket to GoodBarber's Support   and send our team all the information along with screenshots provided by Apple in the Resolution Center.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of Apple's most common rejection motives, and some advice on how to make your app compliant before submitting it to Apple. 


1

Intellectual Property

Don’t use protected third-party material such as trademarks, copyrighted works, or patented ideas in your app without permission, and don’t include misleading, false, or copycat representations, names, or metadata in your app bundle or developer name. Apps should be submitted by the person or legal entity that owns or has licensed the intellectual property and other relevant rights. (Read the 5.2.1 guideline from Apple's guidelines here .)

This means that you shouldn't use content that you don't own, and that the Apple Developer account of the person or entity that owns the app must be used to publish it. 

1 - You are using an Individual developer account while your app is made for a Company/Organization 
If the app is made for a company or an organization, the Apple Developer account should be subscribed as a Company/Organization, which is an option provided by Apple, and not under the name of a single individual.
This is especially true if the app includes sensitive content: Apple will require the use of a legit company's Developer Account. 
In case you subscribed the wrong type of account by mistake, it is possible to change it.
This is how to do it: IOS - Change Apple developper Individual membership to Organization


2 - You are using your own Apple developer account to publish a client's app
If the final owner of your app is a client of yours, the client must open their own Apple developer account and the app should be published there.
If you previously published a client's app using your Apple Developer account, you should transfer it to the client's account.
This is how to do it: IOS - Transfer the app to a different Apple developer account


2

Account Sign-In

Apps that require users to register with personal information to access non account-based features are forbidden by Apple. Apps cannot require user registration prior to allowing access to app content and features that are not associated specifically to the user.

It is contrary to Apple's guidelines to force users to give you personal information in order to access your app. 
For this reason, if your app has the Authentication feature enabled, make sure that the button "Allow access to your app without having signed up" in the Users > My Users > Settings is ON 

Otherwise, be prepared to explain to Apple how the app is account based, and to justify why it is mandatory for the users to register or log-in before being able to access some or all the content of the app. 


Keep in mind that it is also possible to give access to a portion of your app while some sections are account based for certain groups of users

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3

Mentioning Apple's competitors

Your app will be automatically rejected if the content (an article or photo, for example) or its metadata (the description, tags or screenshots in App Store Connect) mention a platform other than the App Store or devices that are not Apple devices. 

If this is the case, you will have to remove all content from your applications and/or from the metadata in App Store Connect if they feature a competitor's platform or device.


4

Donations / payments

To allow your users to make donations / payments, the link or section must absolutely be opened outside of the app, in Safari and not the internal browser of the app. 

Consult this Online Help to know how to open a URL in an external browser.


5

Background audio

The audio playback in background mode (Settings > Compilation settings) must be activated ONLY if the app contains at least one audio section. The section must be visible in your app (it mustn't be hidden) and must be accessible from the main navigation menu. 

If the section is uneasy to find, you will have to provide step by step instructions to the App Store review team explaining how to access the audio section, in order to justify the use of background audio. 

Read this Online Help for more information on this topic. 


6

Metadata rejections

- The description of your app in App Store Connect must be substantial: describe the content of your application and its purpose. Don't advertise your company/ brand/ event/ concept without talking about the app itself. Make sure your description is complete and accurate. 

-The screenshots on App Store Connect must show the app in use and should be suitable for all audiences, regardless of the content rating of your app. In other words, your app may be rated 17+, but the screenshots must be rated 4+, as they can be watched by anyone. 

-The age restriction must be adapted to the content of your app. Make sure you fill out the form Apple provides on this subject honestly. If your app displays external content (from a news website, for instance), don't forget to take that content into account when filling the form. 


7

Design - Minimum Functionality

Your app must contain at least 3 content sections and must also provide more value than a repackaged website to its target audience. We recommend making the most of the features provided by GoodBarber in order to give your users the best in-app experience. 

You can find more details in this specific online-help .


8

Background location

If the Geofence add-on is activated in your app, you need to have at least one active geofence in the back office. It means you must have at least one active geofence with a green badge.

When you have created the active location or deactivated the add-on, you will have to rebuild the app and submit the newest .ipa file to Apple. 

Please note that Apple won't allow the use of background location for the sole purpose of marketing or advertising. The use of background location must provid added value to your app to enhance the user experience. 


9

Refer to the App Store Review Guidelines

Read the App Store Review Guidelines   to make sure your app complies with all the rules to have the best chances of passing their review and ending up being published in the App Store.