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Jorge Sánchez Fernández
Jorge Sánchez Fernández

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How I got a rejected app approved in the iOS App Store

This article is an English translation of the original in my blog:Como conseguí que me aprobaran una app rechazada en el App Store de iOS.

In a previous article, I told you about my experience using Flutter for application development.

Now I am going to tell you about my experience in the publication of one of them Karate Stars.

Context

Before telling the experience I think it is good to put a little context.

The app had already been developed in native Android and published on Google Play in 2016 and had more than 10,000 downloads.

In 2021 I completely rewrite it using Flutter and published it first on Google Play and had no problem.

Though the app is developed in other technology, as long as it has the same id and the version code is incremented, for the Google Play is an update

Reasons for app rejection

I first published the app on the iOS Play Store and it was rejected within 24 hours.

The message I received from the reviewer was the following:

Guideline 4.2.2 - Design - Minimum Functionality

We noticed that your app only includes links, images, or content aggregated from the Internet with limited or no native iOS functionality. Although this content may be curated from the web specifically for your users, since it does not sufficiently differ from a mobile web browsing experience, it is not appropriate for the App Store.

Next Steps

We encourage you to review your app concept and work towards creating an app that offers customers an engaging and lasting experience that also meets the App Store’s high expectations for quality and functionality.

Apple Developer includes a variety of design and development resources. Download iOS templates from Apple UI Design Resources, learn more about crafting intuitive, well-designed apps with the Design Video collection, and review the iOS Human Interface Guidelines for best practices to follow when designing apps for the App Store.
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Normally, this reason for rejecting an app is usually when the application consists of a list or similar that leads to visiting a URL using a webview or browser with hardly any other native functionality that justifies the approval of the app.

App features

We are going to see all the app features, to see if they were right.

The app consists of a typical bottom navigation menus app:

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The first tab is a news feed via RSS, where Instagram posts and Twitter posts are also displayed.

In this feed, you can see the videos directly and navigate to a browser integrated into the app to read the news.

The second tab is a list of competitors that are retrieved from a backend.

The third tab is a list of videos that are retrieved from a backend.

There is a search engine for news, competitors and videos. In addition, the tabs have a filter functionality.

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Response to Apple reviewer

I was quite surprised by the reviewer's argument, so I prepared a response to try and convince him that he was wrong.

On the one hand, try to argue every one of the features of the app as in this article, trying to expose the value of the app.

On the other hand, I tried to make him understand that there were many users on social networks who were asking me for the iOS version, which was true.

My response to the reviewer:

Sorry but I don't understand your response because the app has much native functionality.

The app contains a tree sub-menu,  
* The First tab submenu is an rss feed, where a curated list of rss is received from a backend, from this submenu the user can search news, realize filters and also the user can access click on menu tree dots to another screens inside the app.
* The Second tab submenu contains a list of karate competitors where you can filter the competitors and when you click on a competitor navigate to another screen inside the app.
* The third tab submenu is a curated list of videos where the user can filter the videos by many filter options

This app exists on the Android version (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.xurxodev.karatestars) and has more than 10000 downloads.
I have an Instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/karatestarsapp )with 25000 followers and I have a Facebook account (https://www.facebook.com/karatestarsapp) with 33000 followers waiting for iOS version of the app.

Please review again the app navigating for all sections
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Approval of the app

When I wrote my answer, 5 minutes later I receive a notification indicating that the app was under review process again.

The reviewer's message was:

Hello,
Thank you for providing this information.

We will continue the review, and we will notify you if there are any further issues.

Best regards,

App Store Review
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A few minutes later I received another notification indicating that the application was approved.

Conclusions

Everyone draws their conclusions, the mine was that the app hadn't been given enough time to review and probably wasn't evaluated beyond the first tab.

I don't question reviewers, the truth is that I wouldn't like receive hundreds o thousands of apps to review per day, but at the end of the day, it is their job.

Only the reviewer knows what happened, but I was clear that the app had native functionality and provided enough value to be approved, that's what I tried to argue.

I hope this experience can be of help to someone.

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