9 Ways to Increase Approval Chances at the App Store
Posted Under: iPhone & iPad, Mobile
Android trumps iOS as far as market share is concerned, but when it comes to revenue generated from apps, iOS is far ahead. There are plenty of developers who have made millions with their apps on the App Store, and that’s just one of the many reasons why more and more developers and even businesses want to create their very own ‘next big app’ that sets the cash registers jingling. But developing an iOS app that is allowed to pass through the heavily fortified gates of Apple App Stores is easier said than done. In fact, it’s quite difficult, but definitely not impossible.
There are plenty of development companies who have notched up an enviable hit rate when it comes to getting Apple’s approval for their app to get a place on the App Store. These companies aren’t doing anything that is markedly different from what many other companies in the domain are doing. It’s just that they are focused on getting the fundamentals of iOS development right, whether they are creating apps for the iPhone, or the iPad, or both.
So, let’s take a look at a few ways and means that will help improve chances of your app submission getting accepted by the App Store:
1. It all begins with a great idea
Do you have an idea that you think will get Apple going all gaga over your app? Well, here’s the truth—there are plenty of other developers who have the same idea as you do! Shocked? Don’t’ be. You can still come up with an innovative idea, but come up with something that you know hasn’t been tried before. How do you do that? Identify a category that you want to develop an app for, and go through the apps in it. Make sure that your app concept differs from that of the apps already available in that particular category. It needs to be unique.
While developing an app idea, do not think about your monetary goals. Think about how your app is going to address a certain user need. Need-based apps have more chances of garnering user attention. So do some research, keep brainstorming app ideas, and take your time. After all, you are looking for an app idea that will help generate millions in revenue. Such, ideas don’t come easy.
2. Don’t offer a web browsing experience
You are developing an app and not a website. Apple likes apps whose user experience doesn’t replicate a web browsing experience, but at the same time provides rich content to the users by incorporating native iOS functionality. This ensures your app is as engaging as Apple wants it to be, and the functionality you offer coupled with the rich UX will make the user want to download your app. You must make sure that your app looks useful, interesting, and enticing at first glance.
If you don’t want your users to die of boredom, make sure that your app’s great idea translates into even better content for its users.
3. Don’t forget the guidelines
There was a time when developers were at a complete loss as to going about designing and developing an app that was perfectly in line with what Apple wanted it to be. That’s because there were no specific guidelines available that offered clarity on Apple’s expectations from an app. But, the approval story has undergone a sea change, with Apple providing developers with Human Interface Guidelines and Apple Review Guidelines. These need to be followed to the last letter. When you build the app and before you submit it, make sure each and every aspect of the app conforms to these guidelines. Do not for any reason take these guidelines for granted. Something else that you must also do is going through the App Store Submission Tutorial. This will help you make sure your app store submission process leaves nothing to chance.
4. Concentrate on the description
The reviewers at Apple in charge of reviewing the app submissions don’t just give importance to the app technicalities and it’s UI; they also take a look at the app’s description. There are a number of developers who forget to give the app’s description the importance it deserves. They forget that the description of the app is also a part of its UX. A customer who comes across a particular app will take a look at its description first. The accuracy of this description with respect to app functionality and features will allow customers to make an informed decision with respect to downloading and using the app. The app reviewer will check whether the description relates to the app and perfectly describes the app in its entirety. If he finds that the app functionality and its description are unrelated in some form other, your app might be rejected.
5. Learn from other developers’ experience
Developers aren’t averse to sharing their app rejection experience in the form of reports or case studies and the learning received from such rejections. You will come across plenty of resources that have developers narrating why their apps got rejected and how others should go about developing their app. There are plenty of different reasons why Apple will not approve a particular app. You might be surprised to know that many a time Apple has rejected apps that met the highest standards of functionality and engagement value; for some reason, the reviewers at Apple decided that the app didn’t meet their expectations. So, before you actually go ahead and start developing an app, make sure that you read up on some of the app rejections and why they happened. This ensures your app won’t be making the same mistakes.
6. Keep it simple
Make sure that you think clearly and think straight and most importantly that you keep things simple. Don’t complicate things for yourself. Remember, Apple doesn’t want developers to build complicated apps. Some developers are under the impression that the more complex the features on their app, the better the chances of its acceptance. But nothing can be farther from the truth. Some of the most popular apps on the App Store are really very easy to use and have very simple UI. But, what they offer is a highly engaging UX. It’s important to stick to the fundamentals of app development while creating an iPhone app. The key to a successful submission is doing the simple things right. You don’t need to be a creative genius to ensure you app gets submitted to the App Store. All you need to do is make sure that your app is well-designed and provides a robust UX.
7. Test, test and then test some more
You must test your app before you submit it to the App Store. But just testing it once is not enough, you need to test it once, twice, thrice, before you are confident that the app is bug free, and will offer users a seamless user experience. Many a time, developers make the mistake of believing there is absolutely nothing wrong in their app. But the fact is they haven’t tested it enough and it’s still not ready for use. Keep in mind that Apple’s reviewers will not make the same mistake. The will evaluate the app on all counts and only if the app meets their standards of quality, functionality and efficiency will they accept it. Therefore, as a developer, you must make absolutely sure that your app performs up to expectations. This is only possible if you take it through a comprehensive testing process.
8. Be ready to fight for acceptance
There might be a case wherein, in spite of your best efforts and even though there was nothing really wrong with your app, it gets rejected. This might come as a shock and you will be disappointed. But don’t be. If you think there is nothing wrong with your app, you have the option of filing a complaint. In this case, your app will be reviewed by a review board, which will go through the app even more thoroughly and check whether the earlier rejection was wrong, and the app can be actually accepted into the store.
9. It’s not such a big deal
Yes, Apple is a brand and it’s a big one! Yes, a presence on the App Store means you have a huge chance of making an impression with your app and generating a lot of revenue. But, don’t make a big deal out of it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Even if your app gets rejected in the App store, it’s not the end of the world. Get back on your feet, dust yourself and try again. You live and learn. Take both acceptance and rejection of your app to the App Store in your stride.
If you want to develop a cutting edge iOS app and want to make sure it is accepted into the App Store, there are plenty of things you need to get right. But it all begins with your thinking and frame of mind while designing and developing an app. Make sure you have your thoughts sorted out before building the app and you know in which direction you are headed. Get rid of all confusion in your head before you actually begin the long drawn out and very challenging process of iOS app development.