Rejected by the App Store? Apple finally reveals why

Apple's posted a handy guide on the App Store review process, but developer beware -- the rules can change at any time

If you've ever had an iOS app bounced from Apple's App Store, there's typically a good reason for it. The problem is finding out what that reason is, no thanks to Apple's historically opaque guidelines. The rules have been clarified as time went on, but submitting an app to the App Store can still be a roll of the dice: What'll get flagged now?

To head off potential problems, Apple has compiled Common App Rejections, a page that lays out the most frequent reasons why submitted apps don't pass muster.

Most of the listed reasons ought to be obvious to even the amateur developer, such as showstopper bugs, placeholder content, or external links from the app that aren't functional. Misleading or inaccurate app descriptions are also no-nos, and user interfaces must be constructed along Apple's guidelines.

These parameters are among the easiest to deal with because they're the least ambiguous. But a rationale like "Not enough lasting value" tilts toward the subjective: How is Apple supposed to know, or not know, what will be limited to a niche market? That said, it's hard to make a case for some of the apps Apple has deep-sixed, like the "gay cure" or "radiation detector" apps.

Most interesting will be the rules' evolutionover time -- if the wording of the guidelines change or the guidelines themselves come and go. The page is currently mirrored by the Internet Archive, so assuming Apple doesn't change its robots.txt entry anytime soon, it'll be easy to fetch earlier iterations of the page and compare them side by side.

This story, "Rejected by the App Store? Apple finally reveals why," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.