What is Apple's App Store Approval Process & How Long Does it Take?

6 Key Ways To Help Get Your App Approved By The App Store

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"Opportunities don't happen. You create them." Chris Grosser

The Future Is Mobile

Mobile apps have literally changed the way that people get through their days. Their apps wake them up in the morning, allow them to listen to music during the day, help them drive to work, and even allow them to pay for purchases throughout the day. 

Mobile apps are enriching people’s lives like never before. 

As a result, the Apple App Store has been growing into an exciting ecosystem for millions and millions of developers to provide for the billion users looking to buy them. 

It doesn't matter if you are a first time developer or your office employs a large team of experienced programmers, it is important that you understand the Apple's App Store approval process by learning the guidelines first. 

Once you understand the approval process, it will help the eventual review process move along more quickly.

An Overview of the App Store Approval & Review Process

Normally an app will be reviewed and released in 24 hours, but there are so many things that come into play that can slow down the process. 

The team at Apple want a safe user experience for everyone, and while the guidelines are firm, you can really help the process along if you understand what the Apple team is looking for when they make their decision. 

The team at Apple will reject content they feel is 'over the line'. To get a better understanding where that line is, the Apple Review Team says that you will know when you crossed it. Gaming and cheating the system is not tolerated by Apple, so if you think in the development process that you can steal user data, trick the review process, or try to steal another developer's work, your app is not only going to be rejected, you stand a good chance of being expelled from the Developer Program and that means you will never be able to list an app in the Apple Store again.

Before you hit the submit button at the Apple App Store for review, check to see if your app has any of these common mistakes that are slowing down the review process for everyone. 

6 Key Ways You Can Help to Get Your App Approved For Sale On The App Store

1. Test your app frequently before submitting to see if it has any bugs or it it constantly is crashing.

2. Make certain the metadata fields and app information is accurate and complete.

3. If the App Team needs to reach you, make sure that your contact information is accurate.

4. Create an active login for a demo that might help the review team with their decision.

5. Provide back-end services so the app is live and also accessible while under review.

6. Offer the review team detailed explanations of features they might not be familiar with and supporting documentation.


Safety First

One of the things you have to address before you submit to the Apple's App Store approval review team is the safety of the application. Users want to feel confident the apps they install are safe, so if your app contains upsetting content, damages their device, or is intended to shock people, the Apple App Store is not the right place to submit your app.

The team at Apple are always looking for new ways to improve the performance of their devices, and they hold apps to the same standards during the review process. 

  • The app you submit must be the final version with fully functioning URLs. 
  • Remove any placeholders or empty content before submitting, then test it before you submit. 
  • Trial versions, betas, and demos should not be submitted to the Apple Store for review.
  • The App Store is not a software testing service, they will instantly reject the app that is packed with technical issues or is not the final version. 

Test, Test & Test Again

During the development of your mobile app, make sure that you have thoroughly tested the hardware compatibility. 

In order for a user to get the most of your app, it needs to run on the iPad whenever possible. Universal apps that can run on multiple devices are most efficient and will allow the review team to quickly approve the app.

A Clear Monetisation Strategy

When it comes to monetizing your app, make sure that your business model is obvious or it can delay the review process. 

If the review team is struggling to identify how in-app purchases will be made, it will slow down the review process and could result in the app being rejected. If the team thinks you are trying to cheat customers, expect a lightning fast rejection and possible ban.

Earn Reviews The Right Way

If the review team sees that you attempted to inflate the ranking of your app or manipulate the reviews with fake feedback, they will take quick steps to preserve the integrity of the App Store, and that usually means rejecting your app and banning you from submitting apps in the future. The reviews will roll in at their own pace, do not try to game the system or you risk losing your standing in the Developer Program.

Monitor Your App Over Time

One thing is certain, Apple consumers have always placed a high value of things they buy that are innovative, refined, simple, and painless to use. Although a great design is half the battle, make sure the app is fully functional across a variety of platforms.

Your app needs to be closely monitored even after approval because if it stops working for any reason, the review team will remove it at any time.

The Value Of An Original Idea

Finally, come up with your own ideas before submitting your mobile app to the Apple's App Store approval team. Copycats are not tolerated at the Apple App Store, so if it closely resembles another app with slight modifications, it will be rejected. When you copy a popular app and make changes, you also risk crossing the line of an intellectual property infringement claim.

Do you have an App Idea? 

Contact Roundhouse Now! 
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Get to know Saul Edmonds & Roundhouse

As Creative Director & Roundhouse Founder Saul Edmonds has over 20 years professional design and digital experience. 

He is an international expert on Brand, Website and App Development. He has worked with clients across all industry groups - including startups, small business, government and entrepreneurs - on projects of all sizes and budgets.


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        If you enjoyed reading this article, you may also enjoy the following:

        1. How To Discover Mobile Opportunities In Emerging Markets
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