Today I wanted to take a quick run through the App Review Guidelines. Love ‘em. Hate ‘em. They are one of the most core parts of creating and distributing apps for the App Store. I will give some high level thoughts about the state of App Review and then walk through some of the recent changes Apple published.
I’ll also touch on the new page Apple published listing the Common App Rejection reasons.
I went ahead and organized the changes into a more readable format.
Accessibility Note: A less color oriented version of this diff is available here.
We have over a million Apps in the App Store. If your App doesn’t do something useful, unique or provide some form of lasting entertainment, or if your app is plain creepy, it may not be accepted.
2.9 Apps that are
“beta”, “demo”, “trial”, or “test” versions will be rejected. Beta Apps may only be submitted through TestFlight and must follow the TestFlight guidelines
2.25 Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected
, unless designed for a specific approved need (e.g. health management, aviation, accessibility, etc.) or which provide significant added value for a specific group of customers
Update: Section 2.26 still includes much of this language and reads “Apps may display and recommend apps other than your own only if the collection is designed for a specific approved need (e.g. health management, aviation, accessibility, etc.) or provides significant added value for a specific group of customers, or they will be rejected” Thanks @Padraig
3.3 Apps with names, descriptions, screenshots, or previews not relevant to the content and functionality of the App will be rejected
3.6 Apps with App icons, screenshots, and previews that do not adhere to the 4+ age rating will be rejected
3.14 App previews may only use video screen captures of the app, voice-overs, and textual and design overlays, or the app will be rejected
3.15 Apps with previews that display personal information of a real person without permission will be rejected
3.16 App previews may only include music that is licensed for that purpose in all selected territories
3.17 App previews that include content played or streamed via the app (e.g. iTunes playlist, YouTube streaming video) that is not licensed for use in the preview will be rejected
14. Personal attacks
14.3 Apps that display user generated content must include a method for filtering objectionable material, a mechanism for users to flag offensive content, and the ability to block abusive users from the service
22. Legal requirements
22.10 Apps that use iTunes music previews in an unauthorized manner will be rejected
25.1 Apps hosting extensions must comply with the App Extension Programming Guide
25.2 Apps hosting extensions must provide some functionality (help screens, additional settings) or they will be rejected
25.3 Apps hosting extensions that include marketing, advertising, or in-app purchases in their extension view will be rejected
25.4 Keyboard extensions must provide a method for progressing to the next keyboard
25.5 Keyboard extensions must remain functional with no network access or they will be rejected
25.6 Keyboard extensions must provide Number and Decimal keyboard types as described in the App Extension Programming Guide or they will be rejected
25.8 Apps offering Keyboard extensions may only collect user activity to enhance the functionality of their keyboard extension on the iOS device or they may be rejected
26.1 Apps using the HomeKit framework must have a primary purpose of providing home automation services
26.3 Apps must not use data gathered from the HomeKit APIs for advertising or other use-based data mining
26.4 Apps using data gathered from the HomeKit API for purposes other than improving the user experience or hardware/software performance in providing home automation functionality will be rejected
27.1 Apps using the HealthKit framework must comply with applicable law for each Territory in which the App is made available, as well as Sections 3.3.28 and 3.39 of the iOS Developer Program License Agreement
27.2 Apps that write false or inaccurate data into HealthKit will be rejected
27.3 Apps using the HealthKit framework that store users’ health information in iCloud will be rejected
27.4 Apps may not use user data gathered from the HealthKit API for advertising or other use-based data mining purposes other than improving health, medical, and fitness management, or for the purpose of medical research
27.5 Apps that share user data acquired via the HealthKit API with third parties without user consent will be rejected
27.6 Apps using the HealthKit framework must indicate integration with the Health app in their marketing text and must clearly identify the HealthKit functionality in the app’s user interface
27.8 Apps that provide diagnoses, treatment advice, or control hardware designed to diagnose or treat medical conditions that do not provide written regulatory approval upon request will be rejected
28.1 Apps may only use TestFlight to beta test apps intended for public distribution and must comply with the full App Review Guidelines
28.2 Apps using TestFlight must be submitted for review whenever a build contains material changes to content or functionality
28.3 Apps using TestFlight may not be distributed to testers in exchange for compensation of any kind