Limbo

This Apple I’ve been eating for the past few months is starting to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

I hate Apple’s review process. I know I’m not alone, as many other people have posted similar sentiments all over the internet. But man. I hate Apple’s review process!

It’s the lack of consistency that kills me. Again, other people have said this ad infinitum, but it doesn’t really hit you until you experience it first hand.

“…we have determined that this application contains minimal user functionality and will not be appropriate for the App Store.”

This is the first crock. My first two app submissions were rejected with the above justification. I’ll admit that these applications were simple, although intentionally so by design. But that’s fine, I can understand if Apple thinks that they don’t do enough to justify their existence on the store. The problem is, since they’ve been rejected, I’ve seen NUMEROUS apps get approved that offer the exact same functionality. You’ve probably seen them too, apps that get approved that offer little-to-no functionality for the user to perform. So what’s the difference between the functionality of my rejected apps, and the identical functionality of the approved apps? Who knows. The reviewer’s affection for the content that is presented probably.

“Your application is requiring unexpected additional time for review. We apologize for the delay, and will update you with further status as soon as we are able.”

This is the second crock. I now have this status on multiple apps, none of which are extremely complex. One of my earlier apps has been in this status for almost 2 months now. I can understand if an app needs extra review time. If somebody submits a 50 hour RPG, then obviously that’s going to take longer to review than your standard fart app. But my applications that “need extra review” really don’t, they can be reviewed in minutes. When they say “your application needs unexpected additional time for review”, they’re really saying:

You’re application is in Limbo. Purgatory. It will never be approved for sale, nor will it ever be rejected. Your application doesn’t explicitly violate any of the rules that we have defined, but we don’t want to see it on the store, for one reason or another.

I’ve emailed Apple about my application that’s been in Limbo for 2 months, asking if I could offer anything that would expedite the review process. If I could answer any questions, make any changes, anything! Anything to get my app out of Purgatory. All I received back was a standard form letter, telling me to basically keep waiting. This app certainly doesn’t need two months of review.

Rejection I can handle, because you can theoretically identify and fix the problem. If one of your features doesn’t work, you can fix it and resubmit. If you have “minimal user functionality”, you can add some features and resubmit.

When you’re in Limbo, you can’t do anything. You lose all influence over your app eventually making it into the App Store. You have effectively just wasted your time.

Apple, come on. Either approve an app, or tell me what I have to fix to get it through. Establish some objective policies and guidelines, and follow them. If an app checks all of the boxes that you define, let it through. If it violates one, reject it, and let the author know what they can do to fix it.

~Stache

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