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iPhone App Rejections Get Highlighted on New Site

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The App Store is known for a few things, including the sheer volume of apps available, the tremendous success it’s brought some independent developers, and, most notoriously, for the constant stream of rejections that it issues with remarkable frequency. Now one scorned developer has taken it upon himself to make sure a record of the worst among those rejections is kept. is a simple blog that tracks App Store rejections, mostly via user submissions. It also points out the blatant hypocrisy of some of Apple’s rejection policies, highlighting what look an awful lot like different standards for higher profiles devs and studios (read: cash cows).

For example, the most recent article at the time of this writing is about how Star Wars Trench Run was accepted despite containing a huge image of an iPhone, something which has been a pretty boilerplate reason for rejection of apps put out by much smaller studios and independent devs before now. In fact, Apple (s aapl) put out a blanket ban on the use of the exact bitmap which features prominently in Trench Run’s control layout help screen.

It’s early days yet for the blog, with only 14 posts thus far, and it isn’t much to look at, but the idea behind the site is a fantastic one. Accountability is severely lacking in the App Store approval process, and till now, efforts to track and analyze rejections have been scattered at best. Despite the stock template look of, site creator Adam Martin, himself an iPhone developer from the U.K., is doing a great job of tracking down and soliciting stories of Apple running afoul.

Martin also tracks what apps get let back into the App Store, and why, and also what the implications are for users who managed to grab apps that eventually got pulled before that actually happened. It’s a truly comprehensive approach to the problem of Apple’s pell-mell review policy. If you’re a dev who has a story to share, head on over to the site and let Adam know what exactly happened. The more points of data he can collect, the more complete a picture he can paint of App Store injustice.

If Martin can keep it up and create a really thorough record of Apple’s various hypocrisies regarding App Store management, it’s possible we’ll see some kind of change eventually, owing to a shift in public opinion, or increased rancor from the developer community. Do I think that’s the most likely outcome? No, but one can hope.

14 Responses to “iPhone App Rejections Get Highlighted on New Site”

  1. It seems their policies are in place and are adhered to unless the app in question is from a major developer who they want to keep sweet! Nice.

    At the end of the day Apple pull the strings so it’s up to them what they put out and everyone has to put up with that fact. Whether they alienate devs in doing so is up to them!

  2. As great as this idea may be (and one could see it evolving into a forum for App Store developers to exchange tips and tricks), I could see developers being concerned about showcasing their rejections for fear of future blacklisting. At the end of the day, unless and until Apple provides complete transparency into its app approval process, there will always be the question of how developers’ public statements and actions may be perceived and used against them in future. (I am taking the chance that this post will be too innocuous to raise eyebrows. ;>)

  3. Two feelings are fighting inside me:

    > Hopefully this will have positive effect on the App Store and the people who judge the app submissions. More fairness means more users.
    > Yawn. More frustrated developers complaining about rules they breach themselves. And Apple is already working on automatizing the approval process, actually the first automated system was already implemented.

    An attempt at an objective conclusion:
    > The rejection blog just sheds bad light on Apple. Often it’s the developers who fail to comply with simple rules. But then again, of course, not all app approvals have been “fair”. We’re all just human. Apple already knows that and adds some automation to the approval process. Any blatant, intentional “unfairness” can be found, let’s face it, in any company. Apple, or just the App Store team, is no better and no worse than others. Fighting against unfair approval process is normal, but bad press isn’t the way to do this.

  4. Stefano's hairpiece

    Stefano, that could be one of the dumbest posts ever.

    14 complaints on a site that’s been up for a day or so – 100000+ accepted on a high-profile service every iPhone owner knows about?

    Rrrrrright – you’re not a fanboy trying to compare miniature apples to gargantuan oranges.