Monday, December 23, 2013

Mysterious App Store Rejection

I recently submitted my second location based game to the App Store. It is very similar in functionality to the first game I submitted, Bushwick Dimensions. However, this one was rejected seemingly at random like so many others. A developer once joked that it depends on what the reviewer had for breakfast that day that determines what his decision is. Sometimes you can just resubmit it and it will be approved, I was told.

Apple stated that it: "Was not intuitive. For example, there was no "back" button from the Map page. We have found that your app does not sufficiently take advantage of the iOS platform. It would be appropriate to include iOS specific interactive features to enhance the user experience of your app."

I replied with a photo of my Map Page with a BACK button (it DOES have one) and they replied with the same copy / paste rejection notice and a photo of the map page with the bottom 1/4th of the screen cropped off. They said they were using iPhone 5s. So I loaded the app onto my friends 5s and took a screenshot of the fully functional map page with BACK button. 

Apple sent this response, in BOLD:
10.6: Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good it may be rejected. We appreciate your feedback and have scheduled a call with an Apple representative in order to discuss your concerns. We anticipate calling within 3 business days.

Apple called when I was at a bar. I stepped onto the sidewalk and had a 10minute conversation with cookie cutter apple employee named Steve. In short, he told me my app wasn't set to "iPhone only." That could be the problem right there, then he told me that apps are tested on iPad as well and therefore MUST work on iPad regardless if it is set to iPhone only or not. Usually iPhone apps display the same way on iPad only smaller (and can zoom to 2x) so I don't know why it would crop off my back button?

Oh yeah - he then told me the app would crash after it played a video. Why wouldn't that be written in the initial rejection notes? Who knows. In closing, what I need to do is submit again (sometimes that's all a developer needs to do and it will go through even without changes) after I check iPhone only and perhaps port it to my iPad and see what happens. If all goes well you'll get a treat this Spring with a link to my location based horror survival game set on the streets of Gowanus, Brooklyn!

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