If you’ve ever wanted to know the criteria for getting an app into the Apple App Store, here they are.
We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, “I’ll know it when I see it”. And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.
Er. That’s… a little vague?
2.11 Apps that duplicate Apps already in the App Store may be rejected, particularly if there are many of them, such as fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra Apps
The fact that these four types of apps in particular have been singled out really says… something about… someone. I’m not what or who, really, but… something and someone.
3.11 Apps that recommend that users restart their iOS device prior to installation or launch may be rejected
I’m guessing this one is because Apple doesn’t want to be blamed for a shitt user experience–no one likes rebooting their computer–cased by other devs’ bad code?
4.3 Apps that use location-based APIs for emergency services will be rejected
No 911 emergency apps, then, I’m guessing?
4.4 Location data can only be used when directly relevant to the features and services provided by the App to the user or to support approved advertising uses
Those last six words are a killer. But:
5.6 Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind
At least there’s some peace.
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
No ugly apps. Also some pontificating by Apple.
11.11 In general, the more expensive your App, the more thoroughly we will review it
Suddenly all those shitty .99c apps with zillions of dollars on in-app purchases make sense…
11.13 Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the App, such as a “buy” button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected
11.14 Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video and cloud storage) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the App, as long as there is no button or external link in the App to purchase the approved content. Apple will only receive a portion of revenues for content purchased inside the App
These are basically the “fuck you Amazon, and fuck your little comiXology, too” clauses.
14.1 Any App that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harm’s way will be rejected
14.2 Professional political satirists and humorists are exempt from the ban on offensive or mean-spirited commentary
So… it’s okay to be a harassing dickbag so long as you’re a “professional” harassing dickbag? Okay, Apple…
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
Applicability to Twitter, discuss.
15.5 Apps that include games of Russian roulette will be rejected
That’s, um. Specific…
17.3 Apps may ask for date of birth (or use other age-gating mechanisms) only for the purpose of complying with applicable children’s privacy statutes, but must include some useful functionality or entertainment value regardless of the user’s age
18.2 Apps that contain user generated content that is frequently pornographic (e.g. “Chat Roulette” Apps) will be rejected
Apple really fucking’ hates roulette, apparently.
19.2 Apps may contain or quote religious text provided the quotes or translations are accurate and not misleading. Commentary should be educational or informative rather than inflammatory
Who is even assessing this? Does Apple have a trained panel of theologians, linguists, and historians on hand to enforce it? Do they publish papers?
22.5 Apps that are designed for use as illegal gambling aids, including card counters, will be rejected
Also known as “the casino lobby has better lawyers than you” because, last I checked, card counting is not, in fact, illegal.
26.3 Apps must not use data gathered from the HomeKit APIs for advertising or other use-based data mining
Also known as the “we’re watching you, Google Nest…” clause. Plus there’s something similar under the HealthKit section.
The document then concludes with a “we reserve the right to change this at any time” disclaimer, which is pretty standard. But… yeah.
Some things about the App Store make a lot more sense now, having read that…