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Have app reviewers gotten worse?

SeanyKSeanyK Posts: 188Registered Users @ @
Hey folks, so over the years we have all encountered the various rejections of the app review team, sometimes justified (such as a bug, error that we have not noticed during production) other times, odd reasons, that you just kind of roll with, accept it, do what they say and get on with it.

Recently however, I have encountered somewhat bizarre rejections, the best one being, I was updating an existing app to make it ARM64 compatible, first, they reject the title suggesting keyword stuffing - I will admit, there were a couple of added words, not obvious, but anyhow...Fine, I changed it.
Now...

Thank you for your resubmission. Upon further review the following was identified:

Guideline 4.3 - Design
Your app duplicates the content and functionality of apps currently available on the App Store.
Apps that simply duplicate content or functionality create clutter, diminish the overall experience for the end user, and reduce the ability of developers to market their apps.


This is fantastic, given the app has been out for 2 years, I am being accused of duplicating another app? How does that work?

I also find the appeal process worse, they no longer call you to discuss, they just simply agree with the original reviewer (which makes me think the appeal is done by them anyway!) after a day or two of keeping you waiting.

What has happened? Have they outsourced a review team, and just have a complete and utter random rejection rate?

I also love(loathe) the fact they make you spend time updating after a rejection, only to reject it again for something they could have mentioned in the first place, completely counter-productive.

Replies

  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,565New Users @ @ @ @ @
    @SeanyK Yikes!

    Lets hope this is not a new trend.

    Welcome to the new People's Republic of Apple. :(
  • astersdoastersdo USAPosts: 558New Users @ @ @
    If it is an existing app then they should honor it's existing place in the App Store.
  • SeanyKSeanyK Posts: 188Registered Users @ @
    edited April 12
    I agree, if it's a brand new app and a blatant copy of something else then sure, exercise that rule, but to an update?
    Essentially they could apply that rule to anything.

    Made a snapchat style filter app? Released it three years ago? Sorry, don't update it, as your copying snapchat!

    (Of course, just an example! I didn't make a snapchat app ha ha!)

    I've basically gone back to them and suggested I am being penalised for updating an app so users get compatibility with their latest devices, we shall see...
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,565New Users @ @ @ @ @
    astersdo wrote: »
    If it is an existing app then they should honor it's existing place in the App Store.

    But they're not, and therein lies the problem.

    This is just another way to get screwed over by Apple. You originally wrote the app. And then they penalize you for "spamming" on a required update?!

    Boggles the mind.
  • id256id256 Posts: 73New Users @
    Seems to me, that the more discoverable (and profitable) an app is, the more problems with reviews there are. Correct me if my suspicions are artificial...
  • SeanyKSeanyK Posts: 188Registered Users @ @
    I think parts of what they are doing are brilliant;

    1) Cut off apps that do not support 64-bit, this will cut out a lot of junk apps, reskinned from years ago, that users do not update / do not know how to update.

    The 30-day 'fix it or it gets deleted' idea, I think is good, again, like the above it cuts the clutter, combined with 50 character app names, means no longer can you use this for a game;

    OMG Justin Bieber Loves This Game Because it's like Angry Birds Clash Of Clans Candy Crush whilst boom beach snapchat facebook enjoys Drinking Soda Free No Ads But There Are lots of ads FREE

    It's forcing old apps to work, or disappear.

    The problem however is their review team, it has always been a mixed bag, sometimes they go through, other times they pick up something (sometimes fair, sometimes not) and then other times truly ridiculous (such as my example on the first post) they need to apply consistency and stop punishing people for updating their app (losing ratings / stupid rejections etc!)

  • sparksosparkso Posts: 507Registered Users @ @ @
    SeanyK wrote: »

    Thank you for your resubmission. Upon further review the following was identified:

    Guideline 4.3 - Design
    Your app duplicates the content and functionality of apps currently available on the App Store.
    Apps that simply duplicate content or functionality create clutter, diminish the overall experience for the end user, and reduce the ability of developers to market their apps.


    This is fantastic, given the app has been out for 2 years, I am being accused of duplicating another app? How does that work?

    I also find the appeal process worse, they no longer call you to discuss, they just simply agree with the original reviewer (which makes me think the appeal is done by them anyway!) after a day or two of keeping you waiting.

    What has happened? Have they outsourced a review team, and just have a complete and utter random rejection rate?

    I also love(loathe) the fact they make you spend time updating after a rejection, only to reject it again for something they could have mentioned in the first place, completely counter-productive.

    So has it managed to get through eventually?
  • SeanyKSeanyK Posts: 188Registered Users @ @
    It got through on a one time exception, basically they said it should all be one game with a main menu to choose the theme rather than 3 different themed games, I know what they meant, but it's a flawed logic.

    With their view, then Angry birds should be one game, and just have a choice of themes when starting the game.
    That would never happen...
  • raymngraymng Posts: 2,031Registered Users @ @ @ @
    SeanyK wrote: »
    It got through on a one time exception, basically they said it should all be one game with a main menu to choose the theme rather than 3 different themed games, I know what they meant, but it's a flawed logic.

    With their view, then Angry birds should be one game, and just have a choice of themes when starting the game.
    That would never happen...

    You can't compare your apps to Angry Birds.. you think this world is fair? you think Apple dare to terminate Microsoft's account?

  • dinglefacedingleface Posts: 172New Users @ @
    I've had similar rejections for existing apps recently as well. Seems they are getting more strict or maybe we just both got a real hard nosed reviewer. I suspect they are becoming more strict though since they are trying to clean up app store.
  • raymngraymng Posts: 2,031Registered Users @ @ @ @
    Maybe we should join together to do something, otherwise Apple would not know we are so angry about this.
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,565New Users @ @ @ @ @
    SeanyK wrote: »
    It got through on a one time exception, basically they said it should all be one game with a main menu to choose the theme rather than 3 different themed games, I know what they meant, but it's a flawed logic.

    With their view, then Angry birds should be one game, and just have a choice of themes when starting the game.
    That would never happen...

    The review process has totally become corrupt. You got hit with design, another word for spamming the app store. I strongly suspect that either the reviewer decides to not approve your app based on some bogus Design or Spam issue, or that Apple has advised the reviewers to stonewall and not approve updates, using that flimsy excuse. You're lucky to have gotten it through. But the next time, you'll face these @ssholes again.

    Wonder how many developers are being screwed over by the review team. Apple is destroying the livelihood of many without caring or allowing developers to present a logical argument.

    Apple review just stonewalls you and hopes that you will walk away. Not to mention they threaten you with the loss of your developer account should you continue to "violate" the rules.

    What a f*cking croc of sh*t this is.
  • chemistrychemistry Posts: 535Registered Users @ @ @
    conspiracy theory, I think some reviewers actually publish apps themselves. So that explains how some guys can keep updating apps that are totally not allowed.
  • raymngraymng Posts: 2,031Registered Users @ @ @ @
    edited July 19
    del
  • raymngraymng Posts: 2,031Registered Users @ @ @ @
    raymng wrote: »
    dev666999 wrote: »
    SeanyK wrote: »
    It got through on a one time exception, basically they said it should all be one game with a main menu to choose the theme rather than 3 different themed games, I know what they meant, but it's a flawed logic.

    With their view, then Angry birds should be one game, and just have a choice of themes when starting the game.
    That would never happen...

    The review process has totally become corrupt. You got hit with design, another word for spamming the app store. I strongly suspect that either the reviewer decides to not approve your app based on some bogus Design or Spam issue, or that Apple has advised the reviewers to stonewall and not approve updates, using that flimsy excuse. You're lucky to have gotten it through. But the next time, you'll face these @ssholes again.

    Wonder how many developers are being screwed over by the review team. Apple is destroying the livelihood of many without caring or allowing developers to present a logical argument.

    Apple review just stonewalls you and hopes that you will walk away. Not to mention they threaten you with the loss of your developer account should you continue to "violate" the rules.

    What a f*cking croc of sh*t this is.

    Do we have an association of Apple Developer?

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