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Have app reviewers gotten worse?

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.

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.


  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,558 @ @ @ @ @
    @SeanyK Yikes!

    Lets hope this is not a new trend.

    Welcome to the new People's Republic of Apple. :(
  • astersdoastersdo USAPosts: 546 @ @ @
    If it is an existing app then they should honor it's existing place in the App Store.
  • SeanyKSeanyK Posts: 186 @ @
    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: 3,558 @ @ @ @ @
    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: 69 @
    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: 186 @ @
    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!)

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