16 Replies
      Latest reply on Aug 13, 2019 10:16 PM by Brigitte
      Photofacts Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        My app has been rejected (several times now) on ground of 4.2. Design: Minimun Functionality.
        I'm not getting any useful comments on what they're expecting to see changed to get it approved.

        This is what they say:

         

        We still found that the usefulness of your app is limited by the minimal amount of content or features it includes.

         

        We encourage you to review your app concept and incorporate different content and features that are in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.

         

        We understand that there are no hard and fast rules to define useful or entertaining, but Apple and Apple customers expect apps to provide a really great user experience. Apps should provide valuable utility or entertainment, draw people in by offering compelling capabilities or content, or enable people to do something they couldn't do before or in a way they couldn't do it before.

         

        I've created an app that allows users to create Current Reality Trees, something business can use to help them with their business growth. Based on the work of Eliyahu M. Goldratt. As far as I know there is no other app that lets you create CRT's, so I'd say it enables people to do something they couldn't do before or in a way they couldn't do it before.

        Since the first rejection on this same point I've added iCloud synchronisation, Possible solutions lists (a next step after creating a CRT), better usability, color tags and a way to collaborate on CRT documents.

        I'm running out of ideas on what to add and I want to avoid the app becoming bloatware.

        If you'd like to can try the app via TestFlight: https://testflight.apple.com/join/4Az1fSt5
        Also something I did, let potential users try the app and add functionality based on their suggestions.

        Does someone have a suggestion on how to move forward in this situation?    

        • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
          KMT Level 9 Level 9 (14,505 points)

          Did you appeal?

           

          If so, what did you say?

           

          How many times?

           

          How many rejections?

           

          What did each rejection say?

           

          Were you told to resubmit?

            • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
              Photofacts Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              Thanks for your reply!


              My first submission and rejection was on Jan 2, 2019.
              Same rejection as written above, also 4.2 Minimum Functionality.

              I replied:
              -----------
              Thanks for the review.

               

              As far as I know there is no other software that enables the creation of CRT's except Flying Logic, which is a 250 dollar program only available for Mac OS and Windows. Normal diagram apps work 'the other way around' and can't create these Current Reality Trees this app can.

               

              CRT Creator therefor offers a unique ability and does so in a simple and easy way.

              You can't create these easily with paper, for instance, since the nodes in the diagram will move around while you're working on it.

               

              I'll be adding these features to the app:

               

              - Cloud synchronisation (to sync between iPhone and iPad)

              - Creating a list of possible solutions after you've found your 'root cause' while creating your CRT (the next action after creating a CRT).

               

              Can you give me an indication if this would be sufficient to meet the 'minimum functionality' requirement?

              I know there are people waiting for an app that provides the functionality CRT Creator does.

              -----------

               

              To which they replied:

              -----------
              Thank you for providing this information.


              Regarding 4.2, we still find your app out of comply.

               

              To resolve this issue, it would be appropriate to review your app concept and incorporate different content and features that are in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.

               

              We look forward to reviewing your app.

              -----------

              I then went to work and added the two things I mentioned in my note and also added the abillity to share CRT's and PSL's and work on them together with other iOS users. I also added 'tags' to the CRT's which allows the user to tag element and give them a color. Furthermore I improved the usability by making it easier to connect and edit elements, I improved the display and speed of the CRT's and other small improvements.

              When I submitted the app for the second time I got the same rejection.
              I replied:

              -----------

              Would the app be approved when submitted as a free app?

              Is this a factor in approving the app?

               

              I’ve spend a lot of time and money creating this app. I don’t want to make it bloatware by adding unnecessary and not useful features.

              The app does what’s needed. What would you like to see added to make it pass the ‘minimal functionality’ guideline?

               

              There is limited content because this is what the user creates using the app. The app is just a tool to be able to do this. As far as I know there are no other apps available that are able to create CRT's (only apps for desktop computers). Only one of the screenshots you supplied works (the other shows an error when opened), but I've attached a screenshot of how the app looks when someone is working on a bit more extensive CRT.

               

              Unfortunately the App Store Review Guidelines on 4.2 do not offer me much to work with. The app does things no website I know offers. So it's clearly elevated beyond a repackaged website. It is unique, since I can't find any apps focused on creating Current Reality Tree diagrams. The app is useful because it can help companies find their bottlenecks and solve them. The app is not geared towards entertainment, so that it does not offer. It's made for businesses working on their growth. The app is in now way 'creepy'. It's clearly no song, movie or book.

               

              Also, I don't see guidlines 4.2.1 through 4.2.7 relevant to CRT Creator. None of these guideliness is violated.

               

              You say: 'Apps should provide valuable utility or entertainment, draw people in by offering compelling capabilities or content, or enable people to do something they couldn't do before or in a way they couldn't do it before.'

               

              I think the app does enable people to do something they couldn't do before in a way they couldn't do it before. People can create Current Reality Tree diagrams with this app in an easy and quick way. It's would take a lot of time to do this with paper (it's hard, I've tried) and you can't easily work together on those unless you're in the same room together. There is no other app -that I know of- that allows this.

               

              I cannot justify spending more resources on the app without a clear path to a release.

              Without proper clarity about what is needed to have this app approved for the app store I will have to stop developing and just use the app privately for myself only.

               

              I would appreciate a bit more feedback on what is needed to have the app pass your minimal functionality guideline.

              -----------

               

              To which they replied:

               

              -----------

              Thank you for your response. We are not able to provide feedback on app concepts or features, but we recommend evaluating your suggestions against the App Store Review Guidelines, as well as the iOS Developer Program License Agreement (PLA), and the iOS Human Interface Guidelines.

               

              Additionally, if you are considering implementing any of the following functionality, we recommend reviewing all associated reference material and other resources available on Apple Developer for any additional requirements.

               

              - Apple Developer

              - Apple Copyright and Trademark Guidelines

              - Game Center

              - iCloud

              - In-App Purchase

               

              You may also choose to post a question in the Apple Developer Forums.

              -----------

               

              That's how I ended up here.

                • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
                  PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,195 points)

                  You wrote:

                   

                  >  There is limited content because this is what the user creates using the app. .....

                   

                  Assuming that is true then when App Review opens your app they will see very little except a method of creating a "CRT".  App Review (and most reafders of this post) can only think "CRT? - cathode ray tubes went out with LED screens" and haven't a clue what to do with your app.  So -- here is a simple suggestion.  Include an example of a "model CRT" for a hypothetical "Whoever-would-use-a-CRT".  Maybe allow the user to highlight certain cool features in your model CRT.  Maybe explain other features in the model CRT and how you were able to create them using the app.  Then when App Review opens your app they will realize that your app is not about cathode ray tubes.

                    • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
                      Photofacts Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                      Thank you for your help.

                      We thought of that and added an example CRT (with a Possible Solutions List attached too) to the app on the second submission.
                      I could add multiple example files to 'fill up' the app, but I would think that would be annoying to real users.

                      There is also a 'help'-icon on the homepage of the app that opens up the website: crtcreator.com
                      Here I have some more guidance for inexperienced users. I don't know if a reviewer would take the time to look at that.
                      I could create a more elaborate example CRT, but when I make it to big and complication I think it will be harder to understand for first time users.


                        • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
                          PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,195 points)

                          You know, 4.2 starts out with

                              "Your app should include features, content, and UI that elevate it beyond a repackaged website."

                           

                          Could that be the issue?  Can you say your app does that?  Why is your app an "app" rather than a website?  What features make it app-specific?  Geo-location?   Always available?  Inter-device communication?

                            • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
                              Photofacts Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                              Thanks for your response, PBK!

                              I think it would be hard for a website to do what the app does.
                              Creating diagrams is, in my view, better done in a specific app instead of via a mobile website (on a desktop it could work).
                              I read this rule as: don't create a app that does the same as a simple site can do - text, image, pages.
                              Creating diagrams is -in my view- another level. But I could be wrong.

                              Problem is Apple doesn't specify why they say the functionality is minimal.

                               

                              Perhaps adding in-app purchases or siri integration might help, but honestly I think I'm adding useless features just to get the app approved. Feels like bloatware to me.

                                • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
                                  KMT Level 9 Level 9 (14,505 points)

                                       >Problem is Apple doesn't specify why they say the functionality is minimal

                                   

                                  Calling that 'a problem' makes it sound like you expect Apple to help you build your app...if that is your expectation, the problem may instead be that you've neglected to remember the work is called 'development' for a reason. Apple is not going to do that work for us, they only give us the tools and the opportunity.

                                   

                                  A 4.2 rejection may just be a polite way of saying that you don't have an app at all, and you need to re-visit your entire concept. That re-think might need to ask if you really need an app, where a modern HTML5 website that supports both ios and andriod out of the box, no review gauntlet needed, would perhaps be a better solution in your example.

                                    • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
                                      Photofacts Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                      Thanks for your reply, KMT.

                                      I don't expect Apple to help me build my app. I'm happy with the app as it is and find it very useful.
                                      Apparently they don't. I'm fine with that, but then give me more details on why that is the case.

                                       

                                      I don't need a polite way of saying, I want to know what the reviewer is thinking when he/she rejects the app.
                                      Most apps can be done just fine in HTML5 nowadays. You don't need the Facebook app, the site works fine on mobile too. You don't need a Instagram app, this could be done just fine with a HTML5 site.

                                      I'll just add some updates and try again.
                                      Perhaps another reviewer will either approve the app or tell me why it's rejected.

                                    • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
                                      PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,195 points)

                                      >  Creating diagrams is, in my view, better done in a specific app instead of via a mobile website (on a desktop it could work).

                                       

                                      And therein lies the rub.  Your 'app' is a desktop program.  There is no reason to put it into a mobile device as you yourself seem to admit.  So ask yourself - what features in this app could make it better as a mobile device app than as a desktop program?  If you can answer that, add those features to the app and tell App Review.

                                       

                                      Some possible features would involve the geo-location of the user, the ever-present characteristic of the device, the fact that everyone has one and the ability to immediately communicate from device to device.

                              • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
                                hotpaw2 Level 2 Level 2 (95 points)

                                The only way for a regular (non-concierge) developer to find out might be by submitting your updated app in for review (again), and waiting for a new review response.

                                 

                                One thing that might help with the review of a creator-type app is to include with your app (or have downloadable) some non-trivial demo CRTs (perhaps several), and to put in the app submission's Review Notes some very detailed instructions on how to view, edit, and/or manipulate these example CRTs.

                            • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
                              Claude31 Level 8 Level 8 (6,355 points)

                              I have not tested your app but just read what you describe.

                               

                              From shocka comment (should thank him to have taken time to download and test), it seems you have some need to polish the app, but most important, help users get value out of it (notably if they pay for the app) and so understand the value as well.

                               

                              Looks like your app is essentially a tree editor.

                              Does your app include a tutorial on how to proceed to perform a CRT ?

                              I've read some basic examples on wikipedia, you could probably include more real life examples and provide guidelines on how to proceed at each step:

                              - how to list the observables (symptoms)

                              - how to find possible causes for an observation.

                              - how to prune some causes

                              - …

                               

                              Imagine youself helping a user on a real case CRT. What questions would you ask to elaborate the CRT ?

                               

                              Last point, have you checked CRT is not copyrighted ?

                                • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
                                  Photofacts Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                  Thanks for your help!

                                  I don't see the comment you mention from 'shocka'?

                                  I did already change the app to be free. Perhaps that will help on the next submission.
                                  I don't need to make money of it, but I do think users are willing to pay for it. The only alternative I know of is a (non iOS) program that costs 250 dollar. I created the app because I thought they other program was to difficult to use. I'll be using it myself, but I do know of others who also like to use the app.

                                  Perhaps I would need to create a video that shows how a CRT is created in the app?
                                  So usage and how it works become more clear?

                                • Re: App rejected on 4.2 Design: Minimum Functionality
                                  Scientificware Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                  Hi, I made a public utility app for a hospital that needed a mobile application for entering bookings for patients' home visits. The app consists of a single booking form and a page for accepting privacy policies. No other functions are needed but it is constantly rejected by the app store because it does not meet the minimum functionalities or is even considered useless.

                                  The app is instead very useful and has a single screen because it only serves to book visits. How can I publish it?