23 Replies
      Latest reply: Oct 26, 2017 6:37 AM by 10686142 RSS
      ailnitskiy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        Paragraph 4.2.6 says: Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.

        Can anybody explain, is this paragraph relates to White Label solutions?

        • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
          KMT Level 8 Level 8 (9,645 points)

          Seems to fall squarely in 4.2.6's sights. No question.

            • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
              Mobifitness Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              There are lots of companies that produce mobile apps for small local businesses using one project and many targets in it.

              Such mobile apps look similar to one another but they differ in functionality, colors, images, content, navigation. They are neither spam nor sloppy clones. They are used by real customers.

              So it is not clear where there is the boundary of item 4.2.6.

              Is white label business model beyond the law?

              Is it sufficient to change the start screen to make the apps not look alike?

              Google asks such developers to provide them with an official signed letter allowing the developer to publish the app on behalf of the client.

              Why doesn't Apple use this practice?

                • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                  NotMyName Level 4 Level 4 (765 points)

                  Apple and Google have different market objectives, which result in different business decisions.

                  YOu might as well ask how come Apple doesn't license out its iPhone OS to other manufacturers.

                    • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                      Mobifitness Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                      OK, I shouldn't compare Apple and Google strategies.

                      Let's shrink my question to the scope of the requirements to white label solutions. What should white label solutions do to meet the requirements of 4.2.6?

                      It is obvious that Apple is not interested in cancelling access of millions of users to really useful apps and services.

                      Different design of start screen? OK.

                      Different navigation look? Maybe.

                      We want to meet the requirements but do not know what actions would be sufficient from the Apple's point of view.

                        • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                          KMT Level 8 Level 8 (9,645 points)

                               >What should white label solutions do to meet the requirements of 4.2.6?

                           

                          Is this the same question? Because you seem to be ignoring your original comment. If a dev doesn't wish to risk the defined outcome, don't go down the defined path - "Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected"

                           

                          ...which I believe leads to a reasonable conclusion that Apple expects the solution to be based on it's IDE, resulting in a native app for the given platform - that is the action sufficient, at least in terms of 4.2.6.

                           

                          And in case it also needs clarification, Apple's IDE is an approved/compatible version of Xcode on a supported macOS. See the 'Resources' link above...maybe start with the HIGs.

                           

                          I won't bother listing/defending all of the commerialized templates (I'm sure some of their authors are here now trying to shore up their business model), app generation services, tools etc. that should have been avoided in the first place.

                           

                          If someone told you back then that you could leverage am easy street shortcut and not need to learn native tools, etc. think about where you'd be now if you had not listened to their self-serving marketing pitch, and made a committment then to Xcode etc., especially if it involved paying for their product and them telling you whatever you needed to hear to convince you to let go of your cash. Hope you kept the receipt.

                            • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                              Mobifitness Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                              > ..which I believe leads to a reasonable conclusion that Apple expects the solution to be based on it's IDE, resulting in a native app for the given platform - that is the action sufficient, at least in terms of 4.2.6.

                               

                              Well, IMHO white label solution doesn't mean that the app is built with HTML/JS.

                              We have a single project with multiple targets, it is fully native and doesn't contain a single line of HTML/JS code.

                              Our applications look alike however we have different customizations and each application is released by people: iOS developer, manager, QA.

                              So it is neither automatically generated not contains a pre-packeged website.

                               

                              Do we meet the requirements of 4.2.6?

                              If not, we want to know what should we do to meet them.

                              For example, we can make several different views of the start screen, we can make a tabbar and show or hide it in the project, etc.

                              I think that this question is important to many developers.

                               

                              Thank you.

                        • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                          FriskyBadger Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                          This is a very heavy handed approach.  There are many companies out there that provide a platform that makes it easier to create and build apps.  It has enabled me to offer small and medium sized companies the option of having their own app at far more reasonable costs.  If I had to build from scratch it would have cost a lot more.

                           

                          Using a template is nothing new, we do it every day of our lives, Word, Excel, Numbers, Pages, EVEN XCODE.  when you create a new project, you are asked what template you want to use and Apple provided the barebone structures.  I simply then modify the Look and Feel Images, Buttons, labels, you get the picture;  I just start at a lower level. 

                           

                          I Feel Apple are overstepping the mark here.  It's one thing to check and validate Apps for the store, make sure there is nothing nasty in the code; but to now sit in judgment over what they decide is 'Worthy' for the App Store listing, is quite another.  I think this has more to do with Code Snobs or developers complaining they can no longer get away with charging huge sums of money for even the most basic of Apps.


                          This decision is going to put a lot of companies out of business, The small agencies like mine who make use of these platform technologies, support staff, admin people, the list goes on.  And what about those small businesses that want to have an app, leverage the additional functionality smartphone bring? they will have to shell much more money or worse, simply not have an App.  I like Apple, buy a lot of Apple, use a lot of Apple, but this is a very draconian and arrogant step.


                          Very sad day, Apple becoming a Dictatorship.

                           

                      • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                        carin75 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                        I am upset that Apple has deemed that consumers and businesses should be denied mobile app solutions simply because the starting point was with a template.
                        If Apple continue down this road, they are pushing their consumers to turn on them and go Android so that they can get ALL the apps that are available.

                         

                        This is akin to them deciding to scrub all electronic music from iTunes because it wasn't made with traditional pianos and guitars! Regardless of the final product and if consumers want it, they are just deciding they don't approve of the instruments. This is benefits no one.

                         

                         

                        As a consumer, I am disappointed that they are prohibiting useful and relevant apps from being available to ME, an Apple customer...for a completely arbitrary reason.

                        I work with schools, and regardless of how my apps are made and on what platform, they provide REAL and RELEVANT solutions that improve COMMUNICATION and PARTICIPATION...and for Apple to deny this solution to public schools is unfair and possibly not legal.

                          • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                            NotMyName Level 4 Level 4 (765 points)

                            Ah, right.  The quality of educational software put out by companies that can't even bother to modify a standard template solution enough to differentiate it...

                             

                            Feel free to complain all you want about Apple making you do more work to pass review.  Just don't be surprised when you get laughed at.

                              • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                                Mobifitness Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                I just wonder what is the measure of difference?

                                How Apple decide that these two apps are similar to one another and those two are not?

                                It's truly hard to make two educational or fitness apps based upon a single platform look absolutely different. I say more, it is not necessary because business processes are similar and unified.

                                It is ok about 4.2.6 but how can companies that provide actually useful service with a single platform avoid the sancsions?

                            • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                              Adrianpa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                              It's a big mistake...

                              • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                                iPad_dev Level 2 Level 2 (15 points)

                                what is this going after PhoneGap?  Unity? 

                                • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                                  iappnetwork Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                  The platform I use has just turned off publishing to iOS, I'm devastated. We have a number of very popular community apps published from the platform, with employees etc. Really hoping the platform can work with Apple to fix this issue.

                                  • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                                    Brandgarden Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                    Same here. I have 150 apps in the app store from clients and employ people to manage and keep these apps up. I respect coders and I am sure you are compensated for your skills accordingly. To just simply turn this off with no notice is just plain wrong. Its not even about me or my business. I am diverse enough that I can adapt. Saying that you cannot use white label services is like telling the entire web world that wordpress is no longer accepting plugins that you didn't code.

                                     

                                    If anything I would have created two stores. One for small businesses that could use the white lable programs and one for hard coded apps.

                                    • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                                      Techdojo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                      I don't know why people are overreacting - this is obviosuly based at all the people using templates / app generation software to simply mass produce 100's of identical apps that just differ by simple re-skinning (if that) and then just spamming the app store with endless clones in an effort to milk keywords.

                                       

                                      The moment you add something "significant" to your app to make it a unique / bespoke experience then I doubt you'll have any issues!

                                       

                                      Failing that - just keep calm and carry on and worry about it IF you're app get's rejected.  If on the other hand you're an app store spammer just blindly copying the same game template 100 times and not changing a single line of code then we already have enough of your apps - thank you

                                       

                                      Just my $0.02

                                        • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                                          djibouti Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                          Not quite. Legitimate white label app developers are being caught up in the middle too. As a classic example I've seen, making a cost-effective app for a local retailer. If you make lots of apps for different retailers, is that really "cloning to spam keywords"? Retailers get value, customers of retailers get vaule, and developers get paid. Apple is rejecting such apps.

                                            • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                                              PBK Level 6 Level 6 (2,205 points)

                                              I guess there are two scenarios:

                                               

                                              1) the spammers generating many many repeat apps and filling the app store with redundant content

                                              2) the apps that are customizeable to a specific use for which there are large families of such use.  For example the local barber shop in CityTown or the August 31 - Rolling Stones event at the CityTown Arena.

                                               

                                              Apple is saying 'no' to the 1st and is differentiating a business model for the second.  If you are a barber shop or the next event you want your own app.  But that's your business model, not Apple's.  Apple sells apps and devices.  Apple is making you be one entity within a host of similar entities.  You can still be the 'CityTown' entry on the 'Barber Shop' app or the 'August 31 - Rolling Stones' entry for the 'CityTown Arena' app.  The user downloads one app and gets to see all events and all barber shops.  It's a choice.  Sorrry.  

                                            • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                                              imperatus Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

                                              You seem to be missing the big picture. Let's say that a company is producing a stand-alone application for hotel bookings. They built an enormous backend to support it and they release an app for each hotel that has a splash screen a room list with booking and a history. Even if this company was to custom build, design and maintain each app, would take 10-20 apps before they start using the same codebase. This is how development works. It's like banning Magento eshops from the Web because they use Magento code. If you were an entrepreneur except being a developer you would understand that offering to the market an alternative to trivago or booking is exceptional solution to many businesses that want to be able to work with their own apps. If you want to make this competitive, you have to streamline the maintenance and further development and this is good for all. You do all the work one time and you sync the changes to all your customers' apps. This means with native swift/obj-c code, native apis etc. I cannot stress enough how ridiculous is that the apps are going to get rejected because they all have 3 features on their tabbbar and the same name on them. Is there a real reason to ban that? They are different businesses, they cannot get "combined" since they are competitors and they are SMALL enough to not be able to build 100% custom apps and 100% custom backend for them. What is wrong with that? Is that considered spam or bad design? Let's get serious around here, shall we?

                                            • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                                              AppINC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                              please what are the possible solution now?

                                              • Re: Paragraph 4.2.6 in the App Store Review Guidelines for iOS 11.
                                                10686142 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                                I really don't see how some people don't understand or don't want to understand that rejecting every App because they are made with an App Generation service is especially very bad for small business owners. Yeah I know as a developer that they haven't coded anything and they use the same codebase, but which Xcode developer doens't share similar code when creating a new App. Why reinvent the wheel if it's already invented(a Dutch saying). I do understand the regulations regarding to the App's functionalities that could have also been a website or there are almost no functionalities, since it has no incremental value compared to a webppage. But come on, Apple is only pushing the same issue forward to the next developer that tries to create an App that somehow looks similar to an already existing App. And thereby pushing small business owners into high costs, which in most cases people don't have ,if you aren't one of the big companies for whom this regulation is no problem.

                                                Or try to be at least a bit fair and give people a period in which they can use an App service to determne if they are willing to invest or gather an investment to create it native.