22 Replies
      Latest reply on May 15, 2018 3:04 AM by Son Hoang
      glenmax Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        As many developers have already experienced (see https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/82935, https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/82964, https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/46910), Apple started to agressively apply the 4.3 guideline asking the developers to consolidate their existing apps into 1 container app. We experienced this ourselves recently.


        Our apps are designed to help people pass their UK theory test. As there are 5 different vehicle categories (which are not related to each other in any way) we obviously have an app for each of these categories. Apple is asking us to bundle cars, motorcycles, lorries, etc all into one container app.


        We already responded to the App Review team highlighting many reasons why we believe that this is a wrong application of the 4.3 guideline. Some of these are listed below:


        1. We develop all the code ourselves and we do not use any commercial templates.
        2. These apps target different sets of users (even the age profile is different)
        3. These apps contain different revision materials
        4. We cannot use on-demand resources to download the necessary images because users often use our app when they commute and London underground does not have a reliable network connection. Including all image resources into 1 container app would make its size too big to be downloaded over cellular. And if it gets downloaded - 4/5 will be unused by each user.
        5. Such apps are available not only on the App Store but also in the form of CDs and text book material. And even the governmental organisation which sets the actual test splits them by a vehicle category: https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/shop.
        6. In our opinion, given how mature this market is outside of the App Store, users have a clear expectation that they can search for "motorcycle theory test" and find the app they need. However, if we bundle 5 apps into one we would lose many relevant search terms. How is this a good user experience if the app which users might find helpful is not available in the search results for their consideration?
        7. Obviously, all our competitors also separate apps by a vehicle category


        From our point of view Apple is going too far if it requests that all apps like ours are consolidated. We do not think that we are engaging in spam of any kind by releasing car theory test and motorcycle theory test separately.


        Unfortunately, our experience with an App Review team has been extremely frustrating. In fact, we had to ask them twice to clarify what they mean until they told us that they want us to consolidate our theory test apps. Needless to say, when we message them with some arguments they simply copy-paste the 4.3 guideline.


        It seems that the App Review team has no authority to discuss the guidelines or to consider how they should be applied. If they stumble upon some triggers - they will tell you that you need to consolidate.


        It would therefore be great to reach someone at Apple who actually has the authority to evaluate these guidelines more flexibly. And if you guys know how to do this it would be of great help! It would also be helpful if some Apple employees who monitor these forums could pass this information on internally.

        • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
          gman3586 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

          Hi, My company is in a simaler situation. We create test prep apps for many certifications and have recently run into the 4.3 Spam rejection problem. Have you had any luck apealing the rejection?

          • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
            rgserapio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

            We are in the same situation. Apple only manages like a robot without analyzing each case. It is desperate and frustrating.

            Our customers are planning to take legal action against Apple.

              • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                ZeldaLink Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                This is the worst case with Apple Guidelines that we've ever seen in 9 years of doing apps. Never had any issues prior to this, and we always create unique content for the Appstore.


                This is a nightmare for developers, and I'm not sure how this will play out, but I see a lot of developers getting out of doing anything to do with Apple altogether.


                It's such a shame that it has come to this. We've been doing this for 9 years now, and this new guideline will definitley put us in the position of not focusing on Appstore products any longer.


                Apple, if you are reading this,  you need to reconsider your stance on this new guideline.


                We understand that clones and other apps affect the Appstore, but this guideline is being taken way too far, and too drastic.

                • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                  vickizhang Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                  Let's fight together! Contact me at vickizhang1983 @ gmail . com

                • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                  cblaze22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                  I am in the same boat.  To target the little guys who are honest and create apps for small businesses that have different criterias and looks. We don't even make money off of it or are we targeting a wide audience.  I mean if the YMCA in Louisville want their own app, we will create it and it will have similar funtionality as it hooks into our API scheduling system.  The YMCA is targeting that area, not trying to make money.  We dont use a commercialized template or app generation service.  Our apps are unique, not another flashlight app. I mean are there really more then one YMCA of Louisville app?


                    • 4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.
                  • 4.3 SpamDon’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app and provide the variations using in-app purchase. Also avoid piling on to a category that is already saturated; the App Store has enough ****, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra apps already. Spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Developer Program.


                  Does creating seperate account solve this issue? If so that would be they mean they would have to pay $100 a year for a developer license.

                  • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                    Pironiiuss Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                    Same here.  We have done dozens of apps which serve a particular type of business.  Needless to say we try to produce them in a way that it is cost efficient for those businesses.  But each app has a totally different look and the content is always different (each one has different data and data sources).


                    Yes Apple is reject saying these violate 4.3.  We have been doing this for years, have 700 clients and service customers from small to the largest of their kind in the world.  


                    Apple review used to be great and smooth and fast.  Now it's become one reject after another that makes no sense with this 4.3. reject being the latest "reject fad". 

                    • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                      mahzaib69 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                      Same issue here, We develop games of multiple animal hunting and apple says to put all the animals in one app and publish game as one. Which doesnt makes sense, there's a difference between gorilla hunter and  dinosaur hunter but apple review team wont get it and rejects the game ! 4.3 is being pain in the A** for developers.

                        • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                          cblaze22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                          Your issue is the exact scenario that actually makes sense.  Are you going to create 100 animal hunting games?  You should have one app and they choose the animal game within in, you are bloating the store.


                          However, in our case, we actually have distinct customers, that want their own app.  They do not want to share between competitors and other organizations.  This should not be combined into one app, this 4.3 does not make sense for us and is cause by apps like yours which cause bloat in the app store.

                        • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                          siappa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                          Hello, any suggestion? How to follow up these steps, omg. Apple please let me work.

                          • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                            Ashleej123 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                            Did you manage to get this issue resolved and successfully update your apps through the review process? If so do you have any tips or help!

                            • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                              imperatus Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

                              It's amazing how they fail to see what they are doing to legitimate businesses. I wish they do before is too late for all.

                              • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                                scriba Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                Here same rejection for 4 different card games,

                                I spent five years in developing my small business,

                                I developed 4 card games quite popuplar in Italy, I use a similar interface for the games, but rules are totally different

                                Scala 40, Rummy, Machiavelli and Pinnacola (the italian Pinochle totally different from the American one)

                                players will search on the store those games by name, they want to play Scala 40 or Pinnacola or Machiavelli or Rummy and those app name is very important, how should I name a all in one card game? "All Card Games", whoever will serach "All Card Games" on the App Store?


                                minding to move defintively my app to Android and suggest to my customers (around 100.000 players to move to Andoriod too)

                                • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                                  katerinadev Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                  Same problem here...anyone knows how to handle this? Should I change colors, icons, menus?
                                  Functionality is very different in my apps, while the UI is similar.. so maybe that is the cause of the rejection?
                                  Any hope? Any tips?

                                  • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                                    GoodTV Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                    We too have been caught by this.  The robotic response and complete lack of any deeper insight is most frustrating.  We even received a 4.3 rejection for an app which is brand-new and has NEVER been published before. Despite asking for clarification, we simply received the cut and paste answer.  We are a small company, my customers don't want to aggregate their content, neither will they sign up for a devloper account on their own (which I read from others actually makes little difference in any case) as they can't agree to be bound by conditions over which they have no control.  We are the developers, it is natural for us to work in this world, our clients don't want the hassle or lack the expertise and that is why they pay us to do the work.  It's like the world has gone mad!

                                    • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                                      imperatus Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

                                      I fail to understand what is the true purpose of this decision when it comes to white label businesses that create value, like online stores and ordering systems. The only think that makes sense is that there is a kind of agreement with large businesses to eliminate smaller ones. Other than that, I do not see where Apple or the end user benefits from banning an online store offer an app to sell their products and build this with a framework to save time and money.

                                      • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                                        Brandgarden Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                        I am too now in the same boat. We create apps for retail stores and each app is unique to that store. I guess apple now no longer needs developers that focus on small businesses. We have over 120 apps in the app store with hundreds of thousands of downloads. Do my customers tell all their customers to switch to android. This move by apple is like suicide.

                                        • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                                          sun007 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                          Suddenly they are not approving my apps updates and write the same copy-paste rule. As indie app business become so tough over time, golden era was gone and now they are kicking to us.


                                          I dont understand how similar apps become clutter. Normally end users download app by searching, so similar apps will not be shown to him for same keyword.


                                          Apple should re-think about it. They become so rich that they don't care about developers now anymore.


                                          I am one of the indie developer who is surviving but now seems like I ruined my career.

                                            • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                                              tarasfromstudena Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                              Same thing guys have with me, I can not update or send new applications ... reject, reject, reject... It seems to me that indie time has ended and has not started, now I can not update or send new applications - always reject... I spent a few years on this, I earn money here, but now all by the tail with one hand Apple

                                            • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                                              glancashire Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                              Dear Glen


                                              We are in the exact (and I mean exact) same situation. Have you been able to find a solution with apple?


                                              Kind Regards


                                              • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                                                deguilardi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                                My case is that apple started rejecting all my apps. I think there is a robot rejecting the apps because they're all made on the same framework, they are very different from each other. The first time this happened I just asked them to be more specific, they deleted the old message, one day after they put the app in review, one week after the app was accepted. But now, they are just rejecting them all, giving generic dumb answers. This is just one of the whys I have android as my dailly driver.

                                                • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                                                  acanberk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                                  Same here. But i did what they want. Combined several language quiz apps into one and sumbitted as a new app. They also rejected the new one with the same response.  Am i supposed to delete other apps first? i am so confused with this. Anyone succeded this? it is acceptable for me to combine apps but what is the right procedure. Responses are not specific.

                                                  • Re: 4.3 guideline nightmare
                                                    Son Hoang Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                                    I got fired because cannot submit my company games to AppStore due to this guideline.

                                                    Welldone Apple. I'm going to be an Android developer now.