We have spoken to many developers in previous months who have run into issues with the new 4.3 Design Guidelines rules & had their apps rejected, seemingly by a bot, or in general, by a reviewer because of similarities to previous apps. They have been asked to combine their similar apps into one container app.
We understand why Apple is finally cracking down and doing this. They are trying to clean up the Appstore of clones, useless junk & other spam apps.
In the process however, this has seemingly hurt indie developers who are not using templates, and design their own games from scratch. We've spoken with several developers, many who pride themselves in creating unique content such as educational & games for children, receieve these notices with no method to appeal, and auto-responses making the same blanket statement, ending in frustration for the developer & wasted months in development time.
They are asked to combine their apps or games into one "single container app" to reduce the clutter in the Appstore. While the idea of this sounds great in theory, it is flawed in exection, simply because some apps and games are not meant to be combined.
Take a first grade educational app for instance. Say you program a math game that caters to 1st grade kids. Then you use that engine or framework to develop a math game for 3rd or 4th graders. Combining these games would make no sense from a marketing perspective, and from the perspective of a parent who is purchasing the app for their child who needs a math game for first graders only . We have actually spoken to parents and customers in an email survey, who said they would not like this change, and it would make it more difficult for them to find the app they need to install for their child's specific age group. They have asked us to not combine these apps that they have stored on their device, as they like to have separate applications and games for each of their children, in their respective age groups & content supplied.
This is just ONE example or highlight of how this actually ruins the end user experience. Forcing developers to combine apps into one container app does not benefit customers, especially those that are accustomed to having the one single app for it's functionality and purpose. That applies to educational games, tools that target a specific market group, or diet apps that target specific dietary needs and so forth.
Apple - We beg you. Please reconsider this new guideline, and don't be so heavy handed with the rejection notices. We understand the need to clean up the Appstore, and provide a better experience for users, & remove spam, but taking the guidelines this far is not the way to clean up the store.
We feel this is hurting the end user experience, and many of our customers love having the single application or game, rather than one larger bloated file installed on their device.
Don't force developers into combining apps into one container app. It does not make sense for the end user experience, and does not make sense from a marketing or distribution perspective whatsoever, and actually hurts the end user experience. Combining 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade math games does not equate to a better store experience, just as combining diet apps from various diets, does not help that person who is trying to get healthy, & wants a very specific diet app tailored to their specific needs.
Please reconsider revising this guideline, as I don't feel we are alone in this battle.
We appreciate the ability to be able to publish games to one of the best Appstores on the market. We hope that Apple revises these guidelines, so things aren't so heavy handed and difficult for indies, who are already struggling to make ends meet in this very competitive marketplace.