At least 45% of the world’s population, which includes adults, teenagers, and children, owns a smartphone. Why? Because these devices have applications that meet a variety of their needs.
The smartphones, however, must run on an operating system predominantly Android OS by Google or iOS by Apple. Each of these OS has its stores; These stores are like a shop for apps that are compatible with that device. They are the Google Play Store for Android devices and Apple Store for iOS devices. Beyond being the hub for device compatible applications, they are both the largest distribution channels for mobile apps.
Mobile apps of today are digital solution providers. Through them, the users can have their problems sorted out most times without another human’s intervention. The bank app for example allows you to make payments and purchases without having to withdraw money from the bank to do all of that. Shopping apps now make it possible for you to get products to your doorstep without you having to go shop for them physically.
Due to the two-way benefits of mobile applications (that is, both users and developers), apps are being rolled out every day.
But after creation, the next task is getting these apps on both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store. Maybe not on the play store, but getting an app on the apple store can be hard. You may successfully get an app on the play store but then have the app kicked out for many reasons.
1. Apps that Collects unauthorised data from users: You may have seen it a couple of times after installing an app, you are usually asked to allow the app to access data on your mobile device. This access is, however, limited to data that is relevant to the core functionality of the app. Many fraudulent ads have taken advantage of this feature to steal passwords and private data. Applications that go beyond collecting data to accomplish tasks relevant to their functions are therefore banned whether or not the goal is negative.
2. Apps that allow users to download music and videos from illegal websites: Any app that allows users to download music and videos into the phone’s storage can not exist on the Apple store. Although there are many apps today, such as audio Mack and Spotify, which allows you to stream and download music on the app itself, that is really where it ends. The only way to access saved or downloaded files from those applications is when you are on that application. You would never see those media files on the device storage.
3. Apps that Carry offensive content: Apple’s developer guidelines prohibit offensive and defamatory apps. These include applications with pornographic intent and religious or sexually offensive contents and activities. Apps like Me so holy, Islam Muhammad and Exodus International were examples of such apps. Their life in the apple store didn’t last long as several petitions were signed to take them down.
4. Apps that Use a private API: An API (Application Programming Interface) is software that communicates what the users see and does on an app and the server. Essentially, everything a user requests and receives on an app is done by an API. Now Apple is totally against using private APIs. The Apple store guideline that tackles this says Apps May only use public API’s and must currently run on the shipping OS.
5. Apps with Hidden and falsified functionalities: Apps with hidden functionalities always find themselves out of the Apple store. This is because the hidden functionalities may carry out actions that breach the security of the users. So in a bid to ensure data protection, apps with functionalities that are absent in their documentations are kicked out.
6. Apps With fake apple store reviews: Apparently, some developers would give out promotion codes in exchange for reviews and users would be coerced to give fake ratings and reviews on the app. In a bid to sustain the integrity of apps that the store provides, Apple checks and filters these app reviews. That way, poor apps are revealed and eventually kicked out.
7. Apps without a licence to operate in certain countries: In countries like China, iOS games need to obtain Chinese gaming licenses for them to operate in the country. This rule has been in existence for years but Apple made it highly mandatory in 2020. Although the process is tedious and time-consuming, Apple gave publishers a Dec. 31, 2020 deadline to obtain the license. A good number of publishers were unable to get the license and by January 2021, there were only 74 of the top 1,500 paid games remaining after the removal. Today, about 46,000 games have been kicked off the apple store for not having the operating license for China.
8. Apps that Allow app purchases on a website and not in the app: This is another reason why an app gets kicked off the apple store. Except for multi-platform service apps, p2p sales apps and enterprise services, Purchases to be made for an app should be made on the app and not on a website. Many developers use this to avoid the 30% fee that goes to the apple store for purchases on the platform. This goes for the play store and well.
9. Apps that use push alerts and widgets for marketing: Apple understands the importance of marketing but not to a point that it becomes a nuisance. Apple has decided that originations and other areas of the iOS operating system should not include ads. Although, one of Apple’s guidelines notes that push notifications can be used for promotion and direct marketing only if the user has opted to use them.
The Apple Store instructions cover all of this and more. Violations of either of the rules result in either the app’s invitation to be hosted on the store being denied or the app being booted off after it has been hosted.
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