5 Essential Steps for Apple Mobile App Store Acceptance

You spend weeks or months working on your mobile app and you turn it over to Apple App Store to review. Feels like you are in the lap of the gods, no way of knowing how quick they will come back or whether your submission will be rejected and the full process starts again. Rule of thumb is to give you 5 weeks from submitting to the store for when you need your app live – but that’s if you make it through clean first time. Double it if you go to early and submit before you’re ready.

Here are the 5 essential steps for apple app store acceptance that you should follow if you want to make sure getting your app live is plain sailing.

1.Know and follow the rules

Apple sets out some very detailed and very specific rules that apps must conform to, to be accepted into the app store.

The get regularly updated, so just because you’ve got one app approved doesn’t mean the next one will clear the rules. We hear that not conforming to the guidelines is the reason makes up 75% of all apps that are rejected.

2. Consistent UI

A subset of “follow the rules” is use the standard apple icons and buttons and make sure they are only used for what they were originally intended to do.

They extol the virtue of good design building this round three main areas, Deference, Clarity and Depth.

The basic principle is to keep the UI simple and clean, complex apps that feel “over-engineered” by Apple will be rejected.

3. Submit when you’re done… not before

Temptation is to get the app over to apple as soon as you can. Ship them a beta of the final app to flush out any gripes. Don’t do that. You’ll get a flat reject and probably not learn much to speed the final submission.

You can however use TestFlight to collect feedback and do final checks before submitting to the store. Good information can be found here.

This also includes the actual content (images and text) within your app. Place holder content that you plan to edit and update when its live wont fly with Apple. So don’t do it.

Make sure user support links are live with current contact information correct. They will check they are and test the information. Also make sure you have privacy policy covered. This stuff is easily missed.

They hate bugs and they hate it when you app crashes, so make sure its stable and bug free before you waste their time (and yours).

4. Speed & performance

Apple want the app experience to be as positive as possible. Both the initial download of the app being quick (ie the maximum size of 4 billion bytes).


  • For apps <7.0 OS the maximum is 80MB for the total of all __TEXT sections in the binary.
  • For apps =/> OS 7.0 the maximum is 60MB per slice for the __TEXT section of each architecture slice in the binary.
  • iOS 9.0

There is also a maximum for over-the-air updating of 100MB.

You’ll also have to think about how fast the app loads each time its used and the footprint of the app on the device are all key factors in getting your app approved.

Good resources are here.

5. Complete information and accurate descriptions

You get one crack at this, once your app is live you have to push an update to edit this so make sure its perfect before you submit. Poorly described apps with uninspiring screenshots will do nothing to inspire new users of your app. Apple may not give an opinion here, but this will hurt you big once your app is in store.

What they will call you out on is making sure you have provided all the information you need to in the App Review Information section of iTunes Connect. For example if there are specific config settings include them. If you need to sign in to access specific features then make sure you have a demo account set up and display account user names and passwords.

Follow these simple steps and you should be OK. Remind yourself that the folks doing the review actually want your app in the store, they just want the full experience to be as consistent as possible between all the apps they list in store.

More ideas on how to boost app store acceptance

Here’s a great article by Rameet Chawla founder at award winning, New York based, specialist app development and design company Fueled, that suggests how design helps your app store listing.


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