Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Does some one at Apple review every App sent to AppStore?

I recently submitted an iPhone application to the apple developer program to be approved. This was my first time so the hoops that Apple had me jump through were interesting. The initial application had general information which seems pretty normal. These included things such as:

  • Application Name: BI Flash
  • Application Description: BI Flash delivers business intelligence to information to the iPhone. It takes SAS macros, programs or data on a server and delivers this to iPhone. The user can register the programs or SAS libraries, and then make this available to specified users who can then view this through BI Flash on the iPhone. This is executed in real time so the user gets always the latest data.
  • Primary Category: Business
  • Keywords: Business Intelligence, SAS, Analytics
  • Application URL: http://meta-x.com/biflash

These seem pretty standard since they would probably use this for the AppStore. The next step is pretty interesting since it asked for me to check three categories including: None, Infrequent/Mild or Frequent/Intense. The description for the categories included:

  • Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
  • Realistic Violence
  • Sexual Content or Nudity
  • Profanity or Crude Humor
  • Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
  • Mature/Suggestive Themes
  • Simulated Gambling
  • Horror/Fear Themes
  • Prolonged Graphic or Sadistic Realistic Violence
  • Graphic Sexual Content and Nudity
I can see how Apple would quickly identify those high profile applications due to indecent content. I don’t want to get into the politics of how Apple screens their Apps but I just put “None” on all my applications.

I then uploaded the binary for my application along with a large 512x512 icon, a screen shot. It took Apple a couple of weeks for them to review my app. Since they receive thousands of apps, I wonder if they even check it at all. I was surprise to find out that they did do a detailed review. They found two things that they wanted to change due to that fact that “it does not adhere to the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines as outlined in the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement section 3.3.5.”

The first part is when the application is tested without a network connection; it just presented a blank screen. Apparently, I missed these guidelines which suppose to display a clear message detailing what the user is suppose to do. I created a screen that is more friendly now:



The second point is that the small icon of the application does not match the large icon.




They have very specific guidelines. I had our graphic artist work on these at different stages of the application so they appeared different so they thought it would confuse the user. I thought these suggestions were very good and I do appreciate that someone actually took the time to do a review.

I then updated the large icon as shown here:



I just submitted an updated version so they sent me a friendly but generic message that someone is reviewing it and will send me a message of any additional request. I will keep my fingers crossed but hopefully this round will take less than two weeks.

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