There are a fairly well defined set of criteria for successfully submitting an app to the Apple App Store, but every once in a while apps that appear to meet these criteria can still be rejected.

One element which needs to be considered, when submitting apps to the App Store, is the importance of including native features.

Apps that do not have enough ‘native’ features can face rejection. “Some people may question why there are loads of wrapped web apps on the App Store. Technically, speaking, this isn’t what Apple is penalising. Apple is happy to accept HTML based apps, such as Untappd. This app, which is almost 100% HTML based, appears to only ‘natively’ access the device’s camera and has been on the store for some time. Apps like this are designed to run across as many mobile platforms as possible, but there’s one key difference between them and ‘apps’ that don’t have native features.”

“Here, Apple is targeting apps that are essentially site specific browsers (SSBs). This is an app that is simply functioning as a browser, pointed at a specific website, that contains all of the functionality of the website, with little or no code in the app, native or otherwise. Essentially, Apple is trying to stop apps that essentially just open their website – as they aren’t apps.”

“If your app relies on functionality that resides on a server, rather than being a small extra (such as a link to a terms and conditions page), it should be released as a true web app and hosted on a server. If you try to release it via the App Store, it will likely be rejected.”

This is an excerpt taken from the ‘Avoid App Store Rejection’ white paper by Mubaloo’s Head of Technology Ben Reed. Download the white paper here.