Apple's New App Store Guidelines and What They Mean to Our Business

Apple's New App Store Guidelines and What They Mean to Our Business

As most of you know, Apple released their new app store guidelines today. Analyzations have been done by the following:

  1. TechCrunch: Thou Shalt Not Chatroulette Or Russian Roulette: The Best Of The App Store Rules
  2. Mashable: What Apple’s Guideline Changes Mean for Developers
  3. Daring Fireball: A Taste of What’s New in the Updated App Store Agreement

First, I would like to state that I appreciate transparency in any company. It’s especially welcomed from Apple. Before their nebulous rules for rejection or acception into the app store where a bit nerve-racking. Second, I really like the informal verbiage behind the guidelines. It almost sounds like Steve Jobs himself wrote it. Did they make this because of the FCC investigation, perhaps fearing that potential anti-trust proceedings would take place? Who knows. But it is a welcome change for us developers.

If you didn’t already know, Reflect7 produces sports apps targeted to sports fans. These apps include features such as news, schedule, roster, stadium chart, etc. Some would call these apps shovelware. However, we take great pride in the apps and what they offer our customers. We’ve gone to great lengths to try to customize the look and feel of each app to its respective team.

A few of the guidelines make me a bit nervous with the updated changes. I’ll highlight a few of them:

  • 10.4 Apps that create alternate desktop/home screen environments or simulate multi-app widget experiences will be rejected
  • 2.20 Developers “spamming” the App Store with many version of similar apps will be removed from the iOS Developer Program

10.4: I’m not sure what they mean by “alternate desktop” or “home screen environments”… but our app looks a lot like the Facebook interface. Are these considered a home screen environment?

2.20: This one worries me the most. Apple doesn’t know our intent. They may see it as that we are trying to spam the store with many of the same apps. We aren’t though. Really, that’s not our intent. If you ask any of our customers who contact us, most would say that they received a response almost instantly. We’ve given hundreds of dollars in gift certificates to people who have had problems with their apps. We truly care about our customer. Our customers were part of the motivation for us to not drop the sports apps. We care about the apps. They have there fair share of problems, but one-by-one they are being worked on.

But this doesn’t matter. If we should get rejected, we must pivot. We must roll with the punches. We must change our business model a bit. I’m confident we will persevere, despite this not being the first road block from Apple. After all, it is our fault.

If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy:

  1. It’s All Our Fault, Why Building a Business on the App Store Is a Losing Proposition
  2. Legacy Is Not Purpose
  3. Resilience: It’s Not How Hard You Hit, It’s How Hard You Hit and Keep Moving Forward

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