Deploying a brand new app to the iOS app store can be a bit nerve racking when submitting it to iTunes Connect. You begin to ask yourself a bunch of question about the quality and the style used to build your app, hoping Apple will accept it. For most apps it usually ends there. For others having a user name and password to access the app then Apple would like to ask you a few more questions.
iOS Metadata Rejected!
To give you some background on my application, Knowvent is a service provider that helps business recognize and act on critical Line-Of-Business functions. Businesses need a watchful eye with automated (set and forget) processes and our offering provides that.
So, an iOS app is a feature set to deliver iOS device push notifications along with already providing SMS and email alerts. It also provides information and incite on the state of a client’s business. So, is this app is vital to the success of the business? No, but it is a feature of a service we want to provide to your clients.
So if you get a message like this what do you do?
We have begun the review of your app but aren’t able to continue because we need additional information about your app.
At your earliest opportunity, please review the following question/s and provide as detailed information as you can in response. The more information you can provide upfront, the sooner we can complete your review.
- Is this an existing service? If yes, where?
- Is the app an indispensable part of the service, or can the service work without the app?
- Is this app iOS only or multiple platforms? If multiple platforms, which ones?
- How does the user/company pay, is it subscription-based or lump-sum? What’s the cost, what is it for, and what are the payment options?
While your iTunes Connect Application State is displayed as Metadata Rejected, it is not necessary to upload a new binary. Once you reply to this message in the Resolution Center, we can proceed with your review.
1. Is this an existing service? If yes, where?
This is a little bit of an ambiguous question. I think what Apple is trying to determine if you are expecting the App store to provide the customers or if you already have a service that has customers or is capable of acquiring them.
2. Is the app an indispensable part of the service, or can the service work without the app?
Since our service exists outside of the iOS ecosystem then we can provide the service independent of the having the iOS device installed. I think Apple whats to ensure that if you are solely dependent on the iOS app to deliver your service or product then apple expects you to accept payments through their in-app purchase program.
Again they are making sure you are not circumventing their 30% margin that would be obtaining otherwise.
3. Is this app iOS only or multiple platforms? If multiple platforms, which ones?
I am not sure why this matters. Perhaps this is asked to see if you have deployed to competing platforms. If so they might be more lenient in accepting an app riding the TOS fence. Or perhaps just to keep up with the other platforms offering. I am just speculating. They could also be gauging how depended you are on the Apple Ecosystem.
4. How does the user/company pay, is it subscription-based or lump-sum? What’s the cost, what is it for, and what are the payment options?
This question is very direct. I know they have a explicit rules stating you can’t charge a premium for enabling push notifications. They might be just fishing for what features you are restricting or if they feel you should offer transaction through their in-app purchase system.
The app took awhile to get a approved. 4 days in Waiting for Export Compliance, 7 day in Waiting for Review, 1 day In Review, 1 day in Metadata Rejected waiting for me to resubmit, 1 day Waiting for Review again, 7 days In review (I was starting to get nervous) then Pending Developer Release (whew..). 20 days in total.
It is always hard to tell what they are thinking. Using the TOS as a framework doesn’t always work since there is a lot of grey area. They are not there to test your app. Keep in mind they are concerned with inappropriateness, revenue, stability and UI conventions.