App Review.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Rob In der Maur

Developing an app for Apple’s ecosystem is one thing, getting it published on their store is an entirely other thing…

You first have to educate yourself on App Store Connect, the mechanism through which you submit an app for review, add in-app purchases, set up Test Flight to test your app with test users, etc. Once you have that under your belt, it’s time to submit your app…

I am now in my third submission after the app has been rejected twice by Apple App Store Review Board for mainly two reasons:

  1. using protected artwork in screenshots and previews for the app’s product page on the App Store,

  2. using unauthorised access to third-party streaming and discovery services.

Regarding the use of protected artwork (reason 1), the reviewers do have a point. Using artwork is legally restricted to the owner/creator, although some legal experts say that ‘fair use’ policy can be applied to the usage, especially in the US. Nonetheless, I see a lot of music players in the App Store that display album artwork. What is specific for this rejection is the use of protected artwork in screenshots and/or previews on the product page in the App Store (I sincerely do hope use of artwork in the app itself will be tolerated). To work around the first rejection reason, I created fake album cover art and recreated all my screenshots for the product pages.

The second reason, I think is a misunderstanding of the app’s functionality by the reviewer. I explained, in my resubmission, that when using Spotify (the third-party service service the reviewer is referring to), you have to authorise the app for the specific functionality Chart Your Music is requesting. If you do not approve that authorization, you can not continue to use the app with Spotify as the music service. So in the end, I am making authorised use of a third-party service for streaming and discovery of music.

I will update this post within the next days around the progress on my submission. Let’s hope the app will be in the App Store rather sooner than later.

Update: as of August 9, 2021, the app is approved by Apple, pending release by the developer. And so I did. You should now find my first app on the App Store!

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