Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How Apple rejected our iPhone app

Last week I submitted our second iPhone app called PinPoint. After 5 days Apple came back  with a rejection.

Apple did find that the app did not comply to the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines. The app uses a standard "Action" button for an action which is not its intended purpose.

(This is the "standard" Action button provided by Apple)

So this means that Apple is actually reviewing the apps seriously. 

Yes, I did read and understand the purpose of the standards "Action" button. The "Action" button is to be used to open an action sheet that allows users to take an application-specific action. 

I have currently only one application action (open the email app) but I am planning to have more in the future (twitter, text/sms). I decided to use the "standard" action button and I also decided to not display an action sheet with one action to choose from. Seriously, it's not really a choice if you have only one thing to select from. In the next release I would offer more than one application using the same standards action button and the subsequent action sheet. (Wrong!) 

The solution for now is that I got rid of the the Apple "standard" button. I have added my own button that displays an email icon. Great, this way Apple cannot complain about violating the Human Interface Guidelines. I am not convinced that this helps the end-user in the long run because developers are encouraged to come up with their "custom" icons to avoid non-compliance with Apple guidelines. 

Anyway, after initial annoyance and self-criticism I accepted that this stuff happens. The fix and re-submission took me only 30 minutes and I hope I don't have to wait another 5 days.

What have I learned?
  1. If in doubt do not use standard buttons (especially the ambiguous action button)
  2. Cater for rejection in your development time table
  3. It's good to know that Apple takes reviewing the app seriously

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