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[iOS] Discussion: App Store Rules #230

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gbougakov opened this Issue Nov 14, 2018 · 253 comments

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@gbougakov
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gbougakov commented Nov 14, 2018

Please read before replying

Right now there is no proper strategy to avoid rejection. Period. I am not a WhatsApp employee nor am I affiliated with WhatsApp in any way

If your app was rejected, please upvote this issue. Do not reply

UPDATE: WhatsApp team is discussing the situation with Apple. Do not appeal your rejection too many times or they might close your developer account.
UPDATE 2: My app was approved


Today, I received a message from Apple App Review Team that said that my app was rejected because it "repeated the functionality of other apps and just changed content" and was spam.
image
Had anyone experienced the same? What can I do to work around this?

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 14, 2018

Update: sent an appeal explaining that this app is no different from iMessage sticker apps, but just for WhatsApp.

@MarsVard

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MarsVard commented Nov 14, 2018

@gbougakov that's not gonna work. I've been trying to get my app approved for 2 weeks now, have added extra features like adding allowing user to add stickers to their photos but still no luck. It's almost as if Apple is boycotting this.

@lwangeli

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lwangeli commented Nov 14, 2018

Hi there, I redesign it and right now Im uploading it to AppStore Review. I was apealling the review for 2 weeks and I bellieve that they just want we change the design of the app, because if you analize it, they will have tons of apps identically just with content diferent, as they say in 4.3 guidelines.. By the way, dont you mention about iMessage, because its Apple template, and they will threat you on close dev account (they did it to me).
Now I undesrtand what they mean with 4.3 guidelines. Lets see what they will tell me about my 7th intent review.

@al3bsi

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

same problem for same reason, what should we do?

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

Well, the reason is pretty clear: Apple (and maybe Google, see #153) doesn't want competitors (ab)using their infrastructure. Now, either WhatsApp makes their own sticker distribution platform like @TelegramMessenger did or WhatsApp stickers are dead

@al3bsi

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

This reason is unconvincing, and unfair

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

Agreed about the unfair part. But imagine this: you have a product, in this case iMessage, and your main competitor (WhatsApp) starts using your infrastructure for free to power their app, of course you're gonna do something about it! (Not defending Apple, but I see why they did that)

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

Is the project presented by the WhatsApp actually matches the requirements of Apple?

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

The thing is that making apps from templates is actually against Apple's rules

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

Excerpt from App Store Review Guidelines that caused my app to fail the review:

4.3 Spam
Don’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app and provide the variations using in-app purchase. Also avoid piling on to a category that is already saturated; the App Store has enough fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra apps already. Spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Developer Program.

@al3bsi

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

Excerpt from App Store Review Guidelines that caused my app to fail the review:

4.3 Spam
Don’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app and provide the variations using in-app purchase. Also avoid piling on to a category that is already saturated; the App Store has enough fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra apps already. Spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Developer Program.

Perhaps the reason is (create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app)

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

I actually had an iMessage sticker pack with the same stickers before, but I pulled it down before submitting the new app for review. Also, my new app contained a sticker pack extension, so it would be a 2-in-1 (iMessage and WhatsApp sticker pack)

@al3bsi

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

whatsapp sticker have 8 packages, how do I make 7 packs available for in-app purchase?

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

Not sure about that. Do you have multiple sticker packs in the App Store?

@al3bsi

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

No , not yet

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

I think you can submit them all in one app, but that won't work for me because I want to bundle iMessage stickers with them.

@al3bsi

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

I actually had an iMessage sticker pack with the same stickers before, but I pulled it down before submitting the new app for review. Also, my new app contained a sticker pack extension, so it would be a 2-in-1 (iMessage and WhatsApp sticker pack)

How did you do that? , Can you send the modified code?

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

  1. Open the Xcode project
  2. File > New > Target...
  3. Select Sticker Pack Extension
    image
  4. Fill in the name and click Finish
  5. Open Stickers.xcassets
    screenshot 2018-11-15 at 17 24 52
  6. Drag in the sticker PNGs
  7. Run app on your test device
  8. Boom! iMessage stickers
@al3bsi

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

i mean , how i can put whatsapp stickers with imessage stickers together ?

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

I just explained. Just open your WhatsApp stickers Xcode project and follow the instructions

@al3bsi

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

I just explained. Just open your WhatsApp stickers Xcode project and follow the instructions

wow, I did it, thank you for this info.
it seems that the reason Apple refused is not to include imessage stickers with WhatsApp stickers, did you do it and rejected it?

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

Yes, they did, but I'm not sure that's the reason

@al3bsi

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

Apple rejected it ?

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

image

@al3bsi

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

Does it mean that there is no point in adding imessage to the project?

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Nov 15, 2018

I don't think that's the reason they rejected my app. It certainly won't help you if your app was already rejected.

@al3bsi

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al3bsi commented Nov 15, 2018

Yes, I have been rejected my application, filed a petition and explained to them that it does not contain spam and there are a lot of applications exist on Apple Store.

@coderflower

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coderflower commented Nov 16, 2018

somebody fix this ?

@Tarekajaj

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Tarekajaj commented Nov 16, 2018

Same Issue here? Anyone was able to get their app approved?

@wegylexy

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wegylexy commented Dec 14, 2018

A standalone app like PasteCoder works though. But obviously you will get rejected if you copy mine. http://timtim.hk/wastickers.deprecated/

@DanielZanchi

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DanielZanchi commented Dec 17, 2018

Now it's clear why:

Hello Daniel,

Thanks for your time on the phone today.

As we discussed, we found that your app’s primary purpose is to install sticker packs for WhatsApp apps designed to install sticker packs for WhatsApp.

If you believe that you have identified any apps that aren’t currently in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines, you may provide us with the app details, and we will investigate the issue. Note that we are unable to provide any status updates or other information regarding other developer’s apps on the App Store, and you will not be informed of the results of our investigation.

Please feel free to contact me at +1-********** Monday through Friday between 7AM-3PM Pacific Standard Time if you need further clarification.

Best regards,

Erica
App Store Review

@cartoonsmart

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cartoonsmart commented Dec 17, 2018

What prompted the phone call? Did you ask them to speak over the phone or did they call you?

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Dec 17, 2018

Or did you use a TSI?

@DanielZanchi

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DanielZanchi commented Dec 17, 2018

What’s TSI?
I had requested a phone call from the resolution center after mine got rejected

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Dec 17, 2018

Technical Support Incident. You are given three or two (I don't remember) of them and they allow you to call an Apple engineer to help you with your app

@luiscraik

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luiscraik commented Dec 17, 2018

Mine finally got approved, but as stated above, it has to do something different as main purpose. Started by building a random phrase generator and the sticker extension as secundary functionality, plus the UI is different.

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luiscraik commented Dec 17, 2018

@b6a7

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b6a7 commented Dec 17, 2018

@luiscraik congrats .. great design i like it
Thanks for sharing
Good luck with sales

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luiscraik commented Dec 17, 2018

@b6a7 Thank you! I hope so because I need to pay back the program membership 😥

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sanestani commented Dec 17, 2018

@Danny182 and your app finally get approved after that?
@luiscraik congrats, what do you change of the UI?

@cartoonsmart

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cartoonsmart commented Dec 17, 2018

@Danny182 By the way, what's up with paragraph 2. You droppin' a dime to the fuzz =)

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cartoonsmart commented Dec 17, 2018

@b6a7 Thank you! I hope so because I need to pay back the program membership 😥

If you all want to make back your dev memberships quick, make a tvOS SpriteKit game. Retro style, pixel graphics, something similar to old-school Atari games. People eat that stuff up. I've got a Tank Battle game in the tvOS store that does quite well, and the graphics are super simple.

@sanestani

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sanestani commented Dec 17, 2018

@luiscraik , tenés algún contacto para consultarte algo?

@luiscraik

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luiscraik commented Dec 17, 2018

@cartoonsmart 😯 I'll look into it, that's what my life needs now 🤣 Thanks for the advice! I need a friend like you 😅

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luiscraik commented Dec 17, 2018

@sanestani luiscraik.com 😊

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sanestani commented Dec 17, 2018

thanks, by mail then =)

@luiscraik

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luiscraik commented Dec 17, 2018

@sanestani no problem!

@foma24

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foma24 commented Dec 17, 2018

@b6a7 Thank you! I hope so because I need to pay back the program membership 😥

If you all want to make back your dev memberships quick, make a tvOS SpriteKit game. Retro style, pixel graphics, something similar to old-school Atari games. People eat that stuff up. I've got a Tank Battle game in the tvOS store that does quite well, and the graphics are super simple.

Could you provide link to your game, please ?

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cartoonsmart commented Dec 17, 2018

By the way, couple things that I think helps a lot is the "2 Player" text in the title and obviously thats in the meta tags too. And it supports external controllers. Which I've taught a lot of over at CartoonSmart.com

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cartoonsmart commented Dec 17, 2018

@sanestani luiscraik.com 😊

Your site is gorgeous!

@luiscraik

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luiscraik commented Dec 17, 2018

@cartoonsmart Thank you and kudos to your work! Next level.

@DanielZanchi

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DanielZanchi commented Dec 18, 2018

Now it's clear why:

Hello Daniel,

Thanks for your time on the phone today.
As we discussed, we found that your app’s primary purpose is to install sticker packs for WhatsApp apps designed to install sticker packs for WhatsApp.
If you believe that you have identified any apps that aren’t currently in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines, you may provide us with the app details, and we will investigate the issue. Note that we are unable to provide any status updates or other information regarding other developer’s apps on the App Store, and you will not be informed of the results of our investigation.
Please feel free to contact me at +1-********** Monday through Friday between 7AM-3PM Pacific Standard Time if you need further clarification.
Best regards,
Erica
App Store Review

I would like to know what the Whatsapp Team thinks about this ^
@simonzhexu @amrit-1901

@va97

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va97 commented Jan 2, 2019

So. Do we now have to make our hole new ui ?
Im just an amatuer and dont now how to code exacly.
As i read this thread. I have to build my owm hole app ?

@gbougakov

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gbougakov commented Jan 2, 2019

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va97 commented Jan 2, 2019

Ok. Thank you for your respond.
So, whats next ? Is it the end of WhatsApp sticker for IOS ?
I published an android app just changed content for it and wanted to do the same in ios cause many of my friends using IOS.
Thats why im asking

@rmferreiro

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rmferreiro commented Jan 19, 2019

My app got rejected like everyone else's. It's clear Apple DOES NOT want any new WAStickers related apps in the App Store. The FAQ that the WA team provided is outdated since Apple doesn't care if you modify the UI or not, if the main feature of your app is providing stickers to WhatsApp they are going to reject it under 4.3 Spam. I tried to talk it out with my reviewer, just like OP did, I explained how it wasn't any different from an iMessage Sticker pack but it was in vain. It would be very helpful if someone told us more about that "talk" between the WA team and Apple

@luiscraik

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luiscraik commented Jan 19, 2019

@rmferreiro The turn around all devs with approved apps have taken is not making your app’s main goal a WhatsApp sticker/exporter only, but having your app doing “x” different thing as main activity (creat something, edit something, generate content, game, etc.) and then, just then (with a different UI as a plus) adding the Whatsapp extension as a second option. Try that and you’ll have better chances. Good luck!

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