What the Apple 4.3 Guideline is Really All About


Hey, this is the Daily Overpass, my name is
Eric and I make apps! Now today, I wanna talk about what the Apple
4.3 guideline is really all about! So today I’m a little bit annoyed! But first, let me say thanks to everybody
for subscribing and for liking the videos and for commenting, I really appreciate it! So today, I’m a little bit annoyed because
I’m a bit upset with one of the app stores. And without me saying anything else, can you
guess which one it is?! It’s not Google, it’s Apple. I am having trouble with Apple approvals again. Back at the end of last year I was having
lots of trouble with the Apple 403, the spam, errors, and everything that was coming through
saying “a lot of your apps are similar, you need to combine them into container apps”,
and I said “ok, I’ll do that at some point in the future. I won’t submit anything new”. So now, if I have a bug or anything like that,
I just let it go because, you know…I still leave those on the app store because consolidating
all my apps into one application doesn’t make sense from a marketing point of view. They don’t share the same audiences, they
don’t share anything the same, but it still was a thing. Someone asked me recently if I’m still having
the same problem with that, and the truth is, I haven’t been submitting to Apple a lot. I mean, I have, but I’ve been doing it for
clients. So I’ve been submitting apps for clients,
and sometimes the client apps are very similar to each other. So I’ve been doing that and they must have
eased off on 4.03, the 4.03 error – the spam one, because I haven’t had any trouble with
it lately. Even some of the apps, I’m surprised that
I actually didn’t get caught for that kind of thing. So I thought we’ll try, we might have to combine
these apps if they’re having trouble with it. So I explain that to the clients, they say
“yeah, we’d rather try to put this as a separate app because it makes sense for the user”,
so I said fine and I haven’t had any trouble. But, I was talking to another client – it
was actually a bit of charity work, so I was doing a pro bono for somebody – and they said
that they had this thing, they had this process and they needed an app for it but they didn’t
have any budget so I don’t usually do this but I thought “yeah, we’ll help out”. And I did it because it was a really simple
one. It was nothing like anything else on the app
store so I thought ok. It was nothing like anything in my account
especially, so I thought “yeah, we’ll do it real quick”, and spent three or four days
on it. We got everything ready, went through testing
and everything like that, submitted it to the app store and guess what I got?! 4.03 error! And they said “you have very similar apps,
this looks like other apps on your account”, all this kind of stuff, which was not true. There was none of the same code, none of the
same anything! It was unlike anything else on my account,
right. So I raised it to them. I said “hey, I understand what you’re saying
about the container apps, I have several language learning apps which are targeted at different
languages, I could consolidate all those into one application if I’m a moron!” I could do that. I tell them I’ll do that at some point in
the future, but it doesn’t make any sense, so I’ve been trying to put that off, but they
rejected the new one saying it looks like the old one, and I said “no, it does not!”. I said “I challenge you to find another app
on my account that looks anything like this. This one we did for a charity, it’s nothing
to do with any of the other applications I have on my store. I think what you’re doing is you’re penalising
me because I have too many apps on the app store. Is that the case?” And then they responded back saying “well
you have several apps on your account that do need to be consolidated so they’re rejecting
this one”. So they were rejecting an app which had nothing
to do with any of the other apps, saying they won’t improve anything else on the app store
unless I consolidate some of the other applications. The reason I don’t wanna do that is because
they’re all targeted towards specific audiences with really tight SEO. So they all have different keyword targeting,
different ways of doing things. if you know anything about ASO, you know that
you have to think about who your audience is and there’s no overlap on the audience
on these apps. but some of them might be a little bit similar to each other so they’re
doing it. And really, what it is…see i started to
think that maybe they had a point, maybe I need to do that. to me it’s like saying “let’s take all the
shoe shops in a mall and move them into one shop, and give them one sign, and they can’t
brand themselves differently”. But it’s apples game, it’s their store, they
don’t particularly like developers, so I thought – ok so I’ll just live with that. But I thought, I’ll put this other app out
there. It’s not for me, it’s for another group of
people. So I think what I’m gonna have to do is, I’m
gonna have to get this client to set up their own app store account, so if we push it out
that way, there won’t be any trouble. So I’m convinced now, just based on this,
that the 4.03 error has nothing to do with having similar apps on the app store, it’s
the amount of apps that you have. So if you’re a prolific app developer, Apple’s
not the store for you. They don’t like prolificy, they don’t like
someone who puts out lots of things. They’ll just start rejecting things because
they say “obviously you’re just spamming the app store”. If you have one or two apps that’s fine. So, I’m just a little bit upset. I get a lot of grief for a video that I did
about the ionic framework saying if Apple ever starts rejecting those things, then we’ll
all be in big trouble, and everybody says “no, Apple would never do that because blah
blah blah”. you know what? Apple will do anything. I think it’s lazy reviewers. This is one where I’m dealing with a lazy
reviewer, I’ve had this in the past where you have to keep going back and back and back
to them, so I don’t know what to do. I don’t wanna be the kind of person who has
multiple Apple accounts, multiple app store accounts, for this kind of stuff. I might just have to go through and do a cull. The thing is, all the apps make money. Through Apple, we get a lot more through in-app
purchases. I might have an app that makes 2 or 3 dollars
a month as opposed to a couple of hundred, but that’s still 2 or 3 dollars a month. There’s still the potential for that to take
off, but now I’d have to go through and do something on that. So, I knew that I couldn’t do any more language
games because they’ll say “it’s too similar to the other ones, you have other language
games”, even though they’re not similar, there’s lots of variations in the code and the algorithm
and all kinds of things. And to put everything into one application
– imagine going to a bookstore and you bought a book, and they said let’s put all the mystery
books into one book, or all of the mystery books by a single author into one book, because
that makes more sense! e just has to market it however he wants to! That’s what it’s like. Anyway, Apple, you know what, I’m sick of
buying Apple products because I need them for the app store! I am sick of Apple’s review process! I am sick of feeling like Apple doesn’t want
me there as a developer! It’s ridiculous the way that things work,
but anyway, I’ll get that off my chest! I try to be really positive in these videos,
I apologise for today. Grrr Apple! 4.03 has nothing to do with having similar
apps or spamming the market, it has to do with having too many apps. i have clients
that have apps that are very similar to each other, we put something out that I think is
gonna get rejected but they only have half a dozen so it’s fine! But if there were more – I don’t even know
what the limit is to be honest with you! I have spoken to people who have gone through
and done a major cull of their apps and cut all their apps in half and all that stuff,
and that might be something I have to do too. Despite the fact that people are downloading
them, people are leaving good reviews, people are paying for them, I have to go through
and limit them because the reviewer doesn’t want to review them. Anyway! For those of you guys who say you only do
Android and you don’t do Apple, I envy you to a certain point. The reason I stick with Apple and I haven’t
given up on them is because it’s still a lot of money made from that. It’s a small percentage of downloads, but
about 50% of revenue – it’s a lot more revenue. So anyway, that’s it today. Sorry for the rant, I’ll be a bit more positive
tomorrow, I hope! That’s it for today, I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

18 thoughts on “What the Apple 4.3 Guideline is Really All About

  1. Why not use your sons or wife identity to create other Account
    That will help you to solve the issue
    or reduce it to some point

  2. You raised a good question about your language apps – how can you be expected to combine all the languages into one app – it would include audio files for every language when the user only needs one.

  3. I can feel it. Thats a worst situation to be in. Bottom line is that it's their asset and all we can do is adjust ☹️. Hope you find some viable solution soon.
    Do keep us updated on this situation. It will help a lot of developers out there.

  4. As iOS devloper I know how frustrating it is.Reviewers are being rude to our app for no reason, More than 24 hrs for review and then rejection of app.Android app takes less than 15 mins to get approved.I have made another account to solve this problem I upload app in that(2nd account) and then transfer it to my main account.I have done this 2 times.It might work for you(not sure).Thank you sir for this video.

  5. i have some case study here to share. currently on my account also this is the problem. they will just reject any submission and their replies also look automated. so may be they have ear marked the accounts in which the AI engine will reject the app in 2 minutes after app goes to in review.

  6. Eric, why do you publish clients apps to your account. Your not suppose to do that. There is an Apple guideline against this too, they came out and said that using template sites was ok but not to publish the clients apps all to one account.

  7. I often go to an app category like recipes or real estate and I'll see a sea of the same apps. At one point I swear every real estate agent in America had their own app made with one of five templates and the content was always really similar with just a few tweaks for their markets and maybe some UI elements that were different. This doesn't mean the app store is suddenly a curated utopia with 4.3. There are still lots of apps that have yet to be removed and Apple reviewers aren't universally enforcing 4.3 so I do still see some apps that should have been rejected. I think what they are trying to avoid is a situation where you have business people trying to dominate a category by spamming the app store with slight variations of the same app with mildly tweaked content and also scenarios where a dev shop focuses all its efforts on one industry (see car dealer apps) and spits out a bunch of apps that all look and feel the same but for which the client is probably better off with a mobile site. In neither of those situations is a good experience being created for the end user in the app store. I haven't seen all of your apps so I can't speak to your specific situation. Maybe you're in a unique situation where it doesn't make sense to combine your apps from an end-user perspective but it's difficult to convince Apple. If so that sucks and I feel for you. And even if you did convince the Apple reviewer to approve your app, you'd likely have to go through the same song and dance the next time you did an update. Anyway, I like your videos and as someone who also does mobile development, I recognize that Apple can do some things that don't always seem to make sense or that affect developers beyond their original intent. Still, I think think that 4.3, despite it's flaws, was the right approach to make the end-user experience better.

  8. I just received the error too on my FIRST and only app ever submitted. It is completely original front and backend.

  9. I have been spending these feeling, each rejection it makes me down. I don't know how to do. I am an app store developer and now I am considering to work for other people instead of my idea, my apps.

  10. Hello , Thanks for sharing this video . I got same 4.3 Design : Spam this Rejecting Guideline to one of my new games . It is totally different than other games , so I don’t know why apple keeping copy & past this reason . I use Unity 3D Game engine in this game and others , and also I use some of same keywords for this game and other game so I don’t know if that the reason but the problem is Apple Review Team is not helpful and useless and couldn’t determine the exact reason for 4.3 Design : Spam ! Also I think apple don’t care about indie developers or small developers , they care only about big Companies Developers so they don’t care at all about small developers .

  11. You are right. It is about having too many apps. I am still struggling after downsizing the number of apps and coming up from 100+ to 6. Still Apple wants me to consolidate everything into one. It does not make sense because the target market of all apps is different. Hoping some sense prevails in the app review team. They don't have any guidelines. They just have a target to reduce the number to.

  12. 100% Agree. It must be lazy reviewers. Apple is so horrible to developers it makes me sick. Just want to expose them all day for their bullshit until they get their act sorted!

  13. Got rejection for 3.4 guideline, whereas I have no app yet released on my account! How could I spam myself or app store with obly one app. Crazy !

  14. They gave me 4.3, but I didn't do anything against the guideline or anything you or any other developer described they may be doing it for. I just decided to forget Apple, because they give way too much trouble for way too little in return. Other developers have said it has more to do with your revenue model. I just wanted a pay once and get it all model; I hear they don't like that. Fuck them!

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