App Store Shenanigans

We have three published apps in each App Store, iTunes, Amazon App Store and Google Play, they’re published by our account but use licenced third-party IP.

We’ve had two apps rejected on first pass by Apple only to be accepted at review when we proved we held the necessary licence, a third because of an issue with a demo account that we fixed and they re-reviewed the same day.

On Amazon an eBook reader app for a tabletop games company was rejected with no reason other than “Amazon deemed it unsuitable for Kindle” but was allowed on other Amazon devices; we eventually made it onto Kindle too after some tweaks. Just like Amazon removing IAP in Comixology and leaving it out of the Kindle App, we had to drop IAP in our ereader on Amazon.

On Google one app was actually pulled after being live for months, this is something not many people see or hear about. Pulled, no warning, black mark against our developer process and a very closed appeals process. Again we provided details of our licence and after 10 days it was restored. We all hear about Apple’s “draconian” review/rejection process and maybe it’s just because there are so many iOS developers it feels familiar, but it is miles better than both Google and Amazon currently offer and feels like there really are humans making the decision.

What I find interesting about both Apple and Google here is that we had to prove our rights to an IP but yet the stores (especially Google Play) are full of clones and skeevy fakes, some of which have been around for years. Just type “Frozen” into Google Play and you’ll see what I mean.

Like all the best posts this blog started life as a tweet in response to @imyke and episode 30 of Inquisitive.

Andrew Gribben @grib