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10 Ways to Get the Greenlight for iOS Apps on Apple App Store

5620 Views | 1 min | Published On: April 23, 2020 Last Updated: April 23, 2020
How to get an application approved by Apple

Building an app is one thing and getting the app store approval for the same is another. 

Moreover, if you are developing an app for iOS the latter becomes even more attention-worthy. Apple is certainly the best app marketplace in the mobile industry and it is increasingly strict about its rules and guidelines that lead to the approval of a mobile app.

But, do not worry! If you know the right tactics – you can make the team behind Apple fall in love with your app. And once you get your app published over the Apple App Store – you can get the benefits of targeting a huge and wealthy user base that the platform boasts. 

In this article, you will learn everything about how you can get that much-desired approval and what is its process. So, let’s get started.

The Apple App Store Approval Process

The app review and approval process for the iOS platform is a bit complex and there are two following reason behind the same:

  • iPhone security is a Unique Selling Point of the Company
  • The Apple App Store services are a major source of its revenue.

Therefore, the company reviews and tests every app thoroughly that is submitted to its app store. The company has created an Executive Review Board that is also known as ERB which sets policies for Apple’s worldwide developer relations. 

ERB is also the body or department of Apple that decides whether an app is approved or not by checking the below-mentioned parameters:

app store approval time

Inside ERB, there are more than 300 app reviewers that are trained to check the apps submitted from every angle. Their office is based out of Sunnyvale, California and these employees get all the Apple benefits such as health care, they’re paid hourly and have employee badges.

Unlike content moderators at companies like Facebook or YouTube that depend on a huge number of temporary workers, Apple’s app reviewers work for Apple exclusively and that is why there is no scope of compromise in the iOS app’s quality.

The employees at ERB manually test every single function of an iOS app before they become available to use for the iOS users – as per an article by CNBC.

These people start out reviewing simple iOS apps, and as reviewers become senior, they are prepared to test applications with in-application purchases, memberships, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. 

As per experts, even big brands like Spotify or Netflix don’t get any special treatment by Apple. The same app review process applies to them as well in order to ensure user safety and quality of the application despite their name and size. 

What Is Apple App Store Approval Time?

As per the information available on the App Store, on an average, most of the apps are reviewed within 24 hours and the ones that demand thorough check on privacy and security issues are reviewed within 48 hours. Have a look at these stats obtained by official Apple website:

iOS App Development

Once you are done with submitting your application, you can see its status in the “My App” section of iTunes. Moreover, if you want, you can also request an expedited audit. Most of the time, if your mobile application gets rejected, then Apple’s Resolution Center gives the particular reason behind it or you can ask them sincerely about the issue. 

But, the most ideal approach to stay away from rejection is to develop it by keeping all the apple guidelines in mind. Let’s now see what these guidelines are and what are the ways to make sure that your iOS app gets the approval in the first place.

How to Get an App Approved by Apple?

This is the most important but overlooked question of the iOS App Development Process. As seen above, the app store approval process for iOS apps is very strict and you need to make sure that you know the nitty-gritty to not get into the rejection phase.

Have a look at the following tried and tested tips so you can build up your application hassle-free, knowing that you will land that desired spot in the store soon after submitting it to the Apple: 

1. Leave No Scope of Bugs and Crashes

As per Apple’s official guidelines, while submitting your app you must make sure that it is free of any crashes or bugs and is the final version with all the essential metadata and fully functional URLs.

Apple doesn’t like apps that contain bugs or lead to system failure. 

Apple Guidelines on App Approval

So, if your testing of the application exhibits an unstable performance and continuous crashes, get that fixed first before submitting it to the store – if you don’t do this, your application is nearly destined to face rejection. 

For the same, you can do some research about the most common mistakes app developers make. As per Apple, 88% of app rejections occur because of the most common reasons.

iOS App Development and Approval

By avoiding these mistakes, you can guarantee that your application rises above the rest and gets approved. Fortunately, this data isn’t too hard to find and you can get it on Apple’s Official Website.

2. Follow the Right Development Approach

While developing an app – for iOS or Android – developers usually want to add as many features in it as possible. They think that more features mean more chances of getting the app hit the stardom.

However, the reality is completely different. In the first go, Apple likes simplified apps with a major focus on main functionality. So, simplify the app you want to create and remember that you can always add new features later. The important thing is to get approval for the basics at first. 

You can consider building your app using the MVP Process to impress the app review team at Apple. Here is an idea of what it looks like:

apple app store approval time

This approach makes it a lot simpler for Apple to test the app. The more simple the functionality, the quicker your application will get approved. So, whatever you do, do not add more than the required features for the specific device you’re testing. Limit the number of fancy odds and ends to the absolute minimum when you submit your application for approval.

3. Make Sure Your App’s Business Model is Clear

It is an obvious point! Every developer intends to make money using the app in one way or another. And, Apple likes developers that are clear on how they are planning to earn money using the app being submitted.

Being a fair app marketplace, Apple lets developers choose what they need to charge from a set of price tiers. The App Store just collects a commission from them when any service or digital good is delivered through an application. Here are different type of apps that are available on the app store:

  • Free Apps
free iOS apps
  • Apps with Advertising
free with advertising
  • Free Apps with Physical Goods and Services
Apple App Store Approval
  • Free Apps with In-app Purchase
iOS App Development Guide
  • Paid Apps
iOS application development
  • Free Apps with Subscription
iPhone Application Development
  • Apps for Reading
Application Approval Guide

So, make sure you know in which category your app falls and how you intend to make money using it. Apple says that 84% of apps on the app Store are free, and developers pay nothing to Apple.

4. Do Not Forget to Test You App Thoroughly

Regardless of what sort of application you are submitting, you need to run a ton of tests to ensure every function in it works appropriately. Obviously, you should test it yourself. But, Apple even provides the technology that permits you to go beyond just tests on your own devices. 

And that is called TestFlight.

app store approval

You can utilize the software to get help from others to test your app. It makes it simple to invite users to test your applications and gather important input before releasing your applications on the App Store. You can invite up to 10k testers using just their email address or by sharing a link with them.

To make sure your app pass all the tests of Apple – you can also check 5-Step Mobile App Testing Checklist by Apptunix. Using it, you can test every and every aspect of your app precisely.

5. Hardware and Software Compatibility

According to Apple’s guidelines, your application must run on all the latest software and hardware to get the app store approval. They’ve given applications’ ability to run on the iPad an extra importance. So, take note of this thing while testing your app.

Apple also focuses on the importance of designing applications so they don’t wastefully use the resources or put a strain on gadgets (for example battery draining, excessive heat, and so on.) And they strongly discourage applications from asking or requesting users to disable main iOS features. All in all, if your application can’t work all over and on each Apple mobile device, you have an issue. 

6. Always Respect Apple’s Design Principles

Apple puts a high value on apps that are easy-to-use, refined, and innovative. And that’s what you should keep in mind when developing an app for the App Store. 

Apple’s design principles are strict and have high standards. For example, Apple has specific guidelines for the type of icons used in apps. It says that your app’s icons should be consistent and legible otherwise the users will find it hard to recognize them.

Get an app approved by Apple

So, no scope of mistakes here! Make sure you follow these rules to stay consistent with your app icons and design elements to get approved as coming up with great app designs is not just a benchmark for iOS apps but a necessity.

Also, remember that even after your app gets the approval, you should continuously keep updating it to guarantee it stays functional and engaging to new as well as existing users. Apps that are not updated regularly or offer a degraded experience can be removed from the App Store anytime.

7. Do Not Forget to Add Proper App Description

One of the most crucial parts of your application is its description. Using it everyone, including the Apple review team, understands what your application is about. To succeed in the app review process, you should give a clean and precise description of the application. 

Top-rated apps like Netflix provide detailed descriptions of exactly what they do and you should do the same for your app:

how to get an app approved by apple

Remember, that a number of apps don’t get the app store approval just because they look similar to other apps in the store. So, take full advantage of your description to show the review team how your app is different.

Explain precisely the unique features of the app. What does it do to help users? For what reason do the users require your application? The more clearly you explain all these points, the better your application is likely to do in the review procedure.

If you like, you may even consider hiring an expert writer to make a description that precisely explains your application. 

Other than App Description, your app’s name, subtitle, icon, app previews, and screenshots should be detailed enough to make the users understand what it does and how it can help them. 

Here is a preview of things you must take care of while submitting your app for review to the apple:

how to get app approved by apple

8. Provide Your App’s Screenshots Wisely

Improper screenshots is also one of the main reasons behind the app’s rejections at the App Store. Therefore, while submitting your application for review, ensure its screenshots precisely communicate the application’s functionality and value. 

Use overlay and text pictures to feature your application’s user experience. Ensure application UI and product images coordinate the corresponding gadget type in App Store Connect.

App Screenshots

This helps users understand your application and makes for a positive App Store experience. 

9. Go Through Apple’s Guidelines At Least Once

Fortunately, Apple is clear about its app store approval guidelines. This makes it simple to review them before submitting an application to the App Store for review.

Also, if you would prefer not to read through the complex rules,  check out the App Review Guidelines Comic Book, where rules are given in comic-style delineations. 

app store requirements

10. Now Just Wait and Be Patient

Once you enter the process of review, you may feel frustrated at one point or another. But, always remember that every judgment by Apple is a subjective one. There’s no reason to think about a lower possibility of success through your attitude. 

Rather, be kind to everybody you contact during the procedure. Behave as if everybody you talk with can have a hand in rejecting or approving your application.

Because it is difficult to know which are the key players before the application is approved, so put your best foot forward when speaking with the Apple review team. 

Now that you know the nitty-gritty of how to get an app approved by apple – let us see what benefits you will get after achieving this milestone in your app’s success journey.

Benefits An App Can Get If Approved By The Apple App Store

As explained above, App Stores boasts a large and wealthy user base. So, once your app gets the app store approval it will get maximum exposure opening a million opportunities for you to advertise your services in front of such a marvelous user base. 

Also, Your application needs less promotions once being approved by the App Store. You don’t have to go for SEO to keep up consistency in the search engine rankings as these all are proficiently managed by the App Store alone. By saving this expense, however, you can update your app more frequently and try to generate more sources of revenue.

Also Read: What Is the Actual Cost of Building an iOS App?


Now, you must be having an idea on how to get an app approved by apple. In the end, we can only say that there is always a particular reason behind every rejection at the Apple Store. If Apple becomes easy on its App Store rules and begins approving buggy and low-quality applications, what do you think the customers would rely on it? Of course not!

So, it’s important for each application owner to follow proven App Store rules explaining how to submit applications to the App Store. With cautious preparation and planning, you can make an application that surpasses Apple’s expectations and discovers its way to market without any problems. The team Apptunix is always ready to help you ensure your application gets the approval it deserves.

Want to get your app approved

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