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Rejected! Why being rejected from the App Store was devastating – but also kind of good.

March 7, 2013

My phone pinged at playgroup. The iTunes Connect App letting me know our app was being reviewed! Exciting thinking someone on the other side of the globe was assessing my app right then. When I got home I checked my email straight away.

“We found that your app only provides a very limited set of features…”

I was numb with disbelief. What? Rejected? Our little piece of software solves an everyday problem perfectly, did you guys even look at the content?  Answer – no. Content was not the issue…

“While we value simplicity, we consider simplicity to be uncomplicated – not limited in features and functionality.

We understand that there are no hard and fast rules to define useful or entertaining, but Apple and Apple customers expect apps to provide a really great user experience. Apps should provide valuable utility or entertainment, draw people in by offering compelling capabilities or content, or enable people to do something they couldn’t do before or in a way they couldn’t do it before.”

So… they wanted more sex, more va-va-voom, more shiny, twinkly fun stuff. Okay – more trinkets it shall be.

The timing was all wrong. For starters the app got knocked back at 6pm on a Friday night in late November. I was gearing up to close my bookshop after Christmas so I was flat out for two months and flattened for the month after that. Ian, my partner has a job helping run the website for the NSW Rural Fire Service. We had some serious bushfires this summer so he’s been pretty busy too.

Despite this we persevered.

A council of war was held on our respective car phones as we drove to our respective day jobs after dropping our respective progeny at their respective pre-schools.

They want a sexier app – we’ll give em a sexier app.

Being rejected first time round isn’t that unusual – is it?  Best not to take it to heart too much – just keep plugging away. So we did …and we have… but there were some big chunks of life in between.

We’ve come up with a ‘shake for random quote’ feature. I’ve watched a group of (grown up) people pass around a phone with a demo build after dinner, each one shaking the device and coming up with a different quote. Its like ‘Magic 8 Ball’ foradults. The words are brought to you from Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde rather than from a set of  six pre-programmed five word responses.

We’ve also included direct links to Twitter and Facebook and email from all of the quotes as well as options to favourite and copy. We’ve touched up the colour scheme and the presentation and included an ‘about’ page at the start.

So we were knocked back and it hurt, but I think we now have a better app – fingers crossed it gets through this time.

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