Another week, another rejection from Apple

Not a week goes by where I don’t get get a rejection from Apple Winking smile

To give you some background, I first submitted my I May Be Late app for review back in January. The 26th of January 2012 to be precise. Apple initially rejected my app for reasons I didn’t quite fully understand and I just resubmitted it, thinking it was a problem with my server side code that caused rejection. A full week later and my app was rejected again. I reached out into the developer community for advice and found the reason for the rejection. It was related to in-app purchases and external payment mechanisms.

I fixed everything, removing the offending links and submitted the app again. You can read the full story of this in this blog post.

Yesterday evening, Apple again rejected my app, citing the same reason, but this time indicating that my metadata was at fault!

11.13 Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, such as a “buy” button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected

The metadata is where you provide a description of your app, including links to help, marketing and privacy pages. I immediately assumed it was because I mentioned the Pro account in this description, but I do mention the Pro account in the app too.

I quickly adjusted the metadata anyway, removing the mention of the Pro account and submitted the updated version. Thankfully this didn’t require the submission of a new binary. I’m also assuming that because of this, the binary itself is okay!

At 1.37 AM this morning, my app was again rejected for the same reason as before. This time they included a snippet of the metadata and it showed the actual web addresses that I gave. As with the app, it’s not possible to show any links to the site at all, since the site offers a PayPal payment mechanism.

With a huff and a hiss, I removed all  links to www.imaybelate.com and all imaybelate.com all email address from the description body. I then went as far as changing the links to the support, marketing and privacy pages to point to tomasmcguinness.com. It’s worth pointing out that the links to support and privacy pages are mandatory within the metadata, so URLs must be entered. However, these links would bring you to a site that offers external payments, so rather than risk rejection again, I just changed them.

As of 8.27AM the app is again in review.

I can fully understand Apple’s stance on this matter. They make tonnes of money from content channels, pure and simple. They protect the revenue from these channels with all their might. I do, however, object to their position on external payment mechanisms, especially since they don’t provide an alternative. Sure, they have in-app purchase, but it doesn’t offer monthly payments or subscription based payments for anything except newspapers and magazines. What they are saying amounts to “we don’t offer a monthly subscription service so you can’t use anyone else’s”.

That sounds a lot like monopolistic anti-competitive behaviour to me…

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