As my loyal readers know, I recently built my first iPhone app and submitted it to the app store. I’ve been
patiently not-so-patiently checking my app’s status on iTunes Connect – the whiz-bang dashboard that Apple gives you to monitor your apps. Usually it looks like this:
Last Tuesday, I checked my status and instead of the cheery yellow “In Review” status, there was big red circle and the word “Rejected” – WTF!!!
I was heartbroken, but had to know why so I checked my email and saw this message:
BragVest cannot be posted to the App Store because the small bundle icon does not match your large icon. This might be confusing to users.
iTunes Connect Developer Guide, pg 35
C) Large Icon (512×512)
The small (57×57) icon that you include inside the binary will be used on the home screen, and the App Store when viewed from the iPod touch and iPhone. The large icon will be used to feature your application on the iTunes App Store.
Please resolve this issue and upload a new binary and correct metadata using iTunes Connect
iPhone Developer Program
Did you catch that? So the reason I was rejected didn’t have anything to do with a fatal flaw in my application, it was simply the App Store usability team wanting to ensure that my user’s weren’t confused.
You see, when I submitted my app, I included a different icon for display on the user’s iPhone vs the one displayed in iTunes. They were both stylized pictures of a campfire, but I guess this could confuse who might think they were buying one app and got another. Their feedback actually makes sense, but I was surprised that they enforced this level of conformity.
I submitted a new icon and am now waiting for Apple’s blessing.
Microsoft is Protestant and Apple is Catholic
This whole experience reminded me of the classic Umberto Eco piece entitled The Holy War: Mac vs DOS:
The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant… It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory, it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach – if not the Kingdom of Heaven – the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: the essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation.
Apple has this very specific set of rules (Objective-C, dev on a Mac, Icon restrictions, etc) that you must follow to reach the kingdom of heaven (ie – the app store) while in the Microsoft world you are free to interpret the software world as you will. Create whatever kind of app you want using whatever technology you want, and just put it out there to see what converts you pick up.
It also reinforces how important look and feel is to Apple. I’ve heard of developers who had Mac apps get rejected by the Mac user community because their app’s icon was not “dock-worthy” (for non-Mac readers, the dock is a combo of the start-menu and taskbar).
So let my follies be a lesson to future Mac developers. Not only does it have to work, but for goodness sake, make sure it’s dock-worthy!