Prerequisites or Checklist for iPhone iPad iPod iTunes App Submission

[sam_ad id=”20″ codes=”true”]I have been submitting apps to Apple in recent months so I’ve prepared a checklist for myself for my own reference. Lot of the content comes from Apple guidelines itself and other lot comes from different people that had trouble getting an approval from Apple with their first submission, all RnD searching Google.

This is follow up to my previous post where I discussed how long does it take to get an approval from Apple for you App.

Read that post here 

So lets see what I think should give you over 95% chance of getting an Approval with your first submission.

Ask yourself these questions that are below:

  1. Does your App Crash?
    Verdict: Rejection, Any App that crash on its launch or while browsing has high chance of getting rejected
  2. Does your App have bugs that are obvious to a fool like me? 🙂
    Verdict: Rejection, Any App that exhibit bugs has high chance of getting rejected
  3. Does your App not work as per advertised?
    Verdict: Rejection, Apps that do not perform as advertised by the developer will be rejected
  4. Does your App include undocumented or any hidden features?
    Verdict: Rejection, You should always tell Apple how hidden features can be unlocked. These details are kept safe with Apple and never get published.
  5. Does your App read or write data outside its designated container?
    Verdict: Rejection, You should never try to do this
  6. Does your App download code in anyway or form?
    Verdict: Rejection, You should never do this
  7. Does your App install or execute any other executable?
    Verdict: Rejection, You should never try to do this
  8.  Does your App version include  “Beta”, “Demo”, “Test”, “Trial”, “Initial fun release” etc
    Verdict: Rejection, App must be fully tested and should be version 1.0+, try not version your App as 0.8,0.9 etc
  9.  Does your App duplicate any other App that is already in iTunes?
    Verdict: Rejection, You should never try to do this, bring on your creative side, do not copy.
  10.  Does your App encourage excessive consumption of alcohol or illegal substances, or encourage minors to consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes?
    Verdict: Rejection, You should never do this
  11.  Does your App’s  metadata mentions the name of any other mobile platform such as Android etc?
    Verdict: Rejection, Compile a separate version for each environment
  12.  Does your App has placeholder text such as TODO’s or coming up in next version
    Verdict: Possible Rejection or explanation required. e.g. if your App is a Game and you have 4 levels in it you already have 3 working levels and 4th one you are working on. Your App should be Ok as per my experience goes
  13. Does your Small and large app icons are different?
    Verdict: Rejection, they must be same
  14.  Does your app become slow or unresponsive after using it for a while?
    Recommendation: Fix it before submission
  15. Does you app show price information?
    Recommendation: Never display the price for your App inside your app or in your application description. This is because the prices vary from region to region and you do not have to deal with that.
  16. Does your app contain photos, icons, etc. which are copyrighted by third party including Apple?
    Recommendation: It is important that you have rights to all the content to display
  17. Overall does your App uses any copyrighted material such as Music, Lyrics, Movie trailers, Live TV etc
    Recommendation: It is important that you have rights to all the content to use that is copyrighted by others
  18.  Does your App uses any undocumented features of dev SDK
    Recommendation: Use only public APIs, undocumented features are strictly prohibited
  19. Does your App comply with HCI (Human Computer Interface) guidelines?
    Recommendation: Read more here
  20. If your App requires Internet connection does if provide any sort of Alert or Warning in case there isn’t one available?
    Verdict: Rejection, sort it before submission
  21. If your App load your websites page then is that page up and running / Does it show any bugs?
    Verdict: Possible Rejection, sort it before submission
  22. Does your app charge users for additional functionality outside the App Store?
    Recommendation: Its a money game. Apple would like sweet 30% of all your earnings, It all depends on what you are trying to achieve, you could possibly be violating the rules. It is Ok I guess to sell your products through your App but what’s not Ok is to charge externally for the right to use your App.
  23. Does your app contain content that is considered racist, political, pornographic, obscene or offensive, Sexuality oriented?
    Verdict: Possible Rejection, sort it before submission
  24. If your app medical?
    Recommendation: You should be looking for Approval from the applicable Medical authorities. You app must comply with the local State and country law
  25. Does your App is limited in functionality?
     “Hello World”  Apps are set to be rejected.
  26. Does your App use push notifications?
    Recommendation: Make sure you test that functionality.
  27. Does your App arbitrarily restrict which users may use the app, such as by location or carrier?
    Verdict: Possible Rejection, but It all depends why would you do that. Explain it to apple in extra notes and you should be fine.
  28. Does your App spam?
    Verdict:  You know the answer to this one, don’t you 🙂
  29. Does your App recommend that users restart their iOS device prior to installation or launch?
    Verdict: Possible Rejection, your app should not be dependent on any thing.
  30.  Does your App exposes user Privacy?
    Verdict:  Rejection, your app should not doing that. Privacy of your Users is the MOST important thing.
  31. Does your App do not notify and obtain user consent before collecting, transmitting, or using location data?
    Verdict:  Rejection, Again this a privacy issue
  32. Does your App uses  location-based APIs for dispatch, fleet management, or emergency services?
    Verdict:  Rejection
  33.  Does your App use the APN service without obtaining a Push Application ID from Apple?
    Verdict:  Rejection
  34. Does your App charge for push notification service if you are using it?
    Verdict:  Rejection, push notification should be provided free of charge
  35.  Does your App excessively use the network capacity or bandwidth of the APN service or unduly burden a device with Push Notifications?
    Verdict:  Rejection, limit the use of APN service to most important notifications
  36.  Does your App contain “rental” content or services that expire after a limited time?
    Verdict:  Rejection
  37. Does your App encourage users to use an Apple Device in a way that may cause damage to the device
    Verdict:  Rejection
  38. Does your App rapidly drain the device’s battery or generate excessive heat?
    Verdict:  Rejection
  39. Does your App portray realistic images of people or animals being killed or maimed, shot, stabbed, tortured or injured?
    Verdict:  Rejection
  40. Does your App is primarily designed to upset or disgust users?
    Verdict:  Rejection
  41. Does your App  enable illegal file sharing?
    Verdict:  Rejection
  42.  You also must Agree with Program License Agreement

Ok so above is the List compiled by me to make myself sure that before touching or designing the App to submission I must comply with all of the above.

If you have any thoughts that you would like to share please add them in the comments section.
Disclaimer:  The tips in this post in no way guarantees that your App will get approved. A lot depends on your App. This is just a guide that I wanted to share with you.

Hope this helps




  1. Kaliyarajalu says

    Very Helpful to me, within a month, i’ve plan to release. its very very helpful to me.. if have additional things, please let me know..

  2. Hi Jaspreet,
    Nice article you have shared.
    Thank you very much.
    Is there any restrictions to upload my and my colleagues portfolio as individual apps. (only the content will be different. Not the programm or frame work. ) And Could I upload any number of these kind of apps with a developer account?

    Thanks in advance

  3. Mitch Ellis says

    Hey Jaspreet, Great Article and Great Site!

    I am just about to release my app for the app store, but was wondering whether you have any info on creating the certificate? I created a certificate so I could test on my device which worked, but to I need create a separate certificate for my distribution version? I have gone through all the correct process for creating my distribution mobile provision but I am still wondering whether I also need to create another certificate? Regards

  4. Wow… great list… thank u. I would submit my app by next month… have to test it very well.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.