Here’s a list of App Store Rejections “of the Week” publicized by John Gruber on daringfireball.net (I did this by googling for “app store rejection site:daringfireball.net” — so I may have missed something).
- iPhone book rejected for using the trademark “iPhone”. (Resolved: obvious mistake)
- Congress Bobblehead Dictionary. (Resolved: judgment call)
- iSinglePayer — app designed to highlight pros of single payer healthcare. (Resolved: judgment call)
- Podcaster. (Rejected with grounds — bandwidth)
- Ninjawords dictionary rejected for containing naughty words. (Resolved: obvious mistake)
- Google Voice. (Rejected but available as a web app)
- Convertbot rejected for using clock icon to represent time. (Resolved: obvious mistake)
- Tweetie twitter client rejected because of bad word in trends. (Resolved: obvious mistake)
- Chess Wars rejected because of chat’s resemblance to Apple’s SMS client. (Resolved: changed appearance)
- Trillian multi-protocol IM client in limbo for over two months. (Resolved)
- Airfoil rejected for using Apple’s icons in a reasonable way. (Resolved: policy change/clarification)
- C64 emulator rejected for being able to run arbitrary code. (Resolved: ability to run arbitrary code removed)
Obviously, there are many other cases, but these are the ones Gruber has chosen to publicize. To me, these all seem like reasonable rejections or obvious (but understandable) mistakes. (Google Voice is unfortunate… let’s find out how Google likes it when Microsoft replaces Windows Mobile with Android + Bing… actually that sounds like a pretty good idea!) After all, these people are handling thousands of apps per week and they’re bound to use heuristics and make mistakes occasionally (“What, the f-word? Rejected!”). And guess what, if you’re dealing with thousands of apps per week, you might not choose to spend a lot of time thinking about a bobble head app.
Here are some interesting lists of things to avoid in your app (yep, Apple sure has scared iPhone developers into silence):
As Gruber points out, developers may fear an app that they’ve worked long and hard on being rejected out-of-hand. But despite flogging this horse for over a year he has yet to find any particularly compelling examples — perhaps the horse is dead.