So you’re in a meeting, and the conversation starts to go like this: “We need an app.” “What is an app? Do you mean a video game?” “Maybe, maybe not. Something for a smartphone that benefits our customers and builds our brand at the same time.” “Sounds complicated. Let’s just make an app that links to our website.” “Great idea! Somebody make a donut run!”

Hold on! Both Apple and Google (which makes the Android operating system) are getting a lot pickier about what qualifies as an app (short for “application,” by the way). Want proof? Here’s an excerpt that comes straight from Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines. It illustrates how its standards have evolved:

  • We have over 350,000 apps in the app store. We don’t need any more fart apps. If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted.
  • If your app looks like it was cobbled together in a few days, or you’re trying to get your first practice app into the store to impress your friends, please brace yourself for rejection. We have lots of serious developers who don’t want their quality apps to be surrounded by amateur hour.
  • We will reject apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, “I’ll know it when I see it.” And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.
  • If your app is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps.
  • If you attempt to cheat the system (for example, by trying to trick the review process, steal data from users, copy another developer’s work, or manipulate the ratings) your apps will be removed from the store and you will be expelled from the developer program.

As you can see, Apple doesn’t hide the fact that it is run by control freaks. For specific evidence that simply regurgitating web content is a bad idea, here’s another excerpt from the same document:

•  2.12
Apps that are not very useful, are simply websites bundled as apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected.
•  2.13
Apps that are primarily marketing materials or advertisements will be rejected.

So now what? How do you come up with a helpful app that also helps your business?

Contact {code} Roadies. By combining big ideas (one of our specialties) with good old-fashioned strategic planning (another of our specialties), we can almost always help you to find a unique app concept that accomplishes your goals. More importantly, we have the knowledge to write and test your app right here in-house. Together, we’ll decide the scope and budget of the project, then we’ll take care of the rest. If you’d like more information on programming mobile apps, {code} Roadies will be happy to help!

Source: App Store Review Guidelines for iOS apps