Apple has been making waves in the mobile app industry yet again. This time, the California-based technological giant updated the App Store Review Guidelines stating on section 4.2.6 that it will reject any app created from a commercialised template or from an app generation service.

This has heavy implications on mobile app developers and resellers. They have to pay close attention to the apps they create, making sure that the apps are in accordance with the review guidelines.

Delving into the Details of the 4.2.6 Update

Although 4.2.6 is a mere one-liner in the App Store Review Guidelines, it has heavy implications on mobile app makers and resellers.

It falls under the 4.2 Minimum Functionality section which states that an app should include features, content, and a user interface that goes beyond a repackaged website. The section is firm with the idea that the App Store only accepts apps which are useful and unique and which have a lasting entertainment value.

Because the section discusses the minimum functionality of apps on the App Store, it reminds mobile app makers and resellers on 4.2.6 that Apple will reject any app that comes from a commercialised template or an app generator.

With that said, the App Store requires apps to use APIs and frameworks that are in line with their description and purpose. It reminds mobile app developers that the apps are not merely a series of marketing materials, web clippings, content aggregators, and link collections. The apps should also be able to function without the assistance or installation of another app.

On a related note, Apple will reject Apple Watch apps if the interface is too similar to an actual watch face. Furthermore, apps that contain songs, movies, books or game guides do not belong in the App Store. Rather, apps with a song or a movie are for the iTunes store while apps that contain a book or a game guide are for the iBooks store.

Exploring the Effects of the 4.2.6 Update

Last June 5 at the Worldwide Developers Conference in California, representatives of the tech world sat down in an event auditorium to hear the latest developments in hardware and software. On the same event, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller addressed the crowd regarding the complete redesign of Apple’s App Store which, according to him, is the ‘best platform app in the world’.

The App Store redesign led to an update of the App Store Review Guidelines for the purpose of cleaning up congestion in the digital distribution platform.

The aim to clean up the App Store and get rid of any clones or spam is evident through the 4.2.6 subsection—an ominous reminder that it will reject any app that came from a commercialised template or an app generator. It has affected the ‘duplicated’ apps created by mobile app resellers, causing app platform delays and outright rejections from Apple because of interface or framework duplication.

The cleanup is not bad per se. It just wants to get rid of spam and redundant apps. In the process, however, it also jeopardises mobile apps across all industries. It rejects apps that are potentially useful simply because they use the same template as other apps. Some examples are transport, event and food apps.

• Transport apps may suffer. The transport industry relies on mobile apps now more than ever. Dispatch companies and couriers, for example, use such apps to track deliveries and shipping. Meanwhile, commuters rely on mobile apps to book a taxi and drivers rely on it for navigation.
Mobile apps for transport have various functions with a central purpose: tracking. For this reason, regardless of the unique and beneficial experience the apps offer, the 4.2.6 update may reject them simply because they have a similar template as other transport-related apps.

• Event apps are in potential danger. Event apps are useful for many reasons. They help event planners keep track of projects. They enable attendees to confirm their attendance and view related details. They even forego paper materials, for those who want to be more eco-friendly.
The 4.2.6 update puts these apps in potential danger simply because it rejects any app made with a template. Apple’s App Store may approve a singular mobile app that caters to different events, though. The downsides are that app users need to take extra steps to view their event and that the event might focus on the developer and lose its branding in the process.

• Food apps are not entirely safe, either. Many restaurants have mobile apps for numerous reasons—loyalty programs, location-based deals, coupon redemption, table bookings and, of course, delivery. Different restaurants, even competing ones, may have similar templates because of these features. Therefore, they may be in trouble because of the 4.2.6 update.

Apple had good intentions when it updated the App Store Review Guidelines. Mobile app resellers may have to step up, though, if they want their apps to stay on the App Store.

Working with a Team that Understands the 4.2.6 Update

Many mobile app resellers are at a loss because of the 4.2.6 update. For this reason, businesses that wish to expand their visibility through mobile apps should partner with an agency that understands Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines.

Zirch is unlike mobile app resellers that have experienced the dramatic effect of the recent Apple update on their products and services. It assures current and future clients that the 4.2.6 update has not affected its operations.

The digital marketing agency does not create duplicated apps that result in rejection by the App Store. Rather, it creates affordable yet beautiful apps with features that lead to further brand enhancement and stronger connection with customers.

Zirch has been in the digital marketing industry long enough to understand the necessity of a well-designed mobile app. People often have their smart phones within reach, using the device to help them make purchases and online orders; businesses sell more products by having an interactive app for its target market. Therefore, the digital marketing agency creates customised mobile apps that boost sales.

Businesses that want to add a mobile app to their overall business strategy may sign up to buy an app by visiting our app studio here.