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App Store Review: Dos and Don’ts for iOS Subscription Apps

Apple App Store is the platform for iOS devices that provides the user with millions of application choices. The key principle of the Apple App Store is to provide a safe experience for users to get apps and a great opportunity for all developers to be successful. The above-curated experience is possible due to the efforts of experts and the editorial team which work tirelessly to improve the user experience, determining which apps get featured to the user.

App Store Review Guidelines


Applications which get hosted on the App Store undergo reviews and scrutiny with respect to their app updates, bundles, In-App purchases, events etc. This is strictly followed so that the App Store is able to ensure a safe, smooth and trustworthy experience for app developers and app users.
The official guidelines are categorized into 5 sections namely Safety, Performance, Business, Design and Legal. The Apple App Store constantly keeps updating and improving these guidelines, hence requiring the apps to evolve and improve simultaneously in order to keep up with the guidelines.
A few other important aspects are:
  • Parental control options are provided due to a large number of kids using the app

  • The apps need to be respectful to users with different opinions and sentiments and of high quality so that the app store doesn’t reject the app.

  • Ensure that proper bug testing and crash checks are performed to ensure top-quality user experience

  • Provide full app review and enable the backend services and cross-check with the development and design guidelines.

Recent studies show that no matter how precise or well-designed an application is, it still sometimes fails to attract customers or falls below the exception. After proper scrutiny of this matter, a set of do’s and don’ts are established as the best practices for iOS subscription apps to bypass this slump. They are as follows:

DOs

  • All the links provided by your subscription apps must be valid. The developer must also provide a user support link with a relevant and reachable contact, citing the privacy policy required.

  • Items submitted must be checked for crashes before being hosted on the App Store. The latest patches, fixes and softwares must be running before submission.

  • Concentrate on the solution and the service provided by your subscription applications. It is important not to repeat the content which is already in abundance, but rather provide key content that makes your service unique and stand out from its competition.

  • Giving high importance to user privacy and building a strong sense of trust with them. In this day and age users are becoming more and more paranoid about giving out personal data to huge organizations. It is our responsibility to provide a proper explanation of your subscribers’ data. It is also important not to ask for private information frequently and for trivial reasons.

  • Consider the mindset and the learning/grasping rate of the users' demography. A subscription app targeting a younger audience need not have complicated and long tutorials, they prefer easy and simple Apps. They also have a high grasping power and can figure out the purpose by exploring the app further, but the older population need extensive instructions and a proper tutorial to use the app.

  • Constant iterations and bug fixes must be in place following a proper pipeline. Constant iteration is the key to increasing the conversion rate from users to subscribers. A/B testing is a tested and proven method to do so. It is also important to have a proper onboarding journey for hard-to-understand and navigate apps.

DON’Ts

  • Inaccurate screenshots are a major cause for concern. They are the parameter to effectively judge and understand the UI of the product, hence proper information must be provided and the UI images should match the UI.app-store-paywall-examplesOfficial examples:UI Design Dos and Don’ts

  • Never assume that the user has already been converted. The app should not ask for a larger array of personal information and the prepayment option before the user has a chance to witness the app’s prowess. In most cases, the app user might get overwhelmed and might quit halfway before they convert to subscribers.

  • Providing excessive amounts of instructions and onboarding steps to an already simple app needs to be avoided. Instead of blindly jumping onto the bandwagon the developer must consider from the users’ perspective and understand when to and when not to incorporate the same.

  • Promoting any form of harmful content or even potentially harmful content is highly condemned. For example, health apps might suggest steps that when done wrongly might prove to be fatal. Proper analysis of the methods suggested by the app and facts backing it must be accurate, failing which the app would get rejected by the App Store for violating its guidelines.

  • Data leakage is a huge threat. Apps require private information from users such as locations, card numbers etc. These details if leaked into the wrong hands might cause a devastating impact on both the developer and the user as well. Proper encryption standards and keys must be used to prevent data leakage from occurring.

  • Misleading/over-promising users about the application is a serious red flag. The app should act and perform as mentioned in the promotions and advertisements. All the features that appear should be present in the same. Especially for subscription apps, the benefits of each plan should be clearly explained.

Conclusion


Subscription Apps are the best ways to monetize your business model but we should make sure that users are not overworked in the process. The best design is one that is simple so keep your subscriptions frontend simple and backend transparent to gain the trust of the customer. Hope this article helped you gain perspective over the dos and don’ts of subscription apps.

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