Apple’s App Store and Google Play have a review processes that are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Google Play is often described as the Wild West. Typically, we will submit an app to Google Play and after an hour, we’ll be able to find it published on Google Play. There is no human involvement in the review process. This leaves for a lot of freedom and unfortunately a lot of abuse. Virus Shield was a top paid app on Google Play that cost $4 and sold 10,000 downloads. In reality, the app was a fake and did nothing. What’s worse, is that there’s an estimated 42,000 Android apps with malware on Google Play.
In contrast, the Apple App Store has an extensive review process that actually involves a human reviewer. An app typically sits in a queue for two weeks before it gets reviewed. If approved by the reviewer, that app takes a day to get published on the Apple App store. If the app gets rejected, the path to getting approved just got longer (and some apps don’t ever get approved).
I recommend that anyone that wants to get an app published become familiar with the App Store Review Guidelines before developing an app. In general, much of it is common sense (i.e. no porn) but there also are a few specific guidelines that deny specific types of apps like fart apps or DUI checkpoint apps. Knowing the guidelines can save you a lot of heartache. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of Apple rejecting your app, and the reason is unclear, my advice is to request a phone call with the reviewer. From our experience, the reasons for a rejection are typically canned responses. When you meet with a reviewer to discuss their rationale, they may give a better explanation on why your app was rejected and perhaps some suggestions.
As a developer, I love the ease of being able to publish on Google Play. As a consumer, I appreciate the quality control and confidence of apps published on the Apple App Store. In Q2, Apple and Android phones combined made up 96% of the smartphones shipped. So, if you are developing an app, you really should support both iPhone and Android and consequently be familiar with the policies of the respective app stores.