4.2.6 Guideline Update    
This topic is assigned to Victor Robu

Oct 08, 2017 03:15 AM

App Store Review Guidelines - 4.2.6


UPDATE: October 07, 2017


Already a few months have passed since Apple added section 4.2.6 in the App Store Review

Guidelines. This is the most controversial rule since the creation of the App Store itself – The new 4.2.6 guideline.  Even though the rule was added in June 2017, the first related rejects weren’t an actual recorded incident by SeattleCloud customers until August, 2017.

We will be the first to set the record straight.   As technology professionals, direct iOS developers and users, we ultimately understand and agree with Apple’s decision that a "general cleaning" of the AppStore was needed.  The AppStore is still full of poor apps, clones and even spam apps.  However, we can’t agree with the conclusion that this problem is generated by the App Builders or how we're named: "app generation service".


As you know, SeattleCloud and many other top app builder services around the world have invested tens of thousands of development hours creating the app features in accordance with the ever evolving App Store Review Guidelines and even the Human Interface GuidelinesAs a matter of fact, the entire staff at Seattle Cloud/MobileSoft feel that it’s everyone’s responsibility, as professional developers and marketers in the mobile industry, to uphold our own high values in the eco-system that we have helped create and profit from.   “True effort put forth, is never wasted”.


iOS App approval background and real statistics for September 2017

The Mobilesoft and SeattleCloud team will always try to be as transparent as possible with our customers. We have always worked very valiantly in the background trying to resolve the lock-out situation with the changes made in the App Store Guidelines and the distribution of professional iOS applications on the App Store.   We have always tried to provide updates via tickets, chat or forum threads when we had concrete evidence to post.  Unfortunately, like many of you, it took for us almost one month to find and actually get in touch with a real Senior Apple Review Manager that tried to explain the current situation and allow us to explain the collective size of the SC community of providers who have active apps on the App Store. 


We are aware of the statements from our direct competitors claiming that that this situation is not affecting them. This nothing more than false-advertising since the same App Store Guideline is affecting ALL app builders.  However, during our ongoing discussions with the Apple review team, the situation evolved positively.  From now on, Apple will allow updates of ALL apps that were already validated in the App Store.

Here are the results of 59 iOS apps that we've sent to Apple Review Team in September 2017*:

·        41 Approved Apps

·        6 Rejected apps with 4.2.6 Rule

·        7 Rejected apps for other reasons

·        4 Apps are still "In Review" status

·        1 App was removed from the App Store

*This number excludes our White Label Publishers.

So, with that said, we deliver the following updates to our valued community of app customers, developers, partners, and marketers.   Let’s start with the chatter about Progress Web Apps (PWA’s)…


WebApps or Progressive Web Apps

Besides rejecting 1,000’s of new, professional applications for many small businesses’ around the world, Apple’s first, recited response, was to advise the app developer to switch their native app, with many native hardware based functions and code, to a WebApp, even citing Progressive Web App (PWA) as an example. In our humble option, as one of the world’s top application development companies, this solution should only be recommended for apps that have a lot of HTML based content and links to external websites and services.


As many of you know, SeattleCloud has been offering WebApps since 2012 on our platform. Truth be told, hundreds of WebApps are made via our build engine every month.  The SC team has been monitoring the evolution of PWAs since its appearance in 2015 when Google developed the first web app service extensions for Chrome. (Original post: https://goo.gl/mFzEhh).


This great new service allowed developers the ability to offer such features and functions like:  Installing their web app/icon on a user’s home screen, send Push Notifications and even work offline.  Apple didn’t follow suit when it came to iOS, nor have we truly seen, at this point, the information presented that they will ever support this overall type of functionality.


The only related statement from Apple to date is that the Push Notification service for iOS PWA’s will require an Apple Developer account and a specific website push certificate. We can only hope that Apple will release additional information to the development community in the coming months.  As of this writing Safari still does not support PWA Apps.


Where Do We Stand


Regardless of how long it will take Apple to sort things out, we are proud to announce that SeattleCloud developers have already started a huge revamp of the

SeattleCloud platform to release new tools to allow you to produce top of the line, professional, Progressive WebApps (PWA’s) as an additional option to the 5 options athat are available today.


We hope that the new features will allow all of our developers the opportunity to expand their current mobile content delivery products and services for your customers.  We are going to be investing additional personnel, money and resources to this project in order to deploy a quick launch.  There will be additional announcements about our beta and full launch dates coming soon. 


The Future of SeattleCloud

Although the lock-out situation with the iOS apps distribution had an impact on our business, SC statistics show us that more than 95% (yes…95%) of the apps built and published are Google Play Store apps.   The 4.2.6 rule requires some adjustments of the features we offer for building IOS apps.  We see that in many markets, iOS apps are still the most asked by new customers.  SeattleCloud will continue to show long term commitment on improving all of the top features, development processes and a commitment to professional application review on our platform in order to achieve a 100% approval rate.  


Our two main, primary directives as a business are: The development of new NATIVE features for iOS and Android apps and; Developing improvements or our current WebApp service to facilitate the evolution of Progressive WebApps.


Mobilesoft and SeattleCloud have all the necessary resources for working on these 2 directions simultaneously. The new adjustments will also require an update of our current commercial offer.   We are proud to announce that we are adjusting all our plans to deliver new offers, enhanced service features that no other platform provider will offer and, most importantly, added customer support.   We will continue to make improvements in our platform and show continued devotion to you, our customer base.   We hope you enjoyed the update.  More announcements to follow. 


MobileSoft Management Team


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Oct 09, 2017 07:13 AM
Thank you for the update.
Can you please tell us .. are these 41 approved apps new apps or are these updates of already validated apps in the Appstore? 
These were updates.

Oct 09, 2017 09:17 AM
Your update is most appreciated and encouraging. Thank you for taking the time to give us all of the information.

Your customers and the customers of white label providers will be utterly delighted to hear that customer support will improve.

May I also suggest that you make an offer available to transfer from white label to yourselves at a reasonable cost.  You will have many people wanting to be with you rather than a white label version if you can offer a price similar to white labels and good customer support.

We do have a migration tool available and new pricing structure being released soon. Please create a support ticket to have your applications migrated and a team member will contact you. Thanks.
Thank you. I appreciate that you are making efforts.

Many of us have created dozens of apps with our white label providers. The new pricing structure is appreciated but it is not economically viable for those of us with lots of apps.

It may be mutually beneficial if you were to offer a special deal to white label customers to transfer their apps to you. This might be a one off charge or a reduced monthly fee for unlimited apps or a mixture of the two. You could do it as a black Friday special ...


I have been contacting support regarding the migration for several months now and just replied about 10 days ago with reference to this post. No one replied yet.

Oct 09, 2017 06:16 PM
Can we possibly get the names of the actual apps. This way, we can go into the App Store and actually download the apps and take a look at them and this would help us get a real feel for what the apps look like that we should be building. 

Oct 13, 2017 07:51 AM

According to our Agreement with our Customers/White Label Resellers we can't disclosure their personal information, App's or any other details.

We are encouraging our customers who want to disclose their personal app which was approved by Apple.

Best regards,
SC Team

Oct 14, 2017 12:05 PM
Is clicking Target for Progressive Web App different than Web App.

I have a White Label but setting the Target as Web App does not give me the Native App features like Notifications etc?

Will progressive App allow sending of Notifications to iPhones ??

If Progressive Apps are rolling out how long will it take to roll out to White Label??

Oct 16, 2017 10:41 PM
Hi Aidan, yes, PWA (progressive web app) is allowed to send Push Notifications. In fact, PWA has a lot of benefits like lighting load speed, searchable by search engines, works offline & always the latest version (no need to updates via AppStore).

Anyway, I still have a few existing clients that insist on iOS app, so it takes time to slowly convert all clients to PWA (maybe 1 year?) ...

Oct 19, 2017 07:27 AM
iOS apps will have their Developer Certificate expire sooner or later. Previously, we would have uploaded a new Developer Certificate whilst going through the new build process and then submitted a new update in iTunesconnect.  This may now be difficult with Apple's new stance.

Please let us know the procedure for updating our Developer Certificate using the Sync Resources facility without submitting a new version of the app to Apple.

Many thanks.   

Oct 19, 2017 02:35 PM
Thanks for the reply Joe but when is the ability to actually create Progressive Apps being rolled out to White Label???