This Week's Sponsor:


Ensure that if a device isn’t secure it can’t access your apps.  It’s Device Trust for Okta.

Here’s The Most Ridiculous App Store Rejection Ever

Seriously, there must be something wrong over at the App Review Team. Perhaps a new guy was hired to replace Mr. Shoemaker? No, because the latest App Store rejection really beats all the other ones we’ve posted over the years. Read It Later 2.2 (our iPad coverage here) was submitted for approval a few days ago, and Apple rejected it because an app “can’t require user registration prior to allowing access to the app’s content”. If you’re app is account-based (Read It Later, or Twitter, or Facebook), it can’t go through.

Either we’re reading the rejection letter wrong, or Apple messed up this time. Check it out below.

“Hello Nathan,

Thank you for submitting Read It Later Free & Read It Later to the App Store.

We’ve reviewed your apps, but cannot post these versions to the App Store because they require customers to register with personal information without providing account-based features. We have included additional details below to help explain the issue, and hope you’ll consider revising and resubmitting your application.

Applications cannot require user registration prior to allowing access to app features and content; such user registration must be optional and tied to account-based functionality.

If you have any questions about this response, or would like to discuss it further, please feel free to reply to this email. We look forward to reviewing your revised apps.

Best Regards,

App Review Team

iPhone Developer Program”

Read It Later is an account-based application (you create a free RIL account, you save links for later) and, according to the first section of the email, that should be OK for App Store approval. It says [Apple] “cannot post these versions to the App Store because they require customers to register with personal information without providing account-based features”. If you provide account-based features, your app can be approved.

But then the App Review Team provides additional details, and here comes the weird part: apps cannot require user registration prior to allowing access to the app. This user registration must be “optional”. Hmm. There must something wrong here.

How’s an account-based application supposed to work with “optional registration”? Can you imagine a “Facebook, Demo Version for Everyone” app or an account-free Twitter? It doesn’t make sense. The email itself doesn’t make any sense. As Read It Later developer Nate Weiner notices, this may have major implications.

To me, this seems like a huge misunderstanding. Of course Apple wants to protect users from having their email addresses collected by developers (especially when the app doesn’t need an email address to work), but when the app is account-based it needs the possibility to enter user information. And it needs the possibility to create an account from the mobile app, without having to use a desktop browser first.

Or maybe this is just part of a big plan to advertise the release of Read It Later 2.2. Right, conspiracy-theories fans?

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.