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Will Apple's New App Review Guidelines Affect Your Mobile App?

Today's post gets a little technical, so we brought in someone who knows what he's talking about. Here's some mobile app development talk from John Sullivan, our Director of Mapping & Interactive Technology.

There seems to be a lot of scary news floating around the event mobile app space regarding Apple’s latest app store guidelines. We’re getting questions from concerned show managers like: Will my show app get removed or rejected? Is going with a container app my only choice? What can we expect?

After considerable research and internal discussion, we’re hoping to clear the air and explain how and why MYS is going to continue delivering individual, custom tradeshow mobile apps that you know and love.

App Store Changes

Apple has been very focused on cleaning up their app store since last year. They began removing app listings that were outdated, crashing, or abandoned. They now require shorter app titles to prevent apps from improperly influencing app store search results.

At their annual developer conference in June, Apple made a few changes to their app store review guidelines, with a new rule putting app clones and spam in their sights. While Apple’s intentions sound great, there’s a bit of ambiguity to their rules. Specifically, two guidelines are causing quite the stir in the event app space:

Guideline 4.2.6

Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.

Guideline 4.3

Don’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app and provide the variations using in-app purchase. Also avoid piling on to a category that is already saturated; the App Store has enough fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra apps already. Spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Developer Program.

MYS Mobile Apps

Map Your Show has been creating mobile apps for 3 years. We’re on our 3rd major release, and we’re starting development on our 100th mobile app.

Our apps are not built from “commercial templates or app generation services.”  We didn’t buy an app template to start out, nor do we sell one to our clients. There is no automatic process we use to submit mobile apps. While many of our apps offer similar functionality (floor plans, show planners, exhibitor listings, conference searches, etc.), it does not mean we are submitting the same app over and over.

Since the beginning, we’ve offered custom, branded mobile apps made exclusively by our in-house team. Our database specialists work hard to make sure our integrations are collecting and organizing your tradeshow data. Our designers come up with specific styles, designs, and imagery for you to review. Our account managers work with you to decide what you want and how you want it displayed. Your team reviews the app, providing us with feedback and features you need. Our development and QA departments develop, test, and submit to the app stores.  The process takes several weeks. Because of the hands-on customization involved, we don’t consider our app to be a traditional white-label product.

Moving Forward

MYS will continue offering our customized, branded, individual tradeshow apps.

Some of our mobile app competitors are choosing to pursue a universal, container app, but there are many that are continuing to provide single event applications like we are.

We acknowledge that there is some ambiguity from Apple, and at the end of the day, we are at their mercy. But we’re confident in continuing to offer single event applications. That said, we will continue to monitor this situation closely, and if Apple does decide to prevent single event applications, we are certain we will find a solution that works for everyone.

MYS Mobile & Apple Store Changes