Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Twitterrific Update Rejected for Alternative User-Selectable Icons

The Iconfactory’s Sean Heber on Twitter:

Try to do something fun and get an App Store rejection for it.

[…]

We could change the app icon on each update but letting the user choose between those same icons at will is TOTALLY AGAINST THE RULES.

We could have a light or a dark icon because we have light and dark themes. And that’s it. Any other choices are right out!

To be clear, it appears that Twitterrific was rejected for using the new icon changing API to allow users to change the app‘s icon. Apparently, this is because the alternative icons are too different from the standard app icon or, in some way, are not reflective of the app’s branding.

First off, I’ve seen the alternative icons Heber is referring to here. They’re not that far off from the default — certainly not enough to cause you to confuse Twitterrific for another app. They add a nice smidgen of customizability.

Second, multiple users pointed out the inconsistency between the App Review team’s rejection of Twitterrific after approving two sports apps that allow users to change the app icon to the logo of their favourite team.

Third, I don’t see anything in the App Review guidelines that indicates parameters for what constitutes acceptable — or unacceptable — alternative icons. Apple’s guidelines might be relatively straightforward and agreeable, but without publishing them, it looks like they’re favouring gigantic enterprises over independent developers or using a different rulebook.

Update: Ged Maheux:

Hey, guess who I just got a call from? A very nice rep at Apple saying we can put the alternate app icons back in Twitterrific. Woot!!

I’m glad to hear that this has been resolved in favour of the Iconfactory, but developers shouldn’t need to deal with the confusion and ambiguity that comes from a situation like this. Rules should be clear and applied consistently to all developers regardless of size.