When we drive, we always observe the rules. If we don’t, we can get a ticket or lose the driving license. In the mobile app world, there are rules as well. And if you break them, it can cause unpleasant consequences to the point of deleting from the store. In this post, we’ll talk about store rules. You’ll learn which ones should be followed undeviatingly and which you may escape using some little tricks.

Both Apple and Google officially warn publishers and developers about violations which can cause tough sanctions. So which rules we should follow and which ones we can avoid?

Pornography and realistic violent scenes

Both are categorically forbidden by the rules of the stores without any excuse. Moreover, in many cases, they go too far by prohibiting not only photos of a bit of naked models, but also even hints to that. It seems that the App Store and Google Play compete with each other in puritanism making their rules tougher and tougher. So you shouldn’t try your luck and provoke moderators even with hints.

It started in 2010 when Apple banned scandalous app Wobble which contained very revealing pictures. In 2013 a popular app 500px has disappeared from App Store. The reason for it was the possibility to search for nu photos. The app has returned to the store soon but with an age requirement of 17+.

But if the plot of your game implies violence and you can’t do without it, there is a way for you. Make the scenes less realistic. For example, you may use green blood, as many game developers do.

Though it’s better not to use adult content in mobile apps. But there are those who successfully hide it. If your service isn’t limited by an app, leave adult content for the web and hide it in the mobile app. But it’s not that easy to do. Complex algorithms are usually used for that.

Pirate content

The rules prohibit the spreading of illegal content, i.e. all the pirate copies of movies, audio-recordings, books, and others. Any apps for exchange of such content (e.g. torrents) are also prohibited. But Google is more loyal to such apps.

Are there any ways to avoid this rule? For some time VK had been hiding under a public offer in which the responsibility for spreading pirate content was lying on the users. But Apple has revised its policy and excluded the VK app from App Store for several months.

Alternative payments

Any attempts to avoid the App Store or Google Play payment system may lead to quite severe punishments. Both the stores are very serious regarding this rule.

There were cases when some developers tried to build in credit card payments or SMS “past” payment systems of the stores. After that, they got a lifetime ban without a warning. Only in some cases developers managed to win the dispute and return the app to the store. But you better not try your luck and not cheat.

The exceptions are web-stores that sell real goods and services. But it’s only logical as apps are used as shop-windows there.

User bribery for making a transaction

It’s totally prohibited to bribe users in anyways, stimulating them to make any transactions that affect the position of an app in the rating. Access to expanded functionality or inner currency may be considered a reward. All that is forbidden by the rules of the stores.

Fake reviews: yes or no?

Fake reviews are another method broadly used among publishers. But both the stores aren’t positive about it. If you aren’t cautious and make the process flow or use various exchanges, you’ll most likely get a complete fiasco.

Besides, you shouldn’t apply inner stimulation in the form of a direct reward. It’s also forbidden by the rules. If you will act carefully, you can avoid sanctions of the stores and get hundreds and thousands of reviews.

So how can you stimulate users to write positive reviews?

  • Firstly, select only loyal users.
  • Secondly, offer them to leave a review in the moments they feel an emotional raise. For example, after a successful end of a battle in a game or reaching a new level.


12+ category: how can you get to it?

There are several age categories for apps. For example, any dating services Apple automatically assigns 17+ category. It brings many problems in coming out to the ad traffic market. Nobody wants to get involved with such apps as it creates many difficulties. Even if there are no mentions about sex, frivolous photos and other, still 17+ category leave a mark on it.

How can we avoid the rules and get to 12+ category? To do this for dating-services you need to:

  • delete any mentions and hints about sex and orientation.
  • keep only hearts and chat.
  • separate adult and teen audiences.

These actions will help to get 12+ category and not get troubles while interacting with ad services.

Manipulations with TOP

Manipulation with TOP is one of the most widespread violations. Only 5% of apps appear in the App Store TOP 100 due to natural traffic.

But what app can survive now without using methods that affect positions in TOP? None. That’s why you still can (and need to) formally manipulate TOP.

There is a solution to it and it’s quite simple. You can buy ads which actually mean installs.

Where can you buy it?

  • Facebook.
  • Google mobile ad network.
  • special services (e.g. AppInTop).

What shouldn’t you do? Once and for all refuse from bots and other similar rough ways. They only lead to a ban.

Almost in all the cases, a letter of the law differs from its spirit. So act in this space but with a great cautious. Don’t yield to the temptation of coarse promotion methods. Then your app will be in TOP and from the point of view of the official rules, there will be nothing to reproach you with.

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