App approval: Common causes for rejection and tips to avoid them

As you get closer to the deadline to submit your newly created app, we’ve got information from Samsung about the top ten reasons for an app submission rejection, with tips on how to avoid it happening.

Top 10 Reasons for Failures

1. Forced termination

33.2%

Not in compliance with the following Certification Policy.

  • 3.1.5 Each function of application should work without malfunction.
  • 3.2.2 Application should be launched smoothly within a reasonable time(5seconds), or provide appropriate progress indication (loading progress bar) for any task that takes time.
 
Examples
  1. Fail to launch
    • Forced termination right after executing an application.
    • Cannot download essential data needed to run even if the network is available.
  2. Forced termination while application is running
    • Forced termination when selecting any menu in an application.
    • Forced termination when device settings are changed.
      (e.g. device’s language is changed to English)
Self-check list
  • 2.4 Application should be executed without any problems
  • 3.2 All the menus and functions operate successfully without any problems.
  • 6.2 Application screen should be loaded in reasonable time. If loading takes too long on the Splash screen, the application should notify the user that the loading is in progress.

2. Basic functions do not exist or work

30.7%

Not in compliance with the following Certification Policy.

  • 3.1.4 Application should provide functions according to the description or help.
  • 3.1.5 Each function of application should work without malfunction.
  • 3.2.1 Application should not have any UI without function.
 
Examples
  1. Does not provide functions as explained in the description or help.
    • Certain functions should be provided according to the description but there is no menu to do that.
  2. Occurring malfunctions
    • Unexpected pop-up or error message appears while the application is running
    • When selecting the menu, application works in a wrong or unexpected way.
    • Linked website is not connected.
  3. UI without function
    • Nothing happens when selecting the menu.
Self-check list
  • 1.1 Icon, Screenshot, Description and Tag must be consistent with the application`s functionality and adhere to 4+ age rating.
  • 3.2 All the menus and functions operate successfully without any problems.
  • 6.5 Menu name should be related to content to let the user identify application functions through menu name.

To solve this issue:

3. Problems in the Background Mode

9.5%

Not in compliance with the following Certification Policy.

  • 3.3.1 Application should not crash or cause malfunctions due to system events while running application(e.g. Alarm, SMS/MMS, email, receiving call).
  • 3.3.2 Application should not crash or cause malfunctions due to H/W events such as END, SEND, VOLUME, CENTER, HOLD key.
  • 3.3.3 User should be able to resume or end application with task manager.
 
Examples
  1. Pause/Resume issues
    • Functions (e.g. timer, sound, etc.) are not paused when the application is switched to the Background Mode.
      (Exception: Music applications)
    • Functions (e.g. timer, sound, etc.) are not resumed when it comes to the Foreground Mode.
    • Not be resumed but executed from start page when it comes to the Foreground Mode from the Background Mode.
  2. Functional issues
    • Forced termination when switching into the Background Mode.
    • UI errors occur when switching to the Foreground Mode.
Self-check list
  • 4.1 Call Event
  • 4.2 Message(SMS/MMS/IM) Event
  • 4.3 Alarm Event
  • 4.4 HOLD KEY
  • 5.5 CENTER KEY
  • 6.8 Application should work without any problems when Low Battery popup appears while application is running.

To solve this issue:

  • Declare and handle activity behaves within the lifecycle methods.

4. UI errors in general

7.6%

Not in compliance with the following Certification Policy.

  • 3.4.5 Application should run normally on all devices in the same compatibility group (ex. resolution, reliability, etc).
 
Examples
  1. Text issues
    • Text is displayed as boxes.
      (Exception: If there is notification about limitation of supported language in the description when the application is sold globally)
    • Text is out of text box.
  2. Object issues(e.g. Buttons, Text, Characters, etc.)
    • Objects are overlapped.
    • Objects are not aligned correctly.
    • Objects are cut.
Self-check list
  • 6.4 Application image should be clearly visible on devices with high resolution.

To solve this issue:

  • When text is displayed as boxes.
    • We hope you can provide your valuable application without font display errors. Some devices might not support a specific language as its default language depends on the local one. The best choice for your application is to support English in order not to cause font display errors such as box shapes.( refer to point no.4 from ‘Quick Glance at submission tips’)

5. Problems when rotating device

5.3%

Not in compliance with the following Certification Policy.

  • 3.4.4 Application should not crash when rotating device.
  • 3.4.5 Application should run normally on all devices in the same compatibility group (e.g. resolution, reliability, etc).
 
Examples
  1. Graphical issues when rotating device
    • The objects are not aligned correctly.
    • The objects are cropped.
    • Resolution is not fit with device.
    • Screen is upside down.
  2. Functional issues when rotating device
    • The application is terminated.
    • Inputted values disappear.
    • Setting option is initialized.
Self-check list
  • 3.4 If application supports both Portrait and Landscape mode, layouts should automatically adapt to screen with consistent UI when the user rotates the device.

To solve this issue:

6. Linking to other application store

4.1%

Not in compliance with the following Certification Policy.

  • 3.18.2 Content must not link to other application store.
  • 3.18.3 Content must not provide automatic update. A revision request at Samsung Apps is required for content update.
 
Examples
  1. Providing a menu to link to other application store
    • Other application store page is opened when functions such as ‘More games’, ‘Rate this application’, ‘Buy full version’ or ‘Update the application’ are selected.
  2. Providing a web page link to other application store in an explicit manner.
Self-check list
  • 5.9 Application must not upgrade itself or download other applications(apk file) using other way without Samsung Apps(Other application store or illegal download)

To solve this issue:

  • To link to the Samsung Apps Main page, use the URL below:
    <a href="samsungapps://MainPage/">Samsung Apps Main</a>
  • To link to the detail page of an application in Samsung Apps, use the URL below:
    <a href="samsungapps://ProductDetail/thepackage name of the AndroidManifest.xml file in your application">Star Chart Lite</a>

7. Sound is not controlled

2.6%

Not in compliance with the following Certification Policy.

  • 3.1.1 Application should not crash or cause malfunctions due to system events while running application (e.g. Alarm, SMS/MMS, email, receiving call).
  • 3.3.2 Application should not crash or cause malfunctions due to H/W events such as END, SEND, VOLUME, CENTER, HOLD key.
 
Examples
  1. Side Volume H/W Key issues
    • (When there is no built-in volume controller)
      Cannot control sound level using side volume key.
  2. Functional issues
    • Sound is audible in HOLD/SLEEP mode.
      (Exception: Music, radio or education purpose application)
    • Cannot control sound level by built-in volume controller in the application.
    • Sound is overlapped by CALL/ALARM sound or other application’s sound
Self-check list
  • 3.2 All the menus and functions operate successfully without any problems.
  • 4.1 Call Event
  • 4.2 Message(SMS/MMS/IM) Event
  • 4.3 Alarm Event
  • 4.4 HOLD KEY
  • 4.5 CENTER KEY
  • 4.6 OTHER KEY

To solve this issue:

8. Not providing default Application Title and Description in English

2.5%

Not in compliance with the following Certification Policy.

  • 3.6.2 Default description and application title should be written in English if selecting 2 or more countries for sale.(You may add description and application title in 20 languages including Korean on Seller office)
 
Examples
  1. Non-English application sold in more than 2 countries
    • Default Application Title and Description are not written in English.
    • Support languages information is not explained in description.
  2. Wrong support languages
    • A language is not supported but has been selected by the seller.
Self-check list
  • 1.2 Default Application Title and Description must be written in English if selecting 2 or more countries for sale.

To solve this issue:

  • Non-English application sold in more than 2 countries
    • if you choose more than two countries for sale, the application name and the default description must be written in English for global users, as mentioned above and in the Certification Guide 3.6.2. Otherwise, if you select one country (e.g. China) you can write the application name and the default description in a specific language (here: Chinese). But combining two languages on the application name & the default description are not allowed.(refer to point no. 5 from ‘Quick Glance at submission tips’ )

9. Resolution does not fit with the device

0.8%

Not in compliance with the following Certification Policy.

  • 3.4.5 Application should run normally on all devices in the same compatibility group.
 
Examples
  1. Overall resolution is not suitable for device
    • Screen of application is cut, too small or looked pressed.
      (Exception : When the application covers over 80 percent of device screen)
  2. Resolution of item is not proper
    • Resolution of splash image or downloaded wallpaper from the application is not proper.
Self-check list
  • 3.3 Application’s resolution should be optimized for the targeted device.

To solve this issue:

10. Test Account is not provided

0.7%

Not in compliance with the following Certification Policy.

  • 3.1.6 For log-in features, the seller should provide testable account (ID and password).
 
Examples
  1. Test Account is not provided in the following situations
    • Main function of the application works only with Test Account.
    • A kind of Paid or Premium Service works only with Test Account.
  2. Test Account does not work
    • Provided Test Account is not valid.
    • Log-in is possible with provided Test Account, but cannot get a Paid or Premium Service.

To solve this issue:

  • Please leave the ID & Password in the ‘Comment to Certification Team’ section on the Seller office. Additionally, please let us know the application concept or improvements in the ‘Comment to Certification Team’.(Refer to point no. 2 from ‘Quick Guide’)
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