Windows Phone Store Submissions: If at first you don
Posted on 03-21-13 06:17 am

Here's the typical workflow:

  • Develop an app for days, weeks, or even months
  • Submit to the store
  • Wait five days in eagerness
  • Get a rejection PDF with some totally bogus remark in it

This, my friends, is the Windows Phone Store. Whatever your political philosophy is on if Microsoft is treating developers properly or not, there is a certain frustration that comes from the quality assurance of their testing team. Some testers are strict, others are apathetic.

Here's another, even worse scenario, which highlights the inconsistency of Microsoft:

  • Develop an app. Submit 1.0. Approved. Publish.
  • Find a simple bug or add a new feature
  • Submit 1.1
  • Get a rejection PDF remarking features/issues from version 1.0

You would think that the testers would be advised to evaluate if the app has already passed when approving updates, but they don't. Simply put, all submissions are evaluated without background on if the app is an update, what has changed, and what previous testers have noticed.

What should you do in a case like this? Resubmit it, unchanged.

Sure, if it's something you can fix, you should probably fix it. But often times, an app will be rejected with the statement that it is not suitable for the store, which makes no sense for update submissions, now does it?

Here's a real life example. The WPH App was submitted. Five days later, I receive the dreaded PDF stating it failed for the following things:

  1. Inappropriate icon (I suppose the gear looks too much like settings)
  2. Inappropriate/illegal content (stuff about jailbreaking)

Item 2 I can fix by posting more content. The article in mind that tripped them was an article about Windows RT being jailbroken, which was, well, on every Microsoft related site that week. Whatever. The first item, though, was disappointing, but made sense. Until several knockoff apps showed up, using my logo.

What did I do? I resubmitted the exact same XAP I had previously. Five days later, it was approved.

Am I giving potentially bad advice? Of course. But needless to say, if the store is pestering you about things you can't fix, or showing significant inconsistencies, you might take the gamble and try, try, try again.

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© 2013 Jonathan Warner