So some of you guys know I work on a mobile app that's basically a parent/student portal for their schools. A user logs in to look at schedules, grades, attendance, discipline, meal service, and so on. The back-end instances where the schools do all their data entry and stuff is administered by the schools. I mean, my employer hosts it, but schools decide who can and can't log in. what a user can see, etc. Ever since the dawn of time, the mobile app has a "New user?" link that, when the user taps it, directs the user to contact their school for an account (not us). On Wednesday, I submitted a new build for review and this morning Apple rejected it. I'll let the App Store review guys explain why.
3.1.1 BUSINESS: PAYMENTS - IN-APP PURCHASE
Your app includes a reference to account registration, which is considered an access to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app. Specifically, after entering a school district's ZIP code or name, a "New User?" button is present on the login window.
This feature does not comply with the App Store Review Guidelines.
We've attached a screenshot for your reference.
Now, the screenshot was taken on an iPad with this little dialog box in the middle so I cropped it. You can see the cropped screenshot here. Apple has been approving the app with this link for more than a year. But whatever.
I get that they're trying to stop things like what Spotify did back in June, but for crying out loud. We don't make any money on this app. The parent portal it's connected to is part of the "base" package that the company sells, so we don't even make anything extra on the portal. It's just something schools expect to have when they buy the administrative package.
Our solution was to re-submit without this link appearing. No money changes hands because we can't figure out how to implement the web app's online payment module without giving Apple a 30% cut of your kids' lunch money. That's where we are.