Recently, Apple has updated a guideline for submission to their AppStore (App Store Review Guideline 4.2.6) that requires that all apps be constructed “uniquely” and that they do not share any characteristics with other applications that are similar from the same company. This is an exceptionally vague guideline and they are unable to provide more details around what constitutes an infraction of this rule or what will be approved. This enforcement began about a week ago in an “AppStore-wide” effort to clean up “Me-too” applications. It’s important to note that the Android App Store has no such guidelines. This ruling impacts thousands of companies and organizations – things like Convention Center applications, barber shops and beauty salons and even school apps are all impacted.
Because of this issue, Seraphim and Apple are in discussions about how to brand the ChurchApp to each church – allowing us to serve you the customer with what you want, while also maintaining the Seraphim Church App in a way that doesn’t create something that we must maintain for each customer separately.
Seraphim can ship your branded app to the Android AppStore without issue, so if you would like to push your app to that store, please let us know.
The Seraphim ChurchApp already exists in the Apple Store and they will allow us to continue to have that app and maintain it. Clicking on that app and signing into it automatically applies the styles and images and vocabulary you have applied in the ChurchApp tile in Seraphim. What’s not covered is how that app is discovered in the AppStore by congregants using your church’s name, the logo of the app itself and the “splash” screen that fires up as the app is loading.
The Leadership at Seraphim believes that branding ChurchApps is paramount. No church wants to point their congregation to something that doesn’t exhibit the brand, logo, and style of something that is not their church or just represents one aspect of the church like giving. The convenience of asking congregants and visitors to search for your church’s name in the AppStore for the discovery of this important resource is a key concern. Seraphim is committed to finding a solution that enables this capability for your church.
Seraphim engineering is working with the Apple team on this and we hope to resolve this as soon as possible. We do not want delays for approval and we need clarity from Apple as to what should change to allow predictable and clear passage to their AppStore. This is a high priority and as soon as we have guidelines from Apple, we will ship your app to the Apple AppStore.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Seraphim Care team. We will make answer your questions as best we can.