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DrewJ's avatar

I want to make a simple iPhone app. Logistics? Will apple accept?

Asked by DrewJ (436points) May 1st, 2011

I dabble in photography and am working on a series that, basically, are meant to be iPhone wallpapers. I’d like to bundle these into an app that allows users to set them as wallpaper. I’ve tried a site called, which is good for making simple apps. Unfortunately, you can only create albums that call upon pictures from a Flickr album and also the user can’t download and set as wallpaper. Any ideas on other sites or tools I can use to create this simple app without any coding experience? Also, any opinions on whether or not I can even get an app that’s pretty much a glorified photo album onto the app store? – I know this sounds like a stupid app to some of you but actually they’re pretty good photos and I plan on update the app with more pictures from time to time so that its an ever changing thing.

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8 Answers

Buttonstc's avatar

As long as there aren’t any images which they would find offensive, I don’t see why they wouldn’t allow it.

The app store already has a plethora of free wallpaper apps, so why not yours as well?

If you’re expecting to charge and make any significant amount of money from it, you’ll most likely be very disappointed since they’re already flooded with free ones.

Your pics would have to be truly exceptionally fantastic for most people to be willing to pay any amount at all. I know that I wouldn’t buy a wallpaper app, even as low as 99 cents, since I already have several free apps which offer hundreds, even thousands of images. They are also updated with new images from time to time.

But if you just want exposure for your photography, then go for it. You might even sell prints of your pics as several other photagraphers do thru their free wallpaper apps.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Buttonstc one of the reasons is that they can reject for duplicate functionality. Seeing as there are tons of wallpaper apps out there, I would not be surprised at all if it got rejected.

Also, there’s the argument that there’s “limited functionality” which is what Apple uses to reject other garbage apps like fart apps.

@DrewJ Your app basically has 0 functionality. It’s just some images, which can be set as wallpaper (any image already can be set as wallpaper btw).

Why not make a website that sells iPhone-optimized versions of the images for people to browse and purchase? You could offer low-rez previews for people to scope out. Another option is to break up the image into several dozen tiny images and then assemble them together on the webpage like a puzzle, so users can preview a high-rez version of the image without being able to easily use it for wallpaper. You could also use a water-mark on the preview version to discourage people from using the previews without paying for the final images.

Buttonstc's avatar


That’s interesting. I never thought of that.

I’m certainly relieved that they’ve stopped the flood of fart apps. There are way too many of those already :) they should have started that policy a long time ago.

Do you think they’d consider good photos to be a “junk app”

I’m kind of assuming his photos are good and not total crap, ha ha.

But if someone wants to make a little money, your suggestions makes a lot more sense.

jrpowell's avatar

@gorillapaws :: The duplicating functionality clause was only applied to apps that Apple made. So making a clone of their map or browser app get rejected. It doesn’t apply to third party apps. And they pretty much gave that up. There are a ton of browsers in the app store now.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Buttonstc the vision of the “app” is really a junk app (even if the images are breathtaking) because they aren’t really adding any new functionality to the device than already exists (iPhones can already view images and set them to wallpaper). The only reason to make one is to try to monetize the images, which is a sure sign that you’re dealing with a real piece of shit app idea.

Good apps start with answering the question “what problem can I solve elegantly for people?”

@johnpowell I’m pretty sure they’ve announced that they’re cutting off apps that are already saturated in the marketplace. I’m too lazy to try to hunt down a quote though.

gorillapaws's avatar

@johnpowell here’s a couple relevant lines from the app store guidelines:

“We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted.

If your App looks like it was cobbled together in a few days, or you’re trying to get your first practice App into the store to impress your friends, please brace yourself for rejection. We have lots of serious developers who don’t want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour.”

DrewJ's avatar

First of all, thanks for all your responses, this is really helpful. You guys are right that the app really is just a way to monetize my photos. I was planning on charging .99 and honestly, if I only made $5 from the the app that would be okay. I’m doing this for 2 reasons: 1) To share my photos 2) To experiment and see how much something like this can make.- If it ends up making $10 in 10 months then fine- failure- and I change the app to being free big woop.

Also, I know the developer license is $100, this is worth it to me to just get my photos out there being used.

@gorillapaws I like your idea. Which is why I’m finding it really hard to explain why it’s not the route I want to go. I guess, in a nutshell, developing a website with a payment gateway and special methods of protecting photos from being “ripped” seems like much more of a time commitment and money commitment (Since I’d have to pay someone to make the site). I really just liked the idea of making this one app and selling it as a single item, through a marketplace I don’t really have to maintain.

I guess my next question is this: Anyone here with the ability to code an app that wants to make this app for me? I’ll worry about getting into onto the app store and I’ll take the risk of it being rejected or not. I’ll pay a fair price.

Buttonstc's avatar

Send @JohnPowell a PM. he might be interested, altho I can’t speak for him.

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