Apple is rejecting Electron apps from the Mac App Store because of private API calls

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What you need to know

  • Developers are seeing their Electron apps rejected from the Mac App Store.
  • The rejections are caused by the use of a private API.
  • But it's Electron using the API, not the apps themselves.

Some developers are reporting (via 9to5Mac) that their Electron apps are being rejected when going through Mac App Store review. The crime? They're calling private APIs.

The problem? It's Electron doing it, not the apps themselves.

Electron is the framework that allows developers to take web apps and then make them act like a native app on Mac and Windows. The problem appears to be that Electron is making the API calls and as anyone who knows the App Store will be aware, that's a big no-no for Apple.

This all leaves individual developers with an issue. Because the problem is with Electron itself they're left waiting for its developers to fix the issue. And that might not happen quickly.

Some have suggested that this is a sign that Apple is trying to push developers away from Electron and towards using technologies of its own instead. Catalyst would allow iPad apps to be more easily brought to the Mac, for example. But it seems this is more likely a case of an updated Mac App Store review system being a little overzealous rather than Apple doing anything untoward.

Those having their apps rejected can make them available outside of the App Store, of course. An option that isn't available to those creating apps for iPhone and iPad.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.