Common Windows Store certification errors: 1.2 App must be fully functional

Windows StoreYesterday, I kicked off my blog post series on common Windows Store certification errors with some general guidance and overall tips & tricks.  For the rest of the week, I will explain the top certification errors when submitting to the Windows Store.

Today, we will examine certification requirement 1.2: “Your app must be fully functional when the customer gets it from the Windows Store” .  Here is the description of this requirement from the certification requirements page:

“The Windows Store offers only fully functional apps to provide customers with the best experience. Anything that might cause our testers to think that your app is not completely finished will cause your app to fail certification.

You can help us by testing your app thoroughly before you submit it, and by providing us the information we need to test your app thoroughly. For example, if your app requires login credentials, provide us with a demo account. If your app requires access to a server, tell us what we need to do to verify that it's working correctly.”

Many apps have failed certification on this particular requirement.  Some common reasons for failure and tips to avoid them:

Appearing Unfinished

  • Of course, you should submit your application only after it’s finished.  Any incomplete sections, unimplemented buttons or menu choices, links to webpages that are under construction, empty pages that should contain data, etc. will give the impression that an app is incomplete. 
  • Make sure that your app description in the app listing page is accurate and detailed.  *All* of the functionality listed in the description should be in the application, or it will likely fail.  (NOTE: you can highlight upcoming features in the app’s description, but you need to be really clear that they are not implemented yet.)  Also, make sure that your screen shots don’t imply functionality that doesn’t exist.  An overly vague app description may also cause certification to fail. 
  • Watch your language.  Any mention of “upcoming”, “preview”, “beta”, “coming soon”, “not available yet”, etc. in your app will raise flags.  For the primary user scenarios described in your description, features should be fully functional and not contain placeholder text. 

Missing/Broken Functionality

  • The app doesn’t work on all the architectures that it claims to support.  For example, if you state that your app works on any CPU, it must work on all architectures, including ARM.
  • The app plays background audio, but does not correctly implement play, pause, and play/pause events to enable users to control audio playback.

Not Providing Enough Information

  • The app description doesn't explicitly state any hardware or network requirements if they exist.
  • If your app has “login” functionality, create a test user account and provide the username/password in the “Notes to Testers” field when you submit your application. 
  • If users can make purchases or request data from one of your servers in your app, make sure that you provide a way to test this and that it is adequately described in the “Notes to Testers” field. 


In tomorrow’s post, we will examine another common cause for Windows Store certification failure: performance


Other blog posts in this “Common Windows Store Certification Failures” series:

General tips & tricks and resources

1.2 App must be fully functional

3.8 App must meet the basic performance criteria

4.1 App must comply with privacy requirements

6.5 App must be localized