App Store approval process – submitted date vs release date

Much as I love the App Store, here’s another thing that bugs me (and I’m assuming, most other developers). The most important thing as a developer is getting your app seen by potential purchasers – you really want it to appear, at least briefly, in the new releases section and that’s where the problem is…

For the benefit of those of you who haven’t ever submitted an App to Apple, here’s how it works.

1. Let’s say you submit your App on January 1st into the Utilities section. Look at the Utilities page in iTunes  – the most visible apps are the new releases in the middle of the page. Each of the apps has a release date and today’s apps are on page 1 (of 189 as of today).

2. So, you’ve submitted your App on January 1st and Apple sit on it for a while before they release it – this varies from a couple of days to weeks and in some cases months.

3. In our example, we’ll pretend that Apple take a week to release it and it becomes available in the store on January 7th – hooray! But (there’s always a but) it doesn’t appear in today’s new releases, instead it’s on about page 10 of the new releases and the release date is listed as the date you submitted the app! So nobody that’s just casually browsing the store is ever going to see it.

4. All is not lost though, developers can log onto iTunes Connect (the web-based interface for the App Store) and change the date to January 7th and hopefully, within a few hours, this new info will filter through to the store and your app will be displayed on the front page of its chosen section. You can only do this once though, which makes perfect sense as you’d be changing the date everyday to try and stay visible.

This whole thing just doesn’t make sense. Why is the date submitted counted as the release date? Surely it couldn’t be difficult for Apple to just list the release date as the date that the app was actually released? That would stop this mad panic dash that developers get every time they release an app or an update, to log in and edit the date so that somebody might actually see their app…

To make matters worse, iTunes Connect seems to have been down for the last 2 days. Done 1.7 has just been released, Apple took weeks to approve it so God knows which page of the new releases it’s sitting on – certainly not one where casual users will ever see it. 

Believe it or not, one of the main reasons developers release frequent updates to their Apps is not just to fix bugs and add new features but to benefit from the little sales spikes you get with each update. Why does Apple have to make the whole process so hard?

Much as I love the App Store, here’s another thing that bugs me (and I’m assuming, most other developers). The most important thing as a developer is getting your app seen by potential purchasers – you really want it to appear in the new releases section and that’s where the problem is…
For the benefit of those of you who haven’t ever submitted an App to Apple, here’s how it works.
1. Let’s say you submit your App on January 1st into the Utilities section. Look at the Utilities page in iTunes  – the most visible apps are the new releases in the middle of the page. Each of the apps has a release date and today’s apps are on page 1 (of 189 as of today).
2. So, you’ve submitted your App on January 1st and Apple sit on it for a while before they release it – this varies from a couple of days to weeks and in some cases months.
3. In our example, we’ll pretend that Apple take a week to release it and it becomes available in the store on January 7th – hooray! But (there’s always a but) it doesn’t appear in today’s new releases, instead it’s on about page 10 of the new releases and the release date is listed as the date you submitted the app! So nobody that’s just casually browsing the store is ever going to see it.
4. All is not lost though, developers can log onto iTunes Connect (the web-based interface for the App Store) and change the date to January 7th and hopefully, within a few hours, this new info will filter through to the store and your app will be displayed on the front page of its chosen section. You can only do this once though, which makes perfect sense as you’d be changing the date everyday to try and stay visible.
This whole thing just doesn’t make sense. Why is the date submitted counted as the release date? Surely it couldn’t be difficult for Apple to just list the release date as the date that the app was actually released? That would stop this mad panic dash that developers get every time they release an app or an update to log in and edit the date so that somebody might actually see their app…
To make matters worse, iTunes Connect seems to have been down for the last 2 days. Done 1.7 has just been released, Apple took weeks to approve it so God knows which page of the new releases it’s sitting on – certainly not one where casual users will ever see it. 
Believe it or not, one of the main reasons developers release frequent updates to their Apps is not just to fix bugs and add new features but to benefit from the little sales spikes you get with each update. Why does Apple have to make the whole process so hard?
About these ads

7 Responses to “App Store approval process – submitted date vs release date”

  1. Nick Tidey Says:

    The more I read of the various pain developers are experiencing with the whole AppStore authorisation and release process the more I feel for you all.

    • chillix Says:

      Thanks Nick

      It’s not that we want to knock the App Store or Apple in general – we’re all enormous Mac fans – it’s just that some elements of the whole process are so infuriating and, like this one, could be easily fixed.

  2. Jerry RomeApart Says:

    Thanks for this view of the inside. As I mentioned, I’m just getting into developing and have a similar goal to keep apps simple but highly effective. I suppose I should take notes on how to best prepare and promote my apps.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Jerry

      keep us informed about your upcoming apps – we’ll certainly give you plug here if nothing else…

  3. Marc Sylvester Says:

    This was a great post Chillix
    (I know its a few months old, but that’s the beauty of Google!)

    I’ve just released my first App (The Logo Creator!) – it took about 10 days for Apple to approve it. It was approved on October 17th … but the release date said October 5th! I had no idea how to alter this until reading your post. So thanks for writing it for all to see.

    … Tonight, I’ve just uploaded my first update and am now waiting for Approval.

    How long does this take? Hopefully, not as long as the initial submission?

    Marc

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Marc

      Glad to help. Updates used to go live quicker but nowadays they seem to take just as long as new apps…

      We seem to be waiting between 10 & 14 days for everything at the moment – it’s a real pain when you’re trying to get a bug fix out.

      Anyway, good luck with The Logo Creator – we couldn’t find it in the UK store so don’t know what it does exactly – I guess it creates logos :)

  4. Sin Finder iPhone App Says:

    Great article, I experienced the same issues with apple when releasing my 1st app, Sin Finder.

    They initially rejected my app because of a the keyword, ‘escort’

    I also initially had the release date as 12.15, but it wasnt approved until 12.30, it actually took a total of 23 days to get in with the rejection. I really missed out on the Christmas rush.

    Please support a very small-time developer and check out Sin Finder in the itunes appstore.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sin-finder/id345125126?mt=8

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: