iPhone app submission and acceptance times

Thoughts By 6 years ago

In terms of time management in app development, there is always one thing you shouldn’t count on: app completion time.

When you submit your app to Apple to get approved on the App Store, an actual Apple employee must check your app for anything malicious, crashes and overall quality and usefulness. A good example of this is an app we recently released, which in fact didn’t take long to develop at all, but it was Apple holding us back with their approval process.

When we have the first beta build for clients to test we require their ‘device id’, a unique identifier for their phone that allows them to install apps during development. To acquire this device id we used to get them to download a 3rd party iPhone app and email the id to us, although it didn’t look too professional as a business using a 3rd party solution to get this. We set out to make our own app for simply emailing the device id to us, but Apple rejected it because of its lack of functionality (it was just a button that brought up a pre-filled email). After a couple of months we brought up the old project and redid it as a complete device diagnostics tool allowing users to email pretty much every detail about their phone. This was also rejected for the same reason. Instead of basing the project around the device id we decided to base it around our blogs, tweets and other apps we have completed, with the device details as a ‘bonus’. Hazaar, this was accepted, the main time factor being waiting for acceptance.

From our experiences with the approval process it seems that from the first upload it takes 2-3 weeks before your app gets reviewed and then accepted or rejected. If you get rejected, you seem to keep your position in the ‘review queue’, and after the next upload you generally get reviewed again in under 48 hours.

Based on this, I was thinking, if at the beginning of a project you just uploaded a dud app that forced a crash on launch to deliberately get rejected, wouldn’t that mean when the app is actually finished you would have a very short waiting period over others that submit the regular way? Post your thoughts on whether you think this would work or not, or if you have tried this method yourself. Also let us know of any good or bad submission experiences you have had.

  • I completely understand your frustration. I like your strategy of trying to submit a dudd app to get into the queue and then use that position to get an approval faster. We have never tried this ourselves. Although, I think that if more and more people started doing that then Apple would probably change their policy.

    I am definitely appalled at Apple’s discrimination of approving similar apps in the past and rejecting new ones with same functionality. There was one occasion where our app got rejected initially due to content issues but got approved eventually after a couple of emails.

    I am going to be submitting a new App for approval today. It is a clone of the Groupon Merchant App which would be used by store owners to validate coupons purchased from http://www.seizethedeal.com (a groupon clone). The app only functions if you have a valid merchant login. I think I will be providing the demo login details so that the approval team can test the app. I wonder how it will go!!!