Apple Improves App Store Review Process Feedback

| News

iPhone and iPod touch application developers are finally getting a little more feedback from Apple on their status in the App Store review process. Instead of simply being told the average time from submission to approval, developers can now see when their app is being reviewed and when it is approved, according to Wired.

The new online system shows developers the date and time their application was tagged as waiting for review, when it entered the review process, and when it was ready for sale.

Oliver Cameron, developer of the Postman app, commented "It's the coolest new feature they've added [for developers], in my opinion."

The new feature addresses one of the complaints developers have had with the App Store review process by giving them more information about their app's status. Another complaint that is still causing headaches for developers is the apparent lack of consistency in the standards for approving applications.

Apple, for example, recently rejected an application that listed information for the members of the U.S. Congress because the images for each person were caricature drawings. According to Apple, the application "ridicules public figures."

An application called Baby Shaker that promoted shaking babies to stop them from crying was approved. That app was, however, later pulled from the App Store.

Adding app review status information is a step towards making developers happy, but doesn't go all the way towards addressing their complaints. Considering Apple's obsession with tight control over everything it touches, odds are it will be some time before developers feel all of their complaints have been adequately handled.


Jeff Gamet

There are plenty of frustrated iPhone developers out there, so it’s nice to see Apple responding to some of their complaints. Hopefully Apple will continue to improved the App Store approval process so we’ll hear about fewer unwarranted app rejections.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Why do you think that problem will go away Jeff? The standards are completely arbitrary. I’m still pissed off that the South Park app was rejected. After reading about the caricature app today, I’m considering a self-imposed freeze on buying from iTunes store or the app store for the remainder of the year.

You know, this is really tip of the iceberg stuff for me. I’ve spent the last week evaluating whether Apple TV might make a decent appliance device for an application we’re developing. At $225/unit, Apple could make a lot of jack and expand their market for the hobby device if it were possible for us (and developers like us) to either (a) install a Mac app on it and run in full screen mode or (b) install Linux on it. What I’ve concluded is that while some hackers have done this (XBMC and Boxee), it would be a horribly expensive course for us to pursue. The Linux option would be worse than horrible as I’d have put a full time Linux configuration guy on staff. We’re looking at an Asus box with HDMI and XP Pro that is $199 at Amazon. There’s $225/unit that Apple has left on the table.

What floors me is that Apple goes the extra mile to protect ghosts it thinks it sees. The business case doesn’t make any sense. Apple would profit as much by selling 4 iWorks in place of each Mac it sells. Meanwhile, generic devices get cheaper with better form factors and XP Pro is more than adequate for full screen apps. Apple just loses out.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

And the piling on continues… Joe Hewitt (developer of the super cool Facebook app) is telling Apple which orifice to put its App Store approval policies in. Hint: the orifice rhymes with “putt pole”.

If you love your iPhone and care about Apple, there has never been a better time to be critical of Apple’s BS. The people leading the charge aren’t nutbag whiners, nor are they “information wants to be free” types. They recognize that the way Apple inserts itself between developers and customers doesn’t help anyone and will ultimately hurt Apple. The complaints with the App Store have never been about the specifics of how Apple manages it, but the fact that Apple cannot help being Draconian because the App Store is the only sanctioned way to get native apps onto the iPhone! To the users out there… Get off your butts now and make your voices heard. Because if Android takes off and there’s no enforced middleman between developers and users, the iPhone will have 100,000 aging apps and the interesting stuff will happen in Android space.


If you love your iPhone and care about Apple, there has never been a better time to be critical of Apple?s BS.

I recommend using 1Password to set up simple, 1-click bitching to apple. For example, on a daily basis I click one button and automatically fill out the feedback form to Apple with this message:

“Why is it that I STILL cannot use Google Voice properly with my iPhone? The software was nicely given to Apple by Google, and Apple has claimed that it is “still reviewing” the app. It has been several months now, and Apple still hasn’t produced an answer for its users. Such an app would NOT reproduce functions already in the phone, and they are functions that I really need to use my phone the way I want to. If I am not able to use Google Voice on my iPhone by the end of the year, I will take my business to a phone that runs Google’s UNCENSORED phone OS.”


From my own experience 1 time in review was 24 days, then fix some issues and send it back. 8 days more. Even when my app have some good models pictures. didn’t took that long.

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