AppStore review process needs improvements

Many people in the industry felt that Apple shouldn’t be a gate keeper for apps on AppStore. I was never a fan of that model and I believe having a gate keeper is important to not allow junk apps.   But may be, Apple is taking it too far.

I never had many issues with AppStore review process. Many of my apps have been rejected several times for several reasons and I never had problems. Lately though, it is getting worse. Not the rejection process, but the approval process, both obviously are interlinked.

Time for Approval/Rejection

Earlier, some of the apps used to be approved in about 3 days. This also meant, apps were rejected in 3 days. This used to be good because we were able to fix the problem and re-submit the app to be approved all within the same week.  While some people debate the reasons for rejection, I never considered that as an issue as we can quickly fix whatever Apple asked us to fix and resubmit it again quickly. So Time is an important factor here.

Lately though,  an app is taking a month to be reviewed. This means, after I submit an update, it’ll take atleast a  month to know if it is approved/rejected. If it is rejected, we have to resubmit the build and cross our fingers for another month. Meanwhile, users are out of luck as they live with the issues in the app as fixes takes longer and longer due to slow approval process.

Solution: Improve Approval process by cutting approval times

App Rejection vs Content

Several of my apps were rejected for different reasons. I never had many complains. Lately, my ‘Flight Status‘ app was rejected because it has a keyword it shouldn’t have.  Well, I don’t disagree with Apple. But then, why reject an App instead of putting it on ‘Hold’? Apple can just request the developer to change the keywords instead of  rejecting the entire app and asking me to resubmit it again. Removing a keyword takes 5 seconds. For Apple to approve the re-submitted app, it takes a month. You see the problem, right? I hope Apple realizes the issue here.

Worst part is, I have other apps in ‘Review’ with similar keywords and I can’t do anything about this. They even disable the option to change the keywords after you submit them.

Solution: Apple needs to add an ‘On Hold’ Status. Currently an App is either ‘In Review’, ‘Ready for Sale’ or ‘Rejected’. For issues related to content and others which may not be related to the core app, Apple should just place the approval on hold till the developer modifies the content or provides additional info requested by Apple. This way, they need not review the app again which will cut down the review time and is good for developer and also for Apple.

I hope Apple is listening to feedback. I think they are and I hope to see some positive changes to the approval process.


2 comments so far

  1. Ramani on

    Another great advice that’s going to fall in deaf ears! All Apple is interested in is increasing the number of apps in Appstore and at the same time, adamantly keeping their stupid policy of approving every single update. Pretty soon half the developers are going to run away to other platforms because of these approval delays (by this time, you know I am one of those!).

  2. OneEye on

    There were no guidelines for keywords ever posted. I’m not sure how anyone could know what to put and what not to put. One of our apps was in submission for 33 days before it failed for a bad keyword – we use the names ‘Peggle and Bejeweled’ as two of our keywords.

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