Apple Eases Controls on iPhone App Development: One Local Developer’s Experiences

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different reviewers with different judgment calls. Hopefully the new process is more transparent and clear.

X: When did these changes start, or when did they become apparent? Do you think they’re permanent?

GR: The App Store had a shut down over Christmas. Shortly after the new year we started hearing [about] these changes. We only saw our own approval happen in 20 hours last Friday. We submitted a patch for our Clock Radio application and it was approved the next day.

X: Why do you think this is happening?

GR: I think Apple wants a smooth review process just like developers. The problem is figuring out how to do this in a way that’s fair and scalable. Apple was using a fairly manual process and has been moving to a more automated process. My hope is that it’s a sign of their commitment to developers and the platform. As the rumors of the Tablet continue to spread, Apple will need to convince developers that they are a good development partner.

X: So do you think the change might represent Apple’s reaction to the fact that they weren’t universally seen as a good development partner, in view of the long waits and arbitrary rejections?

GR: Many of our clients have legitimate concerns about building iPhone apps. They don’t want to invest a lot of money just to have an application rejected. In certain cases applications aren’t built because the risk is too high. This is especially true for situations where ‘hot-fixes’ couldn’t be sent to customers for weeks.

X: Do you think this change has anything to do with the rise of Google’s Android as a real alternative mobile development platform—with a reputation for being much more developer-friendly)?

GR: I don’t think Apple did this because of Android, they did it because it’s the right thing to do. The App Store was built on the back of the music store business. When the App Store took off a lot of changes needed to be made to get the process working.

X: What will be the effects of this change on the developer community and on the general app ecosystem? How does a speed-up like this help developers, and how will it ultimately benefit software companies and consumers?

GR: The main thing this does is it speeds up the pace of innovation. Developers can make a change, listen to feedback, and make another change much faster. They can respond to bugs, issues, and crashes. Many developers are used to the pace of change on the Web, where you can make a change and it’s live instantly. This isn’t quite instant but it’s a good compromise that helps keep quality high.

This is absolutely a step in the right direction and I hope it’s a sign of more to come. We love building mobile apps and products and this has been a thorn in our side since the beginning. It’s great that this change is being made, as it’ll make it easier for us to bring quality apps to market.

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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16 responses to “Apple Eases Controls on iPhone App Development: One Local Developer’s Experiences”

  1. Dave says:

    Our Golf Gigolo app – http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/golf-gigolo-a-hilarious-game-for/id349195109?mt=8 – went from submission to in store in 25 hours flat. We have seen similar turn around for upgrades and new apps since the Christmas closure break, anywhere from same day to 3 days but so far (knock on wood) no more 2-3 week wait times.

  2. If google wants any shot at competing with apple when it comes to having 3rd party apps created, they really need to work on making their developers more money. I read an article stating over 60% of android developers feel underpaid or are not happy with googles revenue sharing!

  3. This is something that our company has seen as well – approval for new apps/updates within 2 days tops.
    That means we can realize application ideas even quicker. And with our free online App Builder it might soon be possible for us to serve anybody, from app idea to having it in the appstore creating revenue within 24hours!

  4. Pocket Power says:

    Indeed, the first release of my 3k Top Chinese Characters app was approved in 28 hours this week http://www.pocketpowersoftware.com/3k/. This is impressive as it’s the first app Apple have seen from me. In fact it took me by surprise as I was expecting to have a couple of weeks to put the support website and videos together!

  5. I think its their AppStore and it does not take anything, as they are approved. Whats wrong with that? It is the way of Apple. Why are people suddenly so pissed at this. When everything is not possible to install OSX on any computer. Why should it be different applications.

  6. AppleRejectionProccess says:

    Apple’s Rejection Process is what it should be called, not approval process. I am so sick of my hard work and time getting rejected over and over.

    Im ditching ios, going over to the Android platform, and im taking my friends, family, customers and clients with me.

    You have wasted my time, taken my money, insulted me and now you have lost another developer for your platform. I wont ever code for another apple product ever again.

    Good luck with that jobs.

  7. Anyone know how to create best iPhone or iPad Application with no programming skills?

  8. Jay H says:

    Good read. Have to agree, the approval process (rejection process) seems to be so random. I completely agree with their strict policies as to what can and can’t be submitted, but sometimes the rejection of certain apps is so unjustified that it makes your blood boil. I suppose we should ahve expected this to happen when Apple opened up App Development to the masses.