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Taking Advantage of Apple’s Shorter Approval Process

Posted May 26, 2016

Apple has always had a bit of an issue with review times in the eyes of many developers. A major inconvenience but a fact of life has been the sometimes very lengthy review process. Luckily, relief is here.

Last month, Apple made some major changes to its app review policy. Now that the numbers are in, we can see that change has had a knock-on effect of cutting the average review time for new submissions down to just two days in May, according to App Review Times.

Historically, the required App Store review process has put a damper on developer plans to iterate quickly and act on real-world trends and internal data when it comes to updating their app on iOS.

Over the past year, the average review time has been eight to ten days, peaking as high as 14 full days in January of this year. While it’s unclear how permanent this drop in the review time will be, these changes mean one important thing for developers – acting on data just got easier.

App Store Review Times

Updating with a Purpose
If engagement data and event completion rates indicate issues with a certain level or boss, or user reviews are pointing towards a player bottleneck, developers can now quickly iterate and change parts of their app to fix these issues and quickly have a new version live on the App Store.

Suddenly, user reviews aren’t just an important factor in acquiring good users, but they’re now an actionable method of acquiring discreet specific data, on top of using more advanced user tracking and data for iOS.

These shorter App Store review times bring the App Store much more in line with Google’s Play Store review process. Due to the incredibly fast turnarounds, multi-platform developers have traditionally tested and iterated on Android first.

The shorter review time will also let business owners and product managers plan more easily, without having to pad schedules based on best guesses for review times. Publishers can use this time to give developers more time to get everything right, and remove that layer of stress wondering if their latest efforts will make it into players’ hands.

Be Judicious
Shorter review times and more frequent updates can be a double edged sword. Users with limited data plans may not appreciate multiple updates within a week eating their data allowance. Make sure your updates are valid and offer value for as many users as possible. Doing a single update for every problem you pick up on might seem like a good idea, but it could get old quickly.

The shorter review times still have a live human being in Cupertino checking out your app. Putting in an obviously broken build, or trying to sneak something against policies in under the radar is still a bad idea.

Update Smarter
Data has become a big part of the conversation and the way mobile publishers and developers update their apps. The largest obstacle has always been that of iteration and making use of that data in an efficient manner. With the changes to the review process and lower App Store review times, Apple has given everyone with an app a chance at perfecting their app with minimal downtime.

Data is still king, but putting that data into practice just got even easier.

Join the Conversation
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