Friday, May 13, 2016

Apple Shortening App Review Times

Alex Webb (Hacker News, MacRumors):

Apple Inc. has cut the approval time for new submissions to its App Store from more than a week to less than two days, part of a broader push to increase revenue from services including mobile applications.

The accelerated pace allows app developers to fix bugs faster, try out new features more regularly and better react to market changes, while building developer loyalty to Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. The mean approval time has fallen from 8.8 days a year ago to 1.95 days in the past two weeks, according to, which analyzes user-submitted data. In December, the average was more than five days.

John Gruber:

Wonder how Apple is achieving this. More reviewers? Lower standards?

Federico Viticci:

The Mac App Store, which is smaller in volume than the iOS App Store, is currently seeing app review times of 24 hours.

In addition to AppReviewTimes’ crowdsourced data, anecdotal experience from my own conversations with developers indicate that, particularly over the past two weeks, approval times of 2-3 days have become quite common for iPhone and iPad apps.

I have been hearing good reports from developers, too. Hopefully, it continues.

A lot of people have been questioning the explanation that the impetus was to increase Apple’s revenue from services. I wouldn’t read too much into that or worry about which bucket costs and revenues will be counted in. First, Apple has been trying to create a services narrative because of the decline in hardware sales. So it would be strange not to mention a services angle. Second, if you presume that Apple always knows how to maximize its long-term profit, a change like this will never make sense because either they were leaving money on the table before or they’re doing so now. The proper way to think about this is that Apple is always trying to do what’s best (for Apple) but that its idea of how to do this can change. Developers have long believed that improving the experience for them would ultimately benefit Apple. Better software would make the platform stronger, Apple would sell more devices, and it would collect App Store fees on increased sales. Perhaps Apple is starting to believe this as well.

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