The future of App Review Times

I’ll get straight to the point, I’ve been thinking about shutting down the App Review Times site for quite a while now. I just don’t think it serves a useful purpose in 2018 now that review times have been stable at “About a Day” on both stores for just less than two years.

So, the main point of this post is to get some feedback on what you all think should happen to the site, so please:

Take this 2 question feedback survey

History of the site

It’s been a really long time since the site launched so it may be a surprise to people who have only been developing for the platform(s) for a couple of years to learn that the length of time that an App Store review took was once a big problem. On the Mac App Store, the average review time sometimes climbed as high as six weeks and iOS apps regularly averaged at two weeks waiting for review. It made it really hard to run an app business.

Even more annoying than the actual time that the review queue took though, was the unpredictability of the wait time. Was it going to be two days or three weeks this time? 😬

So, in 2011 I figured the community could crowdsource their individual data and we could figure out a rolling average to let people plan a bit better and the site was born. It worked exceptionally well and for many years the average was a much better indication of how long it would actually take to get reviewed than I ever imagined it would be. The site also became hugely popular with many tens of thousands of unique visitors per month.

Then, about two years ago Phil Schiller took over the App Store group inside Apple and pretty quickly review times reduced down to “About a Day” for both the iOS and Mac stores, and they have hovered roughly around there ever since.

What’s going to happen?

I’m thinking of shutting the site down and replacing it with a static version that effectively just says “About a Day” along with a bit of history.

However, every time I think about switching it off, I have a nagging feeling that I’ll make a lot of people unhappy if I do. Lots of people still submit their review times with the #iosreviewtime and #macreviewtime hashtags and the site still gets about 25,000 unique visitors a month. I also get a few emails every week asking me to modify the site so that it supports hours as well as days when people tweet their review times.

So, given all that, I’d like to know more about what value people are actually getting from the site before I shut it down.

So, just in case you missed the link at the top, please fill in this quick survey.

One final note

I want to just explain why I really don’t want to add support for hours (as well as days) when reporting review times. In my opinion, even if the average app review time were higher, the resolution of that average is easily good enough at a number of days. The average isn’t going to be any more accurate if it says 3 hours rather than 5hours and you’d start running into problems where it gets skewed by reviewers going home for the evening. 😂

Yes, I could add support for the number of hours in reports and then still just report the average as a number of days, but really that brings me back to the original point of “Who is actually getting value from the site now?”

Thanks for reading this far, you get a gold star ⭐️