Why Shorter App Review Times Matter

Denys Zhadanov
May 13, 2016 · 2 min read

Yesterday we’ve submitted three huge app updates for our flagships and, as always, I was planning a massive release for the next week! Then I saw this report by Bloomberg that mentioned shorter review times on the App Store. I was skeptical at first, but that changed when today, all our apps got approved under 24 hours!

Just wow!

All three reviewed under 24 hours by the App Store team.

So if we see app review times shrinking to just one day, it will be a great change for the App Store. This alone won’t change the ecosystem, but it will definitely have effect on users and developers. How?

For users:

  • More daily app updates/ more cellular data to be wasted (make sure you use Wi-Fi for automatic app updates from the App Store)
  • Better Experience Overall. The apps will probably have less bugs, or those will be fixed and approved faster.

For developers:

  • Shorter release cycles. We will have to plan accordingly now! Marketing teams must act faster these days to prepare a good product launch. Not waiting 7–8 days is a joy!
  • Ability to A/B Test the App Store media assets. There are a few services that let you test app names, video previews and screenshots on the App Store for better conversion results — well, now you can update those faster. Bare in mind, every time you update your app the ratings disappear, that leads to fewer sales. Sometimes we see a dip of 30–40% for a paid app that does not have ratings yet. That is why all updates come at a price.
  • Timely updates. Whenever a developer wants to fix bugs, or to use the latest third party API, the shorter approval time will make the app experience for the end users. Better experience -> more customer satisfaction -> more recommendations -> more downloads.

The new App Store

It seems that Phil Schiller has a goal to revive the App Store and make it cool again. It became more friendly to developers (App Store team speaks to a lot of developers, gathers their feedback, gives early access to unreleased devices, etc) and more relevant to users (ongoing App Store editorial updates).

I’m pretty sure that we will witness a bigger change during WWDC this year! I do hope that the App Store will become more personal, more relevant to the users so people will start downloading apps again.

Did I miss something? Please feel free to add something to the story. Also, we will be visiting WWDC this year. Let us know if you are around!

Denys Zhadanov

Written by

Vice President at @Readdle, a company behind popular productivity apps with 100M users (Spark, Scanner Pro, PDF Expert, Documents). Tech and inspiration.

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