Apple adds three stage viewer of App approval progress. Here’s a couple more ideas to make it a lot better.

by Mike
Posted November 11th, 2009 at 7:09 pm

iphone-dev-centerIf there was ever a perfect example of hell freezing over, this is it. After months and months of harsh criticisms stemming from the god awful review process and absolute lack of any communication, it seems Apple is finally starting to listen to the very people that have catapulted the iPhone to what it is. Starting today, Apple is making steps towards a more transparent app approval process and communication with devs. I wouldn’t exactly call it transparent yet, more like opaque. Still, it’s better than the brick wall that existed but 24 hours ago. Under this new system, devs will be able to see between three states of change as their app moves through the crowded digital halls of Apple’s review HQ. The stages…

  1. Waiting for review
  2. In Review
  3. Ready for Sale

It’s nothing to get all slap happy about, but it is a start. I’m excited for devs as happy devs equal happy end users. For if they get to fed up, they’ll just up and leave and take their code weaving skills to some other platform. I just hope Apple doesn’t stop here. The “Waiting for Review” stage could use quite a bit more breakdown as simply staring at “Waiting for Review” or “In Review” for months still leaves devs wondering what the hell is going on. Some ideas I’ve already thought of:

  1. Display number of remaing apps in front of you: Give each app an ID number (I’m sure they already have them). Allow devs to see that number in the form of “Waiting for Review — there are “x number of apps in front of you”. That would be huge. Knowing that there are 4,000 apps in front of you is a tad more comforting than endlessly sitting for weeks not knowing.
  2. Daily updates for apps in review: To expand on “In Review”, Apple could and should give updates maybe once or twice a day as to what they reviewed, problems they had/have, and what is the immediate next step. I’m not saying give a small novel, just a few short sentences. You know…communicate!.

Would the above suggestions add to wait time? Ya, slightly. But I’m pretty sure devs would appreciate the exponential increase in communication. Going from email bombs with no response to daily updates is a god send of epic proportions.Apple has every tool to do this. So you see, in the end, I’m not that impressed. Content, but not satisfied. It’s more than most others are doing, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Far from it. If Apple really wants to turn around the App Store image in regards to the shifty approval process, taking the ideas highlighted above and implementing them would go a long way.

I’m just one guy. I’m sure there are many more of you with several ideas that could greatly benefit the App Store. Share them inside. Intrigue us…

Textually > Wired

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