December 7, 2009

The Holiday Spirit Overcomes the App Store Approval Process

I was originally reluctant to write about this, thinking that I had somehow won some undeserved sympathy from an App Store reviewer who had looked up my download numbers and took pity on me.  That I had somehow been give some of the 'white glove' treatment that some of the prominent developers are accustomed to.  I felt the warm, understanding embrace of the App Store and didn't want to share.  But in the continued climate of negative press about the App Store approval process (and in the Holiday spirit), I thought I would share my recent good experience.

No, Apple was not visited by three ghosts and did not show up on my porch with a fattened goose to celebrate the holidays.  They did not choose to place my app on the prominent front page of the App Store.  They did however approve my last update of Stork Drop despite using non-public APIs.

I was aware of the non-public APIs in my code, namely a text field in a UIAlertView, but it was just about the time that the automated rejections were just starting to show up. I submitted both a lite and paid versions using the same code base. The lite version was a first time submission, the paid version was an update.  Immediately after being "in review", the lite version was rejected.  The paid version remained "in review".

Precisely, 14 days after the original submission, I was surprised to see the "Your application is Ready for Sale" email in my inbox.  Even more surprising, was the "Application Submission Feedback" email that followed the next day.

What a great way to handle this, especially with the big shopping season coming up. I guess I was on the "nice" developer list and received an early Christmas present. Now, if I could only get on the front page of the App Store...but that would be "naughty" to ask.