Developer Experience on the Mac App Store

This year, one of my resolutions is to become a more experienced programmer—not only in web development (I can hold my own with PHP, server scripting, and web design languages)—and one of the measurable achievements I'd like to accomplish is having apps on the Mac App Store and iOS App Store.

I submitted a new Mac App, Visibility*, on January 9, and was hoping the app might be reviewed quickly so I could experience a few days on the Mac App store soon after its launch. Well, after more than two weeks of waiting, the App is still 'Waiting for Review.'

Following the advice of some other developers on Apple's Developer Forums, I submitted an expedited app review support ticket... and didn't get a response for over a week!

From the response email:

Thanks for your email and feedback. In order to get as many developers into the Mac App Store as possible we are reviewing apps on a first-come first-served basis. The size of any individual app or its fixes do not have an impact on when the app will enter In Review state.

We will get to your application as quickly as possible.

If your update is for a critical bug fix (reproducible crashes, for example), we can expedite a review. To do so, please let us know how we can reproduce this issue so we can confirm the resolution during our review. 

I'm in agreement with some other developers who are getting restless about their Mac App Store development timeframes—if there's no way to know how long it will take to get an app, or even an update to an already-submitted app, to the store, how can we commit resources to developing for the Mac App Store? It has taken many developers over a month to get their Apps approved.

Hopefully Apple will accelerate the approval process soon... or at least offer developers an estimated timeline for approval!

*It's an extremely simple app, but it has already allowed me to learn more about Xcode, Objective-C programming, Interface Builder, and the App Store process.

Comments

Based on what that app does, I'm 99% it's going to get rejected anyways.

2.27 - Apps that request escalation to root privileges or use setuid attributes will be rejected

And possibly

9.1 - Apps that encourage users to use an Apple product in a way that may cause damage to the
device will be rejected

How are you implementing the app? Welcome to the world of pain in the rear AppStore development.

My app doesn't escalate privileges in any way (the Finder settings are per-user, so I don't need root access to change them), and since there are a couple other apps that show or hide invisible files on the app store already, I hope mine will not be hit by 9.1...

Well, I've been waiting 3 weeks with my Mac App Store submission stuck "In Review", e-mailed the App Review team - no reply.

The worst I've experienced was eight and a half weeks when submitting an iOS app last August - also no reply from the App Review team.

Hope they review their process soon so it gets a bit more effective than it is now...

Lately times have been better. Updates have been closer to 3-5 days for Mac apps, and a week for iOS. New apps seem to fluctuate quite a bit, though.

From my experience updates are reviewed quicker, but new app submission times are ridiculously long.