Just Submit It Already

I have been working feverishly over the last few weeks to finish version 1.0 of a client’s new iPhone app. But it seems like I’ll never be finished. There just so much more we want to add to the app. This is true for most, if not all, software releases. “If I just had another day then I can add this really neat feature.” That one day becomes two days which becomes three days and so on.

One thing to consider with an iPhone app is the review period. The review period is about two weeks for most app. If you are like me then you will think, “Two weeks for review? Then I better spend another few days on the app before submitting.” But my opinion on this is changing.

Apps can be rejected from the App Store for all sorts of reasons. A misuse of an icon. Use of a private API call. Crashes on start up. The list goes on. Even though you may spend a few more days on the app to get that one additional feature in, you don’t know for sure if the app will be accepted or rejected.

My client app has some interesting and unique features that involve having voice and data connections at the same time (I’ll share more about this later). Given its uniqueness there’s a good chance the app will be rejected initially and an even better chance the review process will be longer than the average 14 days. So I’ve decided it’s time to submit the app even though the app isn’t as complete as I would like.

Yes, there are more features planned for the app and there is a known (minor) bug or two, but we don’t plan to “go live” with the app for another couple of months. Submitting now, however, will help eliminate surprises down the road.

My way of thinking about the app review process is changing. I’m starting to think a better approach is to submit early and mark the availability date for the app to some date way into the future. This will give you an idea of what to expect from Apple and the review process earlier in the development process. And you can always submit an update or two before the future availability date.

Of course you want to make sure the early submitted app is usable and stable, and that core functionality is present, but I see know reason for waiting until you have a completed version 1.0 app to submit to Apple. Submitting early should be a part of the development lifecycle process.