Now we know better the process of reviewing an app to get to the App Store.
Apple’s application approval process is one of the strictest, the company has many rules that you must comply with if you want your app to reach the company’s devices. In a recent interview published in Bloomberg, Mark Gurman has been able to speak with Phillip Shoemaker, the boss in charge of app approvals in the App Store between 2009 and 2016.
Thanks to this interview we have been able to know how the app review process has evolved in the Apple store. At the beginning Apple had three workers per application, currently they have a specialized group that work collaboratively in more adapted spaces with many Apple devices.
The decision was not always easy
The App Store came to the iPhone in 2008 and at first Apple was overwhelmed by the flood of applications that developers created. Each application had to be reviewed by three people, so revisions took a long time to be approved. However, the people in charge were always kept, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing and in charge of overseeing the App Store, lobbied for it was people and not algorithms or tools who reviewed All applications.
“In the early days, Apple had three reviewers looking at each app. That led to long review times, which were eventually shortened when the process shifted to just “one pair of eyes.” Phil Schiller lobbied for it was the people who reviewed all the applications, rather than just automated tools, to limit inappropriate or buggy applications. However, there are many things in the store that should not be there.
The review process is carried out in sWings where app reviewers have iPhone, iPad, Macs, and other devices. Every day they try between 30 and 100 applications, downloading them to Apple devices and testing them for hours.
According to Shoemaker, Apple treats everyone the same, regardless of whether you are a large company or a small developer. Even large companies like Facebook or Google continually sent applications that did not pass the controls.
“I was calling Facebook all day, even though they had privileged developers they had one of the worst codes of the time.”
However the biggest problem for Shoemaker was the time to decline small developer apps, not from big companies.
“You are the one preventing an application from entering the App Store and possibly earning money for that developer to put food on the table and send their children to school. It broke my heart every time I had to make those calls. “
Shoemaker has also spoken of the concern within Apple that some of these large companies release an app that would replace Apple’s own, it was something that happened with Google Voice, but in the end they ended up approving. In addition, when asked about the future, he sees a good option the supposed App Store that will arrive on the Apple Watch with watchOS 6 in the imminent WWDC 19 where we will see many new features.