Review of the review process

Sharing some important notes when it comes to the last step of your app development - app review process

Vera Nesvadbova
Vera Nesvadbova

Apple’s iOS App Store is virtually the place you can get apps for your mobile phone. Over the nine years since it’s conception, millions of apps have been downloaded over a billion times. Recently redesigned the App Store is more popular than ever!

That’s from the perspective of the mobile user, of course. Mobile app developers face a very different route, usually filled with obstacles. They are the creators of new ideas and publishers of apps. As such, they have to go through a manual, human app review process.

This process can be tedious, frustrating and time-consuming. You have to comply with several rules and essentially create an app profile page, and if you are using in-app purchases, then there are additional rules too. The app profile page is yours, so it’s worth spending extra effort here.

Those apps that offer purchase or subscription service use something called “in-app purchase”. That’s a payment processed directly by Apple. In return, you will pay 30% of your takings, which then slowly in time improves to about 15% one year later.

When your app is ready, you need to submit it to Apple for review. This is where Apple has much room to improve. All aspects of your app will need to be thoroughly tested like the design, the usability, the functionality and security are all checked by a human reviewer. All this makes for one enjoyable user experience and very frustrating time for developers that are on a tight schedule with clients. It’s not possible to speed up this review, and you are entirely reliant on Apple.

While the initial app review does take time, and it could be several weeks, subsequent version update reviews are much faster. From our experience, it is roughly a day or less.

One thing that Apple does not do well communicates with developers enough. The usual response would be “Check guidelines 3.1 section b” and then it is up to you, the developer, to understand it and make corrections. Where the problem comes in is understanding. Apple is never clear enough to point out what the actual problem is. They very much like to merely point out section in the App Store Review Guidelines where your app is failing. Frustratingly it can be a straightforward detail to fix, and it does not even need to be in the app build itself, it can be just your store page text or an image!

Time-consuming and very frustrating are the words that may describe your app review process. Not saying it is always like this, but your app must comply with Apple rules. Hiring a professional mobile app development company like Empire Elements will cut those review times, save you time and get your app to the users on time.

When designing a mobile app, you should account for the review process and store page creation and optimisation. It is equally important as the app itself and having great imagery, promo and description texts for your app store page will help your app in the digital world.

Lesson to learn here is allowing time for app review process and store page creation


2019 update

The App Review Board got faster at reviewing apps. On average, 50% of apps are reviewed in 24 hours and over 90% are reviewed in 48 hours.

On average, over 40% of app rejections are for Guideline 2.1 – Performance: App Completeness.

You still need to take the app review process seriously and design your app around Apple’s guidelines, which do make a better user experience. It is not only the beautiful app UI design we are talking about.

Official page about preparing your app for review has a lot of useful information. Interestingly, if you face extenuating circumstances, you can request the review of your app to be expedited. These circumstances include fixing a critical bug in your app on the App Store or releasing your app to coincide with an event you are directly associated with.

When calculating the cost of app development, you should allow time for creating the store page and use that for your app marketing. Hiring a professional mobile app development company like Empire Elements will cut these costs down. It will help you release your app faster and set up a streamlined production pipeline and release those updates in a timely fashion.

On average, we get our clients’ apps through the process and released in under a week. It is our expertise to alert you if there might be some feature that would impact this review process, for example, geolocation.


Submitting your app into the store is the last step of your journey, and it should be handled with care.