Whoever coined the term “waiting game” clearly wasn’t an iOS app developer. As I explained in a previous post, the average iOS approval process usually takes between 5 and 10 days; nothing fun or game-like about that. Fortunately, if you’re one of those developers who hates playing the waiting game, there are some ways to fast-track approval process by requesting an Expedited Review. Before I explain some tips on this process, there’s one thing I want to make clear upfront: Apple not only has a limited amount of expedited requests they can allow, but they also restrict the amount that any one person/app developer can request. Therefore, I suggest only using it in emergency situations or else you may not have one to use in the event of a real emergency. Think of it as a last resort. Make sense? Good. Now here are some tips on requesting an Expedited Review:
Reasons to Expedite
There’s really only two main reasons you would need to make a request for an expedited review; either you have an urgent bug fix or a time-sensitive event. Apple requests that “If you've submitted an update to fix a critical bug in your app on the App Store and you are requesting an expedited review, be sure to include the steps to reproduce the bug on the current version of your app.” In the case of a time-sensitive event, make sure that the time sensitivity isn’t simply due to poor planning. By that I mean, if you’ve planned a Christmas-themed update on an app, don’t wait until December 23rd to request an app review. Apple states, “When submitting your request, it's important to include the event, date of the event, and your app's association with the event.” These are the two main reasons Apple suggests an expedited review request.
How to Make a Request
Requesting an Expedited App Review is simple; sign into your Apple Developer account and click request an expedited review. From there the process is quite similar to that of a normal review request, only you’ll have to provide a reason for expediting your review. This should be a last case scenario, as it is more likely than not, your request will be denied and you will only succeed at losing precious time.
If you find yourself requiring an expedited review that Apple will not accept or you’ve already submitted an application and need to fix it but don’t want to go through creating a new update, there is another solution. CloudBees Feature Management.io’s SDK allows you to remotely hot-patch bugs and quality issues in production. Whether you have a major issue recognized by Apple or not, allowing bug fixes to go an additional 5-10 days can cause major damage to your apps reputation and your relationship with your clients. By adding in the ability to access your app’s functions and patch them using pre-defined solutions you can react to your production issues in real time – not on Apple’s time. To learn more about this issue and what you can do to fix it, check out our blog “Making Application Fixes in Production.”
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