To the surprise of many, Apple made their response to the FCC available to the public. One of the more interesting tidbits of information relates to how Apple actually decides which apps make it onto iTunes and which ones don’t make the cut. Up until yesterday, that process was shrouded in mystery, and while there’s still a lot we don’t know, at least we now know something.
“Apple developed a comprehensive review process that looks at every iPhone application that is submitted to Apple. Applications and marketing text are submitted through a web interface. Submitted applications undergo a rigorous review process that tests for vulnerabilities such as software bugs, instability on the iPhone platform, and the use of unauthorized protocols. Applications are also reviewed to try to prevent privacy issues, safeguard children from exposure to inappropriate content, and avoid applications that degrade the core experience of the iPhone. There are more than 40 full-time trained reviewers, and at least two different reviewers study each application so that the review process is applied uniformly. Apple also established an App Store executive review board that determines procedures and sets policy for the review process, as well as reviews applications that are escalated to the board because they raise new or complex issues. The review board meets weekly and is comprised of senior management with responsibilities for the App Store. 95% of applications are approved within 14 days of being submitted…
Apple generally spends most of the review period making sure that the applications function properly, and working with developers to fix quality issues and software bugs in applications. We receive about 8,500 new applications and updates every week, and roughly 20% of them are not approved as originally submitted. In little more than a year, we have reviewed more than 200,000 applications and updates.”
Ah, the inner workings of the app store review process have at last been revealed!
So here’s what we’ve learned:
– Apple employs over 40 people whose full-time job involves solely reviewing iPhone apps.
– There’s an app store executive review board. Saucy.
– 8,500 new app submissions a week means that each app reviewer reviews a minimum of 40 apps a day, and potentially up to 80 seeing as each app must be reviewed twice.
– Assuming an 8 hour workday, each app reviewer must look at a minimum of 5 apps in 1 hour, and potentially up to 10. That’s a fast paced workday anyway you look at it.
– 20% of submitted apps aren’t approved in their original form.