Friday, 6 July 2012

How We Got Here: Submitting iWishfor to the Apple Store!

app submission, app development, iwishfor, giftlist, wishlist, gifts, holidays
The iWishfor App
Well, we are in the final stages of getting our iphone app approved through the Apple app store. The app submission process has been a long road, so to get this far is very exciting for the team.

As you may or may not know, there are many stages in the development of an iphone app. We would like to take you through a bit of the process we went through in creating and submitting our iphone app to the Apple Store. Of course, there is the whole creative and app development process that goes into the building of an iphone app, while the app submission to the Apple Store is an entirely separate and nerve-wracking experience on its own. The first stage develops gradually with care and many iterations as ideas are created, developed and implemented or tossed out as they are tested. This stage took a great deal of time for us as we knew we wanted a product that fulfilled our vision. We didn't want something that was just thrown together. While we know that there is still lots of room for growth, being just an MVP, (one of the new terms I have learned in this whole process!), we still wanted to make sure that it was beautiful and was usable.

Minimal Viable Product - an initial product designed to test a concept or idea.

After a couple of all-nighters, guzzling energy drinks and eating lots of unhealthy foods(!), we finally got most of the kinks out and proceeded to upload our iphone app to the Apple Store. This was the next stage in getting our iphone app submitted, the submission process. Basically, we needed to take the various elements of our app and fill in the various forms and templates provided to submit all the information required on our app. This included things like our Terms of Service, description, metadata, keywords, app images, icons and the app itself. Now, you would think that having gotten this far everything would go smoothly and we would be sipping lattes, basking in our handiwork while enjoying the fruits of our labour!

Far from it, as we discovered.

The whole app submission process is somewhat fraught with things that are not totally explained. We had to go through a number of sites explaining the process to get an idea of what to do and what was needed and we still had a couple of issues that came up, particularly with our icons for some reason. While our icons matched the specifications required, Apple was still not accepting them or was declaring them as an issue.

After some hard work and more late working sessions from our awesome team of developers, we finally had the app submission error free and ready to upload it to the Apple store. We got together on a Saturday night and pushed the submit button. That was a great feeling. Though we knew we still had to be approved, it was still a great feeling to be sending to Apple store.

Then the waiting game began. We had no idea as to how long our app submission was going to take to be approved. From the various people we talked to, we knew that it could take anywhere from two days to two months. We did know that Apple had been hiring on more reviewers to speed up the process, but we still didn't know what that meant. However, that didn't stop us and we have continued looking at the app and our future goals, continuing to work on making our app kick-ass. 

So, now we are "In-Review".

The final step. Our app is receiving the human touch with reviewers checking to see whether our app works and does what we say it should do. I have to admit, it is a little nerve-wracking. I mean, we have put so much time and energy into this and to have it this close. So, now we are in limbo. Hopefully we'll have good news to report from the Apple Store to give soon!