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App Store FAQ

01-04-2010, 06:24 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 330
App Store FAQ

Waiting for Review FAQ

How long do I have to wait from submission to sales? (subject to change)
Expected time: ~6 Days

This involves 2-5 days Waiting for Review, and 1-4 days In Review. You have about a 70% chance of your app falling into this time frame. And a 99% chance you will be approved within the subsequent 8 days.

For official statistics on review times go to: Apple Developer Connection
Apple updates their review queue times every other Monday.

Does my review time vary if it's an update or a new app submission?
No, they run roughly the same tests on both types of submissions. Based on developer experiences, queue times are the same either way.

I found a bug in my app and had to Developer Reject then Replace Binary, did I lose my spot in line?
Yes, you got moved to the back of the review queue. But not to worry -- you have a more polished app Waiting for Review now. Congratulations.

Will Apple reject my app?

Despite all the rejection stories you may have heard, it is not a common thing. Whenever you prepare for submission, it would be wise to cross-check every aspect of your app with the policies Apple has provided, and the experiences of other developers.

For a condensed list of common reasons your app may be rejected go to:
Application Submission Feedback
Offical App Store Submission Tips

Do they stop the review queue over the weekends and holidays?
No, if iTunes Connect is accessible then they are still actively reviewing app submissions. This is to prevent Mondays beginning with an overly backed up queue. Based on developer experiences, the queue moves slower on the weekends.

Ready for Sale FAQ

My app is Ready for Sale! But wait, why isn't it on the release date list?
The app store will take anywhere from 2-16 hours to properly display your app on the release date list.

If it's been more than 24 hours since you've been approved and Ready for Sale but you still don't see it on the App Store, it's either because you submitted an update (which do not get exposure on the Release Date list as of November 2009) or the App Store servers are having issues at the moment, which Apple is surely working on. Patience is a virtue.

NOTE: Within the first hour you will be able to access your app listing via direct link. This direct link can be found in iTunes Connect -> Manage Your Applications -> Your App -> View in App Store. Copy it, and hand it out to everyone awaiting your app's arrival.

I had exactly 0 sales on my launch date, what can I do?
Your app is your legacy, it is your destiny to reach the top paid list. Venture out onto the internet and don't come back until you've reached your goal.

Some tips for a successful launch:
• Set your release date to a future date after your approval. This results in your app showing longer on the release date list because it started the loading process for the app store at midnight instead of whenever the Apple reviewer approved your app.
• Buzz! If people already know about your app before it arrives for sale, they will notice it more when it goes live.

English is my one and only language, should I expect any international sales?
Yes, someone in every country with an app store will absolutely buy your English app. You should only seriously concern yourself with a few major country's app store. These major countries are America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan. You will also pick up a lot of euros from Germany, Italy, France, and Belgium.

It is advisable NOT to use Google Translate to localize your app description. Often times it can hurt you. As with any translator, Google Translate is not perfect. The result can make you sound strange in their local language, and may ward off any potential customers. If you have more confidence in this technique, I can vouch from personal experience that my apps have made it to the top paid list with a Google Translated app description & title. Though, many top selling apps just go English across the board.

How can I expect to be paid?
At the end of every month, within 45 days you will recieve a transfer into your designated bank account.

There are 7 major currencies (USD, CAD, AUD, GBP, EURO, JPY, and World) Apple will issue you accurate financial reports based on these currencies prior to your payment, and if you are above 150 USD in a currency, then that payment will be included in the upcoming transfer. Otherwise the amount below 150 USD will be added to the next pay period's calculations.

When do I get new sales reports?
If iTunes Connect is live, you will recieve them @ 3:00AM PST, or, Midnight in Hawaii.

I sold a good number of units! How can I persist these big numbers?
The list goes on, but I will point out some basic tips:
• There are 3 major elements of your listing: Icon, Title, and Screenshots. The app description is nice to polish, but won't have as much effect on your sales as the previous 3 will.
• Let customers know they are getting a discounted price -- even if it's not actually on sale.
• Keywords must be in favor of your app, utilize the full 100 characters they give you and make them count.
• Genius is a great way to get exposure, additional sales, and in turn, climb the ranks. Unfortunately, the way it works is over my head. One would assume keywords and/or the title of your app had an effect, but I cannot be certain.
• The vacuum effect is an app store mechanic to be aware of. When you move up in rank, theoretically more people will see your app, which results in more sales -- this leads to an even higher ranking; hence, the vacuum effect. Giving that ranking boost to your app may be all it needs to go from 5 sales a day to 500.
• Your app's ranking is calculated based on units sold over the past 7 days. So, if you can focus your heavy promotional techniques into that 7 day window, you may be able to leave the rest to the vacuum effect.
- The formula that calculates your ranking is based on a weighted average:
((4 * D1) + (3 * D2) + (2 * D3) + D4 + D5 + D6 + D7)/13 = X
D1 = Sales in the past 24 hours from now.
D2 = Sales between 25 and 48 hours ago.
D3 = Sales between 49 and 72 hours ago.
The higher X is, the higher your ranking is.

• There are some more advanced techniques to raise your ranking. I will leave it up to your creativity to figure those out.

How can I get featured on the App Store?
First, cross your fingers, being featured is the dream of all developers as your sales are guaranteed to skyrocket from their normal state.

Secondly, the decision is entirely in Apple's hands. One way you can sway them is to create a unique, well polished, and enjoyable app. There have been plenty of apps who got featured that don't have extraordinary custom art, so that is not a barrier that you must pass; though, it will obviously help.

E-mailing Apple and requesting to be featured will not help at all, they accept no payment to be on the list either. Don't bug them about being featured.

Also, the New and Noteworthy list will mostly consist of apps released within the last 2 months.

How quickly will my app listing update if I change it? (price, description, screenshots, etc.)
Between 2-16 hours depending on how efficient the App Store servers are going. Be sure to take this delay into consideration when you're going to be running promotions or other time-sensitive events.

Why are you, a developer, helping me, the competition?

If this FAQ has indeed helped you, then you can consider us pals if you check out Water Your Body on the app store. My only wish is that Mankind holds a healthier future.

FoWare is Here

Disclaimer: Some info provided in this FAQ may not be 100% accurate. Please post or PM any obvious corrections.

Water Your Body (ON SALE $0.99)
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New and Noteworthy!

Last edited by bravetarget; 01-07-2010 at 02:41 PM.
01-04-2010, 07:01 PM
The formula that calculates your ranking is based on a weighted average:
((4 * D1) + (3 * D2) + (2 * D3) + D4 + D5 + D6 + D7)/13 = X
D1 = Sales in the past 24 hours from now.
D2 = Sales between 25 and 48 hours ago.
D3 = Sales between 49 and 72 hours ago.
The higher X is, the higher your ranking is.
Thanks for the info. Where did you find this?

working with my partner Psionic, to promote his game: Running with Scissors:Pre-season. Excited to learn, share and help.
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01-04-2010, 08:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
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Thanks for the community service.

One item I'd like to mention is that my game, Charmed, was featured in New & Noteworthy about 11 weeks after its original release date.

It coincided with a major update to the game, so it seems to be possible to get on the N&N list with a good update too, even after 2 months.

Last edited by MindJuice; 01-04-2010 at 09:03 PM.
01-04-2010, 09:54 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 91
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Thanks for the information!
This concludes most of the things I need to know especially when I am preparing stuff for my first game submission
01-05-2010, 12:12 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Munich, Germany
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this thread deserves a sticky notion - good stuff.

// Aaron Ardiri
Mobile 1UP is a proud indie developer - support us!
developer of Caveman / Caveman HD and GW Series
01-05-2010, 11:02 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
Excellent job on doing all this!

If I would change anything about the FAQ I would number each question and then list a contents at the beginning.

I'd also put a brief explanation about the sign-up process. And, although I know it's not strictly related to the App store, but purely because it just gets asked so often, something about: 'How can I develop using Windows.'
01-05-2010, 05:08 PM
Great Job!

Developer of Ringo and Mobileguide Iceland

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01-07-2010, 02:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 330
Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
Thanks for the info. Where did you find this?
Many developers have ran experiments, myself included, and we all come up with roughly the same results. The formula you see is the consensus of numerous tests.

You can check out this link for more info on the formula: tii's Podcast

Also, I appreciate the compliments everyone. I'll be adding onto this FAQ soon enough.

Water Your Body (ON SALE $0.99)
Tic Tac Pro (FREE)
New and Noteworthy!