On January 5, how many days, on average, do you think it took Apple—which is quite good with apps, given just how big its App Store ecosystem is—to review an app? A day? A few days?
Try weeks. Two weeks, in fact—and then some. AppReviewTimes.com measured Apple's turnaround time at a staggering 14.3 days at the start of this year. To be fair, that was Apple's peak over the past year, and the company has been working hard to shorten its review times ever since. Now, according to the latest figures, Apple is down to a brisk two days on average (based on 319 reviews over the past two weeks, AppReviewTimes.com notes).
"This is not official Apple data. It is based only on anecdotal data gathered from people posting their latest review times on Twitter and App.net using the #macreviewtime or#iosreviewtime hash tags. For people that would prefer to remain anonymous when submitting their review we also allow direct submissions of review times," describes the site.
Nevertheless, the decrease is fairly significant, in that it allows app developers to more effectively manage their development cycles. Now that Apple can get this done within days, instead of weeks, developers can spend more time iterating instead of just waiting around. This also lets developers update their apps faster with new features or, in some cases, patch bugs even quicker. And they can now get (and respond to) feedback from their users much faster.
"Apple is a little bit of a different company than it was a few years ago when it first built the App Store. It's becoming a lot more developer-friendly. It's becoming a lot more open in its approach to building an ecosystem," said Chris Maddern, founder of Button, in an interview with Bloomberg.
Apple still hasn't changed its core process for reviewing apps, though: Checking apps and approving them for publishing on the App Store. That's a bit different than Google's approach, in which the company tends to approve apps then check them after-the-fact.
Over on the Mac App Store, Apple's average review times are down to just one day. That's a big improvement from the start of the year, when it took Apple an average of seven or eight days to approve an app.
For Apple, revenue from its Services category—which includes iTunes and the App Store—is an increasingly bigger part of the company's bottom line, reaching $6 billion in the company's second fiscal quarter for 2016 (the three months ending March of this year). That was an increase of just around $1 billion from the same time period last year.
Faster turnaround times, reports Bloomberg, has the potential to increase developer loyalty to iOS and, presumably, increase Apple's revenue for services even more.