tap tap tap

tasty bits for your iPhone

Our blog blog blog

Looking for more recent articles? We post new articles exclusively on our new blog…
snap snap snap.

From App Store submission to approval in 6 easy steps

by John Casasanta
June 4, 201019 comments

Step 1: submit

step 1

Step 2: cross fingers that Apple doesn’t find any private API usage in the app

step 2

Step 3: get caught with hand in cookie jar

step 3


  1. become enraged at the fact that Apple has the audacity to reject us for knowingly using code that violates our developer agreement then alert the media in hopes that everyone will be sympathetic to our plight especially Gruber (be sure to link to a post of his saying that he was right about something because we all know that that’s the easiest way to DF linkage) then write Steve Jobs a letter and sulk at his inevitable response where he doesn’t bend an inch then bitch-quit the App Store (only to return with tail between legs 6 months later)
  2. just remove the illegal feature and submit again

Step 4: opt for choice b

step 4

Step 5: anxiously smile

step 5

Step 6: breathe a huge sigh of relief

step 6

Be sure to stop back here Monday to see the app that we’ve been slaving over for the past year…

tap tap tap is a leading iPhone and iPad app developer and publisher.

We’ve been creating top-notch apps since the App Store first opened. Our apps are used by literally tens of millions of people in all corners of the world. A few of our favorite and most popular apps we’ve created are:

Who linked to this


  1. Skoua
    8:07pm, June 4, 2010

    Haha, nice.

    Thanks by the way, always wanted to see what App approval screen looked like.

  2. Nathan Garza
    8:07pm, June 4, 2010

    awesome breakdown of the aproval process! Loved it!

  3. Josiah Hettset
    8:09pm, June 4, 2010

    That’s interesting, because for my company it has gone more like this:

    Step 1: Create app with goofy, rated-PG satirical content relating to celebrities.

    Step 2: Get rejected because Apple’s “ridiculing public figures” prohibition is capriciously enforced by $8/hour app store workers.

    Step 3: Have no recourse because you are way too small a developer to get enough media attention to force Apple to change their mind (as they did after rejecting a prominent political cartoonist) or point out the literally hundreds of apps that have satirical content way harsher than yours.

    Step 4: Water down your content and resubmit hoping your months of work won’t be flushed down the toilet based on a Kafkaesque system of arbitrary content censorship.

    I guess I could send Steve Jobs a letter, but I’m not enough of a bigshot to expect any sort of response.

  4. Edward J. Stembler
    10:42pm, June 4, 2010

    Funny. But what was the time span between submittal and approval? (Steps 4–6)

  5. John Casasanta
    12:54am, June 5, 2010

    @ Edward J. Stembler

    It was only two days. It’s gotten dramatically better since the App Store first opened when it was around two weeks for approval then.

  6. Ouriel Ohayon
    1:31am, June 5, 2010

    We have submitted our app 54 days ago. this is an upgrade of our current app. So far not a word from Apple. nothing. Impossible to reach them. We know the app was tested but we don t receive any feedback

    has that ever happened to anyone?

  7. Josiah Hettset
    3:50am, June 5, 2010

    2 days? Seriously? Then you are enjoying some very preferential treatment. My company has released numerous apps and we have had nothing approved anywhere near that quickly. But, as I mentioned before, the app store approval process is clearly not a “level playing field”.

  8. Stefan
    4:54am, June 5, 2010

    Ouriel Ohayon: I’d reject the binary and resubmit it again. Looks like your app got lost somewhere in the process.

  9. John
    5:05am, June 5, 2010

    Step 7: Notice that your app is suddenly removed from the appstore, although you didn’t change anything and it was approved earlier. Calling Apple Support obviously gets you no where and you are forced to throw months of work away.

    How come you forgot the last step ?

  10. Oliver Cameron
    6:27am, June 5, 2010

    @ Josiah Hettset

    2 days is a normal time for approval recently. You could have it worse, Google Voice has been in approval for about a year now.

  11. jonk
    8:27am, June 5, 2010

    2 days??? wow, now i know no one is playing on a level playing field. great…. Apple says 98% of updates approved in 1 week… so far two updates for me, none in 1 week… First one was human error on the App approval team, second one i’m still waiting on 1.5 weeks and have no idea why a simply bug fix would take so long…. i’ve got to see if there is some fine print somewhere, 98% of the apps starting with the letter “k”?

  12. Josiah Hettset
    12:42pm, June 5, 2010

    @ Oliver Cameron

    This is simply not my experience, nor the experience of anyone I’ve worked with - and we’ve submitted apps quite recently. If certain people are getting approval in 2 days, that’s great for them. But please don’t claim this is normal, because it’s not. Not for ‘the rest of us’.

  13. Jonathan Lund
    7:11pm, June 6, 2010

    We had one denied due to human error, they came back criticizing the then-new musicPickerViewController—which we had no control over. When we replied with a taste of sarcasm, rather than receiving an apology we waited over a month for approval. We learned our lesson to be nice.

    Oh, also never mention the word “beta”—not in your description, UI, translations, etc. We went four rounds once because each time we thought we had gotten rid of them all, but it was still lurking somewhere else!

  14. Bob
    7:09am, June 7, 2010

    Eh, f*** you, saying that apps only get rejected for using private APIs is insulting… how about Apple’s political correctness gone wild streak, where even a Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist was banned at first. And that iPad app that is admittedly not that interesting, it’s an app where you can place widgets like weather and clock, but where the hell does it say it’s against the rules.

    Also, Apple making up rules like “No 3rd-party authoring software” is a naked attempt to run a monopoly on that area.

  15. Will Culpepper
    9:47pm, June 7, 2010

    My last two apps DisCalc and Workaday were approved in about 4 days each and the updates quicker. There was no preferential treatment as far as I can tell. My mojo is utterly minuscule.

  16. GadgetGav
    12:17pm, June 9, 2010

    Wow. Chill out man. Relax…! TapTapTap didn’t say Apple _only_ rejects apps for using private APIs, they said they knew there was one in their app and tried to sneak it past the approvers. They weren’t that surprised to be rejected and when they removed the offending code, they got approved. Where’s the harm in posting that? No need for such f***ing language.

  17. @moldor
    3:44pm, June 10, 2010

    I’d be interested to know what the “illegal” feature was that you had to remove ?

  18. Prasanna
    6:53am, July 25, 2010

    I have released a number of releases and can say that it varies a lot. But 2 days is the average. Best time is about 8 hours. Submitted an update before going to sleep, and was approved when I woke up.

    And I am certainly not a big company. Just my experience.

  19. Ec
    6:41am, April 18, 2012

    A question… Any example of “Illegal API”?

the comments are now closed