Apple plans to keep the App Store open for developer submissions during the holidays, in a dramatic change from previous years. This could have a huge impact on developer workflows as the end of the year approaches, which is often the busiest season for those who build and manage consumer-facing apps.
“Due to the expected high volume, plan to send out urgent submissions sooner,” read the note on Apple’s developer site. âPlease note that exams may take longer from November 24-28 and December 23-27. “
In previous years, Apple’s habit of shutting down Apple Store Connect meant that developers had to rush as quickly as possible to fix bugs and generally get their apps ready for the holiday season. If you thought it was weird that one of the biggest tech companies in the world was shutting down one of the world’s busiest mobile developer portals during a crucial time of year for app installs, well , you were not alone. Clearly, Apple has taken the developers’ complaints about the shutdown to heart.
It’s been an interesting (and perhaps odd) year for developers who interact with the Apple App Store. In late August, Apple made a handful of changes to the App Store, including a new ability to educate customers on ways to pay for apps and services outside of Apple’s ecosystem.
The change was due to a legal settlement between Apple and a group of smaller developers who argued that the tech giant’s App Store practices were monopolistic. Apple has also created a fund to “help” small developers, although many details are yet to come.
The following month, another long-standing legal case – this one between Apple and Epic Games, the creator of the hugely popular “Fortnite” – finally came to fruition. The resulting injunction allowed developers to offer links to payments outside of the App Store without fear of Apple’s wrath. However, the court also concluded that Apple was not a âmonopolistâ.
Considering all of this legal drama, it might not come as a surprise that Apple wants to appear very useful to developers at the moment. Developers no doubt appreciate the ability to submit and modify their iOS apps during the crucial holiday period, although many would likely be happier with a further reduction in Apple fees.