In a move that is sure to please many, developers tell AppleInsider that Apple's Development Center website has added the ability for developers to track the status of apps currently under review. In the past, Apple had notoriously kept developers in the dark about Apple's review and approval process.
There are allegedly nine status levels for submitted applications, including "in review," "ready for sale," and "rejected".
While this update to the Dev Center website may not seem like a major change, it is a step in the right direction towards greater transparency and disclosure about the Application review process.
Some still remain unhappy about Apple's overall App submission process. Joe Hewitt, developer of the Facebook app for the iPhone told TechCrunch Wednesday that he has decided to stop developing for the platform, citing Apple's App Store policies. "I am very concerned that they are setting a horrible precedent for other software platforms," Hewitt reportedly said.
Earlier this year AppleInsider was told, "Many developers are pulling their hair out by the roots" over the approval process. Approvals that once took days were taking months and Apple's response to inquiry about the process was a stock answer or no received answer at all.
After weathering a storm of criticism by developers and pundits alike, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing directly reached out to the developer community - sending personal responses to many of its high profile critics.
The increasing delay in response times was attributed to Apple not being prepared for the popularity of the App Store and the eagerness of its developers. In response to these complaints, Apple released a new Resource Center for developers in September which offered more information on the approval process. It also reviewed the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, which reportedly gives Apple the right to reject apps based on a myriad of factors from content to estimated impact on the cellular network.