One of the main complaints about Apple is that as a company Apple is very secretive. While in many cases, like future products and agreements with vendors, this is understandable, there are some areas of Apple’s dealings that this is a bit absurd. Two particular dealings that immediately come to mind are those dealings with developers and book publishers.
Being both a developer and a book publisher I have the experience of dealing with Apple’s review process for both applications and books. Both have their issues when it comes to the review process, however there is one major common issue with the Apple review process. The issue is the information included in each problem.
For instance, I submitted a book to Apple, “Playstation 4: What We Know Thus Far” on March 3rd. It is still waiting to actually be available in the iBooks store. I have had three issues with my book to date. The three issues were as follows:
- Metadata: I failed to finish filling in the description
- Links: I didn’t realize I had two broken links
- Table of Contents: According to Apple my publication is required to have one
What I don’t understand is why all of these items were not included in one communication. If something is completely broken in an application where it crashes, yeah, that’s a big item. But having relatively easy fixes within a book should all be included in one communication saying “Hey, this is broken”.
It would seem to me that combining all of these issues into one communique would make it easier on both the developer/publisher as well as the reviewer. Each of the review, so far, has taken 4 days to resolve, on Apple’s end. To this point it has been 9 days since my book initially went into review. Four days for a review is not too bad of a turn-around, but it could have been down to a total of four days if all of the problems were communicated at the outset. If the review time was less than 24-hours, it would not even be an issue at all.
Since we do not know much about the inner workings of Apple’s review system, we do not know if the same person is reviewing a re-submitted item or not. If they are not, then that means an entirely new person must review the entire submission again. Thankfully, my book is only a mere 23 pages at the moment, including a page for the cover and the Table of Contents, bringing the overall total to 21 pages. Imagine having to go through an item that is 500 pages.
I know reviewing an influx of applications or books is a very daunting task. Having to comb through a list of books or applications to meet certain list of criteria is a mind numbing and tedious task to say the least. I do not envy the Apple review team as their job is an unforgiving and never-ending task. However, I do wish they could streamline the process to make not only their load of work lighter, but also the amount of work that publishers and developers have to put forth in fixing issues with their submissions.