AppStore Submission Rejection Syndrome

Users reported an occasional Access Denied error with the Strava service and last week ConnectStats release. Thanks to the bug report, it was fairly easy to get to the specific workflow in the strava service that was confusing ConnectStats. The fix was the easy part. Then I went on to the dreaded “submit and get apple approval” part of the release process.

The review process is a bit of a black box random process. You submit the same application over and over and sometimes it’s approved in a day, sometime faster, sometime slower, and sometime you get “Rejected”…

The old days

In the early days, it would easily take a week to get a new version reviewed and approved. Forget about quick fixes! You really had to plan and test well. Given the nature of the development of ConnectStats and all the issues with Garmin’s Service, I had quite a few dreadful week of waiting for a critical code fix to be approved…

This is not to mention the complexity of getting all your developer and app certificate right, your code signed etc which was quite manual and complicated (don’t ask), starting the upload manually, clumsy web interface, etc, etc

The modern age

These days the system is very smooth. Xcode, the developer tool to build app, takes care of everything. Hit a few buttons, and your app is off to Apple Server for review, all “signed” with all the appropriate automatically downloaded certificates and it lands on a very slick web page on Apple Developer site.

For a while the process ended up being much faster, typically a day from hitting the button on Xcode to getting the app on the App Store to users.

The last few releases of ConnectStats were approved even faster, within a few hours of the submission. Amazing! Now developer don’t have to worry about not having bugs in their release, it’s just so fast to push a fix (kidding!)

The blip

So after pushing this new release, I was quite pleased the app was under review within an hour of submission. Smooth.

But then I got the dreaded “App Rejected” email! I hadn’t got one of those in a while… The comment with the rejection:

Before we can continue, we need a video that demonstrates the current version in use on a physical iOS device

That was a new one. But that was in restrospect just the first domino of a series of issues that would make me waste a good hour and my sense of cool…

So I went on to try to record a video of connecting to the test account I had setup for apple.

  1. Google how to record your iOS Device to refresh my memory
  2. Go through the login workflow, fight the auto-correct entering the user name of the account, “carefully” type the long password including as required upper case, number, signs, etc…
  3. Access Denied
  4. Yeah Right. Probably mistyped the password. Restart video and process
  5. Access Denied
  6. OK, let’s go back to the simulator and debugging. What’s going on?
  7. Access Denied
  8. something’s wrong. let’s go to the Garmin Web Page and login there.
  9. Account Locked
  10. Ok, not to panic, let’s just hit “recover password”. “A new password has been sent to your email”

But then after waiting and waiting never go the email. For each account I use a different disposable email to help me with spam, and then after double checking I realised the email for the test account didn’t exist anymore. Tried to recreate, but “failed”. My guess is that my disposable email provider does not allow email to have two dashes (this one does)

At this point I have the test account lock and no more access to the email registered with it.

I ended up giving up, creating a new email and a new garmin test account with a few activities.

The video and new account info is now in Apple’s hand and the latest ConnectStats fix is “Waiting for Review”…

UPDATE: this version of the app was approved 24h after submission, it was in review for a few hours, but the video was never accessed nor was the new account I set up yesterday. I won’t ask. just glad it was approved…

5 thoughts on “AppStore Submission Rejection Syndrome

  1. Thanks for creating a great app! Please can you consider adding in rolling distance totals as part of the stats? I’m interested in seeing my totals over the last 365 days, 31 days, etc., and if possible how this changes during the year.
    Once again, thanks for creating a great app that gives some really great statistical insights into my cycling!

    • You actually can but the UI is not intuitive, in the stats do a long press on the right button (summary, weekly, monthly etc) you have then all the configuration option that should show up, one of them is “rolling”,

      I need to think of ways to may the option navigation better but it’s hard because too many options…

    • Thanks. For swim there was an issue with swim, new version has a fix. I will check imperial units tomorrow, but could be fixed with the latest release

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