Making an app can be a tricky experience. Part of the purpose of this blog will be to document that experience, so other people can learn from it.
Unfortunately, the Chinese Fridge app went live on the App Store prematurely today, before it was complete.
The reason it went live is because about a month ago, I submitted the first version to Apple for review. When you submit an app for Apple’s team to review, they force you to pick a release date, so I chose a date one month in the future, which seemed like ample time. However, due to some unforeseen circumstances, the project was delayed more than expected, surpassing the one month mark. The version of the app in the store is not ready for release, because some functionality can only be completed once the app is submitted to the app store (Facebook integration, etc.).
As a result, the app got more than 550 downloads in just a short time before I could delay the release further, which is exciting. However, this means the app will not be featured very high up in the “new releases” section when it goes live officially, which will make it less visible. I contacted Apple support to see if they could change the app release date, but they said that once it’s set, it’s impossible to change. Needless to say, this was pretty dejecting, but I’m still confident that this app will find the people who need it via App store search, web search like Google, and through direct outreach to teachers, schools, parents and kids.
The good news in all of this is that you can rest assured that when the final app is published, it will be an enjoyable, solid product — and free! Later when we release more apps, those should go through the app store process much more smoothly without any hitches like this since we now know the process better and have structured those apps to be much more simple to produce.