A Year on the Mac App Store

Tomorrow marks one year that Sandvox has been available for sale on the Mac App Store.


With all its faults, it was a great decision to make the effort to get our app on the App Store. While we were a bit worried, it doesn't feel like it cannabilized the sales we would be making on our own store. The App Store is just another discovery mechanism and distribution mechanism, existing in addition to our own website and online store.

While I think the App Store is a great way to succeed, I don't agree with the decisions that a few of my fellow indie developers have made to stop offering their product on their own website and switch to the App Store exclusively.

In today's world, I think the best idea is to have your app available in both distributions. (Matt Gemmell offers some suggestions on that.)

Now let's hope that the App Store team will do something about these worsening review queue times. (It's not the actual review that takes a long time, but waiting to get reviewed.) Our latest update had us waiting a month, and it looks from submitted statistics and reports from others that it's affecting other developers as well.

These delays really cut into developers' schedules, and force some tough decisions. Whether to anticipate sitting on a new version for a month. Or to decide to let your self-released edition be kept up-to-date, letting the App Store version lag seriously behind. I suppose that's OK for minor updates, but what about if you have a major new update? If you want to send out press releases and garner publicity for a new version, it doesn't make sense to announce that it's available in one edition and a month away in another edition.

If only Apple Inc. had a little bit of extra cash, so that they could afford to hire a few more people on the App Store review team, to bring that review delay down to a week or less, as it was earlier this year!

Today's question for the comments: What can Apple do to improve the Mac App Store experience for its developers?

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