Apps evolve and update fast. If you are an owner of an Android device then you know this for sure as you get regular updates to your apps extremely quick and often. An update only takes a few seconds and you are able to enjoy the latest fixes and features. Apps really contradict traditional ways of development, which was large up front design, development, test, and then finally release to customers. I have worked on various large scale projects over the years and I completely understand why an update could take up to 6 months to deliver. However when a product is delivered to millions of devices users want their updates and features fast.
Google knew that an open marketplace where anyone could upload an app and it would be published in a matter of hours could lead to issues. However they have done a great job to clean up the marketplace, and they knew that user reviews themselves would shape the apps and the marketplace. A truly great app with stability, developer feedback, and fast updates will get good reviews, raise to the top and leave everyone else in the dust. Some people will argue with me over this point, however I have been an android users for many years and it is now the #1 platform… so they must be doing something right.
There is a hidden process that many users do not see when it comes to other marketplaces though. Which is the “certification process” of some app stores. In this process you have to take a build that you sign off on and upload it for review. A review of your app can take up to “7 business day”, but sometimes more and sometimes less. You are not exactly sure how they are going to test it, when they are going to test it, nor do you get any communication with this test team at all. The process is long, tedious, and nerve racking. It is even worse because they don’t even look at your app for that 7 day process… it just sits.
What is interesting about this process is that while your app “waits” to be reviewed you are off doing other things like implementing new features, receiving feedback from customers, even fixing other issues that you might have found. Now after 7 days or so receive an email telling you that you passed or failed. If you failed then you get a nice test report informing you of what happened and then you get to start the ENTIRE process all over again.
So here is the issue with the test reports. As soon as the test team finds a SINGLE issue they completely stop the entire process. This means that they might fail you for simply having something wrong in your splash screen, or perhaps something weird happened on 1 of the devices. It might have been a problem that NO user has ever seen or if it even existed in older versions, but because they tested some weird test case that no user really does then you get to wait 7 more days to see if maybe this time you can give an update to your users even if the “fix” only takes 1 minute to fix you are still out a full week or more.
If I was to flip the script and look at it from the other side where you want your app store to be absolutely amazing with top quality apps and nothing ever crashes, then this process is fine. However expect your developers to get extremely upset and perhaps not even consider your platform for future development because of this long tedious process. A process that actually does not rate your application for content, features, or substance, but a just a list of check boxes that it meets all of your requirements. This means that you basically can have people submit useless apps that are just going to clutter your marketplace but they “meet” all of your certs so that is alright.
Think about the customer that wants updates fast, efficient, and maybe think about your developers that are dedicated to your platform. In a perfect world code would be perfect and there would be no bugs or crashes, but that is an unrealistic expectation.
*This is my own personal opinion and is not the opinion of any company that I have ever worked for