If you are a developer or have an app, you are not immune to the frenzy of the holidays. In fact, you should already be making your lists and checking them twice. Here are a few aspects of the holidays that you should be aware of.
App Store Freeze
For the past several years, Apple has frozen the App Store on the days surrounding Christmas. During this time, neither new applications nor updates can be submitted. Scheduled releases and changes to In-App purchases are also on hold.Below is Apple's announcement.
"The busiest season on the App Store is almost here. Make sure your apps are up-to-date and ready for the holidays. New apps and app updates will not be accepted December 23 to 27 (Pacific Time), so any releases should be submitted, approved, and scheduled in advance. Other iTunes Connect and developer account features will remain available.
With the new App Store on iOS 11, you can let customers know about promotions, upcoming features, and events within your app at any time using the promotional text field. Your app’s promotional text appears at the top of the description and is up to 170 characters long."
Your project's developers are also likely to take some time off around the holidays. We ask our teams to put in their holiday schedules as soon as they are aware of them. This allows us to set appropriate expectations both internally and with our customers. Check with your app development agency to see what your devs' holiday schedule is like.
The last few months of the calendar year are when Apple's device sales explode. New devices have just been released, and with Christmas right around the corner, it's no surprise. The App Store will be getting even more traffic with users downloading old favorites and looking for fresh ones to fill their new devices.
How Do I Prepare?
Was your app built with scalability in mind? Can it handle a potential onslaught of new users? Have you scheduled your app updates?
Schedule and submit your price changes and app releases sooner rather than later. Take some time to review how your priorities, roadmap, and releases could be affected by the holidays. Doing a little extra planning helps ensure your project stays on track and everyone can have one more reason to enjoy the holiday buzz.
11-28: Updated to add Apple's holiday announcement