I'm Andreas Kambanis and I'm the founder of Nibble Apps. This blog is all about creating and launching successful apps.

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Pending developer release and availability date – What it all means!

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How come it always seems, just as I’m about to launch a new app I revisit this blog and post an update?

My last one about waiting for review really seems to have struck a chord with people.

With iOS 8 and the upgrade to iTunes Connect, there seems to be some confusion around the options developers now have available to them. I tested this with my most recent app, so I’m hoping I can clear up confusion for everyone.

Setting your app availability date in Pricing

When you are preparing everything in iTunes Connect for a new app launch, you’ll see a tab called Pricing. This is a very important tab to visit, as it’s where you set the availability date of your app. In my case, I chose Monday, November 10th.

This means that on November 10th, at exactly 00:00 your app will become available in each time zone. Therefore, someone in Australia will have access long before someone in America will, due to time zone differences.

Where things get confusing: Manual release

However, things get a little confusing with a new option available where you can choose from:

  • Automatically release
  • Manually release

At first, I hit the manual release, thinking “oh that just means they won’t launch until my availability date”.

That assumption was wrong!

This means, despite your availability date, the app won’t become available to anyone, until you hit the “Release this version” button, after your app has been reviewed.

Had I stuck with Manual Release, November 10th would have come and gone without the app being available to anyone.

Disaster!

Fortunately, I spotted it early on. I tapped “Release this version” and after about 4 hours, it started becoming available, as per my availability date setting of November 10th.

Release this version screenshot from iTunes Connect

 

In future, I will make sure I set the availability date to when I want the app to launch and choose the “Automatically release this version”. This will release the app at my agreed time.

I averted this disaster and I really hope this short blog post will help other people avoid the same.

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3 Discussion to this post

  1. Glen Storey says:

    Agrh! Wish I’d read this before launch day. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mike says:

    Good post Andreas. I faced a similar situation just recently. I had a Release Date set to a future date and was advised by Apple to go ahead and tap the “Release this Version” button (this was a few weeks BEFORE the planned release date). To my horror I saw the status immediately change to “Processing for App Store” and then “Ready for Sale”. Plus I received an email stating that the status was changed to “Ready for Sale” and “It can take up to 24 hours before your app is available on the App Store.” Of course I assumed my app was being released right then. However, after several email exchanges with Apple I was assured that iTunes Connect would honor the future Release Date. Whew. Good to know.

  3. Sanjay Mali says:

    Thanks for sharing.

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