iPhone Native applications, the submission to Apple

iphone-app-storeShort story of an iPhone App submission for review to Apple, now published on the iTunes App Store

They say there are just a few things that are certain in life: death, taxes… and perfectionism-driven-development. There are few professions out there that are so obsessed with perfection. WordPress’ motto “Code is Poetry” probably says that all.

That is why when, for the first time, I had to deal with Apple having to approve something you’ve written and designed, I had to face a little performance anxiety.

Divine Office iPhone App wasn’t just “any” iPhone application for us, it’s been the first app we’ve designed and developed from the ground up and it’s dedicated to our CEO–Dane Falkner‘s non-profit project aimed at delivering a high-quality audio version of the Liturgy of the Hours.

The “DO” project (that’s our short for “Divine Office iPhone App and Website”) design and development has been the foundation of our iPhone design and development techniques, using the official iPhone SDK, as well as the first trial for our iPhone SDK  developers. Bottom line the approval or denial from Apple reviewers was going to give us a thumbs up… or down on our overall approach and results in our path to become a leading iPhone Native Apps development company.

The entire submission process is outlined on the Apple Developer Portal and is fairly easy. The step-by-step description will guide you through preparing your XCode deliverables and the artwork needed for submission. Strict adesion to Apple’s guidelines and standards, which have been my bread since System 7 days, really is a basic requirement here.

Anything out of those may (or may not) be rejected, based on how a rigid reviewer you find on the other side of that Safari window.

DO native App is a custom implementation of an RSS reader that will automatically download for the user a few days of the audio Liturgy of the Hours, as available on the DivineOffice.org website. It uses standard iPhone gestures to swipe through the data, and a beautiful interface based on sacred art and the iPhone black-chrome look. We hadn’t much doubt on the app itself, the code or the functionality… rather on the main concept of downloading audio to the device and cache it. Since this was our first time, we didn’t know what freedom of action Apple allowed. Back then there were many apps, but none of them made anything “out of the schemes” like this — Google Mobile App was far from coming.

I had read on iPhone SDK Google Group and other forums that an Apple application review can take up to 2 weeks after the submission. Our took just 3 days and got on the iTunes App Store before I could start getting concerned about it. :)