product release planning for iPhone apps
We’ve successfully released 2 apps on the iTunes store now with relatively effective results. Both apps are paid apps and are in the education space where we’re currently focusing our attention. This release cycle is what we’re using as a general rule of thumb going forward:
Embrace the Review Process
Your initial push for the design and ideation of the app can be a few days to a week, developing v1.0 can take upto 2 months (or more if it makes sense) but the main learning for us has been to embrace the iTunes Review process. We know this has stabilized to around 2 weeks (10 working days) now and we plan our release cycles with this in mind. Always.
Version 1.0 of the apps that we work on generally take not more than 2 months to build. This is a completely beta tested, working piece of software which has been designed impeccably and has had multiple iterations of indepth user reviews in closed beta (hence the 2 months). We’ve not had a single bug flagged by Apple (yet :) ) so although our initial 2 month iteration seems long, it truly works for us. After the initial push to get v1.0 out of the door all subsequent features get prioritized into iterations which are then ready to go out every 2 weeks. Since we like to maintain our release rhythm we’re constantly pushing out to our beta testers in the interim and trying to ensure that the v1.n release is as solid as possible before submitting it for review. If the build is green and tested well we hope never to break the 2 week long release cycle which is tied directly into the iTunes Connect Review period.