Apple is getting its ducks in a row for the release of the iPhone 5. One of the ways it’s doing that is ensuring that as many apps as possible are ready for the new taller screen of the new device.
We’ve been getting reports from developers that Apple is pushing review through its system at a rapid pace. App submissions are normally reviewed over a matter of days, but some are seeing times as quick as a few hours.
Apps that are only mentioning support iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 as changes in their app’s submissions are seeing quicker turnarounds.
Some of the apps updated for the new iPhone include popular RSS app Reeder and Twitter client Tweetbot, as well as about a hundred others according to this AppShopper list. Other developers are working hard to make their apps ready for release, including independent developers and companies. Netflix updated a blog post on its new iPhone app interface this morning with a line noting that it would “soon release an optimized version of this new experience for iPhone 5 to take advantage of the larger screen.”
Some developers, like Junecloud, are still waiting on some of their pending updates to clear the App Store, but they should be here soon. Junecloud makes two of my favorite apps Delivery Status and Notefile, both of which are getting updates to support the new iPhone’s screen, as well as some new features. Update: Delivery Status is now live.
The rationale for this rushed schedule is fairly easy to divine. Although Apple announced that all current apps would work on the iPhone 5 right out of the box, its solution for this was to present apps in a letter-box, that is to say the top and bottom bordered by black to fill out the space in the larger screen.
As a launch day experience for their fancy new phone, this is less than ideal. You can bet that many users don’t know anything about letterboxing and will be launching apps on the new iPhone and wondering what’s wrong with them. This, of course, also presents a problem for developers, who will likely get inundated with poor reviews and complaints if they haven’t updated in time.
It appears that Apple is aware of the consequences and is working to prevent this from happening by slamming reviews through as fast as possible, especially if the apps are submitted with just iOS 6 and iPhone 5 fixes on the docket.
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