Development: Don’t hate on the new iTunes Connect work flow

Was chatting with some friends in IRC and the topic of iTunes Connect’s new work flow came up. Said one, “I used to get my app description ready, then upload a binary. Now I upload the  binary then wait for iTC to realize it is there. Then wait some more. Then, maybe it is there”.

If this describes your typical iTunes Connect experience, I’d like to courteously suggest that perhaps you’re doing it wrong — not because there’s something wrong with you but rather that the new iTC work flow is far easier once you get the hang of things.

Here’s the thing about iTC these days. You don’t do paperwork first. You do paperwork last. When you’re focused on development, you’re focused on development.  Whenever you think you have a candidate for submission, go ahead and upload it. It will be waiting for you when you’re ready to deal with submission details.

The first critical thing you need to be aware of is builds. Each submission to App Store requires a unique build number, just like each new update requires a unique version number. If you decide to re-submit for whatever reason (no judging — we’ve all been there), just bump the build as needed.

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 11.43.46 AMIn the case of folderol, I was getting some great feedback from a user (hi Kent!) so each time I thought I was done and ready to submit, I decided to incorporate more feedback. No worries, it’s easy enough to upload versions at any time. You don’t have to “prepare for upload” or any extra work. Apple collects your builds for you. Yes, there is processing time, but you can hop into iTunes Connect and visit your app’s Prerelease build list. You’ll see a list of all the available and processing builds. If you beat the app to the processed list, at least you know why you’re not seeing yet in your list of available builds in the Versions tab.

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Every time you visit an already-submitted app, you’ll find a self-reject option, which is now called “remove this version from review”. If your app is in review and you do not see this, force-reload the page. I’m pretty sure that’s Option-Reload in Safari, but if I’m wrong hopefully someone will correct me soon.

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After you self-reject, you can remove the current build from the Versions > Build section. Hover your mouse over the build and click the red remove button. Then select another build. Only those builds that have finished processing will appear.

For those of a slightly paranoid bent, be aware that you can never remove builds from iTC. Once they’re submitted, they’re submitted. I’m not entirely sure why this is a sticking point for some people. I operate under the assumption that any build that was submitted was generally meant for public consumption and that any build you self-reject will not be published by Apple. Feel free to enlighten me.

So there you have it, the new iTunes Connect build procedure. Yes, there’s a built-in processing wait, but I have found this new work flow far more rewarding than problematic. Your mileage obviously can and will vary. What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Couldn’t be fussed? Let me know.

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