We need to submit our app to the store before it closes for the weekend—what time does the app store close on Friday nights?
Of course the App Store is not shut down for customers during weekends. But we have recently found out that the app review team no longer works on weekends. Back in the days when it seemed like the app reviewers were constantly having trouble keeping up with the ever increasing flood of app submissions, you would see apps get approved at all hours of the day and on weekends. No longer.
In a previous life when I was building large scale web sites and server systems we learned to never deploy new code on a Friday, unless you wanted to work on weekends to fix bugs or deal with launch jitters.
The same thing applies to iOS apps now. Don’t set the release date of an app to fall on a Friday. Should there be a problem with the new version of the app and you want to push through an emergency update, then nobody will act on your request until the following Monday.
But, you don’t have control over when an app will be approved, you say. That is true, but you can set the date when the app will be released. And you should always, always use this feature.
Look at the current App Store Review Status and add some margin to allow for delays. For example, today the status says that 99% of all new app submissions and 99% of all app updates are reviewed within 7 days. I would set the release date to around 2 weeks for an app update. Make sure that the date is not a Friday, and that it’s a day when you’re available and ready to handle new customer support issues.
For a new app submission I would set the release date even further into the future to allow your marketing campaign to ramp up and steam forward towards a known date. But that’s a different topic.