The quick version of this post is that my developer and I submitted Feed Me to the Apple Store last night. I clicked a few buttons, which in and of itself is far from dramatic. And the iTunes Connect confirmation email is exceptionally corporate, so I doubt anyone at Apple (forget about the fact that it was an automated email response) was excited for my team. Even my iOS developer, who'd already submitted more than 30 apps to the Apple Store, needed some prompting to celebrate after almost six months of work.
What's the big deal, you ask? The app hasn't even been accepted yet. It's certainly not a perfect version (Quebec's liquor stores keep showing up as food listings because of how they're stored in the Yelp API). The friend referrals, restaurant reservations and food delivery integration are all to-come. And my Android developer submitted to the Google Play Store a couple weeks ago. But it's a milestone none the less.
We have a working Youtube video, we have a couple positive reviews on the Play Store, we have people in San Diego, San Francisco, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, New Zealand, Switzerland and Germany testing the app. And the coolest part is that they're discovering new restaurants, both in their home cities and where they're traveling.
To me, that means the app works. It works enough to justify a mini celebration.
The Long Version
The long version of this post is that when we started, we didn't even know which API we'd use – Yelp! or Foursquare or both. We debated hosting options, ad mediation, logins, free versus paid features (the app is free), how to partner with other apps and how to create and implement social media strategies.
We even discussed the colours and design of the business cards and advertising pamphlets, from the size of the tooth marks in the new Feed Me icon to the optimal shades of orange, white and black.
Following a Launch Schedule
We decided to launch in May. Then it was June. Then it was July. There always seemed to be another bug to fix – a crash upon launch, a too-big pop-up, a mismatched restaurant card detail page (you'd click on a restaurant to see more photos and a different restaurant's review and photos would appear).
That's what happens when you want something to be perfect. But finally, it just had to be enough, which is why when I clicked the 'Submit for Review' button on iTunes Connect last night, I was frustrated by the follow-up questions about third-party content and other legal issues. A couple more potholes along the road to launch.
They didn't take long to answer, thankfully, but I held my breath after clicking the finished button, fully expecting another page of questions to appear or to be told I'd missed something on the previous screen.
That's why I was so relieved when the submission was accepted. My part was done. And now all we can do is wait for up to 48 hours to hear if our app will make it onto the Apple Store, while a real human at Apple tests our app.
Unlike my iOS developer, this is not my 30th Apple Store app. Maybe by then I'll be more dispassionate about the submission process. I'll expect that last screen about third-party content. I'll know the right sizes and browsers for screen attributes (photos and videos) required by Apple (it's of course different than Google Play). And I'll by a keyword guru.
But last night, it was time to celebrate. Just a little. And remember how far we'd come. Because what's the point if you can't step back and smell the roses? Turns out they've never smelled so sweet.