How to Prepare for the 2019 App Store Holiday Shutdown
‘Tis the season for the annual App Store holiday shutdown. Every year, Apple implements a code freeze on all mobile apps where no new app submissions or app update submissions will be processed. The 2019 holiday shutdown schedule will begin December 23rd and run through December 28th.
The App Store shuts down during this time to allow Apple’s manual submission reviewers to take some much-deserved time off around the holidays. The shutdown also means that no bug fixes, price changes, new SDK integrations, and significant app store landing page tweaks can occur during the time the submissions team is out. While app store submissions will be unavailable, other App Store Connect tools will remain accessible to developers throughout the holiday period.
Here’s the news, directly from the source:
“The busiest season on the App Store is almost here. Make sure your apps are up to date and ready for the holidays. New apps and app updates will not be accepted December 23 to 27 (Pacific Time), so any releases should be scheduled, submitted, and approved in advance. Other App Store Connect and developer account features will remain available.”
The freeze can cause a few problems, especially considering millions of new devices will be activated across the globe Christmas morning. If your brand hasn’t adequately prepared, you might find yourself in quite a tough situation unable to make any changes in your app.
To help you prepare your app for the 2019 Apple holiday shutdown, we’ve put together three tips to get ahead during this year’s freeze.
3 ways to prepare your app for the 2019 holiday shutdown
1. Protect your ratings
True during any time of the year, app ratings are a huge trigger for app store success. But high app store ratings don’t happen overnight! If your ratings could use some improvement, it’s time to start focusing on boosting them well before the holiday rush. It’s imperative that you identify evangelists, determine when to activate them and measure all interactions with your customers.
2. Plan ahead
As mentioned above, the shutdown means that no new apps or updates can be added to the App Store, and prices and descriptions for existing apps cannot be changed. However, front-end functionalities (like app rankings, ratings, and reviews) will be unaffected.
This is the time to add in winter imagery, incorporate festive themes, and program seasonal promotions to help boost sales and customer experience.
To prepare for the shutdown, we recommend submitting your app updates, new versions, and pricing changes in early December for plenty of time to review. Don’t get caught submitting late updates, or they might not make it through Apple’s queue in time for the holidays.
3. Let Apptentive help
We’re here to ensure your apps are ready for the holiday season, and our product can help give you the competitive advantage you need to get ahead quickly.
With the right plan in place, you can make this holiday season stress-free for your team and your customers.