‘Tis the season for the 2020 App Store Connect 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.
When is the App Store Connect holiday shutdown?
Apple’s 2020 holiday shutdown schedule will begin December 23rd and run through December 27th.
Why does the Apple App Store enforce a holiday code freeze?
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.
“The busiest season on the App Store is almost here. Make sure your apps are up to date and ready for the holidays, as new apps and app updates will not be accepted December 23 through 27 (Pacific Time). Please ensure time for your releases to be scheduled, submitted, and approved in advance. Other App Store Connect and developer account features will remain available.” (via Apple)
How does the Apple App Store shutdown impact me and/or my team?
The freeze can cause a few problems, especially considering millions of new devices will be activated across the globe on 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.
Any pricing changes (such as holiday discounts) and app updates or submissions are locked in on December 23rd and can’t be altered until after the 27th. Now is the time to make any changes necessary for the holiday season.
How do I prepare for the App Store shutdown?
1. 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. So, for example, if something breaks within your app, people can continue to leave negative app reviews but you won’t be able to fix anything until after the shutdown.
This is the time to add in holiday imagery, incorporate festive themes, and program seasonal promotions to help boost sales.
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.
2. PROTECT YOUR RATINGS
True during any time of the year, app ratings are a huge trigger for app store success. The better your mobile app ratings, the more downloads you’ll receive. If you’re looking at your ratings right now and think they could be improved, you need to focus your attention on boosting them now before it’s too late.
Download: Mobile App Ratings and Reviews: Where to Start and How to Win
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.