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Patience running thin as iOS app developers flock to Android

by Dan Kricke

The process of purchasing a condo – countless signatures and seemingly endless due diligence on a bunch of paperwork that basically all looks the same - reminded me that I have the patience of an ADHD addled five-year-old (pre-Ritalin, obviously). But it appears I’m not alone! iOS app developers are as twitchy and uncomfortable with waiting on someone else to get back to them as I am.

The latest bit of proof comes care of All Things D in a story on WhitePages’ Localicious app, which made its debut Wednesday not in the App Store but rather for Android devices. And the reason why had everything to do with the extended wait for Apple’s approval process. Worried about how to market the app and wary of an extended way to get an approval, WhitePages went where the going was fast.

According to the story, WhitePages also released its Caller ID app for Android first, but that appears to have been due to Apple not providing the developer with some additional access. That makes Localicious the first app WhitePages has released first for Android simply so they could get the thing out.

Part of a growing trend

This isn’t the first time a story has come out noting a developer’s frustration with the waiting period. Way back in November of 2009 developer Paul Kafasis of Rogue Amoeba halted iPhone app development because he was tired of waiting, too.

And this isn’t a case of horrendous impatience, either. Kafasis waited three and a half months for his app’s update to get approved. Meanwhile in the All Things D story, WhitePages lamented the long wait times as barriers to knowing when you can begin marketing your app properly.

Those are valid concerns and nearly four months is an insane amount of time to get an app approved. I especially don’t care for it because it makes my pithy complaints about waiting a week and a half for document approval look positively bonkers by comparison.

But could there be some favoritism being played by Apple with regards to approval times? In this Mashable story about Google+’s iOS App, author Ben Parr speculates the app is probably only weeks away from release. While its submission date isn’t noted, that’s an awfully quick turnaround compared to what Kafasis went through.  Unless the Google+ app (not surprisingly already available on Android) was submitted months ago, which seems slightly unlikely given that surely there would have been a few more leaks about its content months ago.

So what’s a developer to do? Probably exactly what WhitePages is already doing. If they end up releasing their apps to the Android Market first and the apps become hits, Apple’s likely going to acquiesce more quickly the next time they come around with an app they want to publish. After all, nobody wants to be left off the gravy train. Even if some of us would prefer it was an express.