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Apple's New Year's resolution? Get apps through approval faster

One of the biggest gripes we heard from iPhone developers during 2009 was that it took forever for their apps to make it through the iTunes App Store approval process. Often apps would be disapproved for seemingly illogical reasons after a long wait in the approval queue, and TUAW heard from more than one developer that had just given up.

iTunes Connect, the portal through which iPhone developers submit apps and check sales, was down between December 23 - 28, 2009. Since that time, TUAW has received a number of positive emails from iPhone devs that indicate that Apple has resolved to quit holding up apps in 2010.

How fast are some apps making it through the process? Take developer Aaron Douglas's free Migraine Diary [iTunes Link]; he submitted it on December 28th at 9 PM CT and received notice of the approval a 4 PM CT on the 31st of December -- that's less than three days.

But that's downright slow compared to what Yuri, a developer at Atomic Cactus, experienced:
I'm a developer behind Atomic Cactus, we have 3 games currently in the app store, and they all took approximately 2-3 weeks to get approved. Today at 4:00 am I submitted for approval our latest app, which isn't exactly a "fart app" (it's a pretty polished puzzle game with OpenFeint). As of 1:30 pm today, the app is in the app store.
That's nine and a half hours, folks! This is a small sampling of the many emails we've received from developers since just after Christmas.

Whether this is due to a New Year's resolution, competition from the Android platform, or a new back-end system for processing apps, it's a welcome change for iPhone developers and users alike.

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