It seemed like an endless process, and had many twists and turns, but Oz Weather is now alive and well and kicking in the app store.
[Update – also see my later post for a video demo]
Since my last post on Oz Weather just 9 days ago, some major changes have taken place – especially to the colour scheme and visual design. For what is obviously a massive improvement, I am especially indebted to Peter Fellows, who (presumably frustrated with my pedestrian and unadventurous color scheme) created a mockup of several proposed designs, one of which I was so taken with that I just had to implement it immediately. And here is the final result.
I have to say I am very pleased with the new appearance. I think it is fully in keeping with the iPhone design paradigm, and more than does justice to all the work that went into building and refining the back-end and data delivery framework.
The app submission process wasn’t an easy one – not so much from the technical perspective, which was reasonably straight-forward by Apple standards – but more from the admin and taxation side of things. This even involved making a phone call to the US Internal Revenue Service to obtain an Employer Identification Number, which is not an easy feat given the timezone difference between Sydney and USA, and completing an obscurely-worded tax form to claim a (partial) exemption from US withholding tax. The fact that Australian companies get only a partial exemption from US royalty withholding tax when there are a good 20 or so other countries that get a full exemption, in spite of the so-called Free Trade Agreement we have with the USA, is something that is as irritating to me as it is puzzling. But that really belongs to another kind of blog.
The timing went like this. I submitted the application details and executable file at 8:30pm on Thursday. I then read and agreed all the contracts, contacted the IRS, filled in all the forms, sent copies of my GST registration and supplied my banking details, including such details as my bank branch’s SWIFT code. So by midday Friday all the status icons in the “iTunes Connect” developer portal had turned to green, and the only orange light was for the app executable awaiting approval. Based on other stories I had heard I expected to wait at least a week, and with a 50% chance of rejection due to some slight oversight I may have had. But, incredibly, at 8:15am on Saturday, the final approval email arrived. That’s less than 36 hours since submission! I then started looking in the App Store to see if it had appeared, and temporarily gave up at midday, wondering what part of the process I may have overlooked that was preventing it appearing. But then when I checked again at 4:30pm on Saturday it was there. So in entirety it was less than 48 hours from submission to being on sale.
So potential iPhone developers – take heart. It may just be worth it, after all. And perhaps Apple have actually now worked throught the backlog of submitted apps to approve….?!