I keep getting asked, over and over, “When’s iOS 7 come out?” The answer, according to Apple, is Fall. I translate that to mean mid-September to early October. I decided to do a bit of research, which turned into this blog post. Spoiler: conservatively, 3rd party apps need to be ready towards the end of August.
iOS 6 released: September 19th, 2012, date announced: Sept 12th, invitation sent: Sept 4th
iOS 5 released: October 12th, 2011, date announced: Oct 4th, invitation sent: Sept 27
Analysis and Speculation:
The past two years, Apple sent an invite to the press for an event about a week later. At the event, they announced the iOS release date to be about a week after that. That same day, they released the GM and told developers they were accepting app submissions for the new iOS version. So the past two years, we got a one week heads up. According to Average App Store Review Times, Apple is currently reviewing iOS apps in 7 days. So to account for one possible rejection, I’d suggest submitting our final iOS 7 builds the day the invite goes out, at the absolute latest.
To complicate matters, over the past month, review time has been trending up. If the trend continues through next month, as more and more apps get updated with iOS 7 support, we could potentially be in the 1.5-2 week range. You never want to rely on your app making it through the first time, so we need to give ourselves twice that, at minimum, in case of rejection. That makes me want to budget 3-4 weeks to make it to the App Store.
iOS 7 is a huge release for Apple (and the rest of us), so realistically that could warrant needing more time and a later release. But that would hurt their quarterly earnings over last year, so you can expect them to feel pressure to release as early as possible. I’m going to recommend Thursday, August 22 as the latest day to safely submit our iOS 7 compatible apps to iTunes Connect.