The Twitter iPhone application TwitterFon started having some major issues last week. Essentially bad data being passed to it from Twitter caused it to fail on load. It was unusable. TwitterFon developer Kazuho Okui was quickly on top of the issue and coded a new version to fix it. The problem is that while he sent it to Apple six days ago, they still haven’t approved it. Luckily, today Twitter stepped up and fixed the issue on their end.
A thread on the Twitter API page of Google Code shows the back and forth between Okui and Twitter API lead developer Alex Payne. While Apple wasn’t able to approve the new version of the app in nearly a week, Twitter fixed the issue (which, to be fair, was caused by them) in a matter of hours. This new, fast-responding Twitter seems far removed from the one that couldn’t figure out why its entire service was regularly crashing just months ago.
Apple, on the other hand, seems to be getting bogged down in app approval requests. I’m hearing reports from developers aside from Okui that the approval process has slowed to a crawl over the past few weeks. While the process normally took about 2-4 days, some developers are now seeing wait times of a week or longer. It’s not clear if Apple has a new, more strict approval process in place (perhaps to catch more apps that slip by), or if it’s just because it’s holiday time and employees are getting time off.
I emailed Apple asking for clarification on the issue.