Former Apple Employee Explains the Problem with the App Review Process

Many app developers out there have expressed their frustrations with Apple’s app review process. The process can take a lot longer than it should, directly affecting an app developer’s revenue on the product.

Business Insider recently had a conversation with former Apple Senior Engineer, Mike Lee. He shared some insight into what he thinks the problem is with Apple’s app review team. Lee says that the team is highly under staffed, as Apple refuses to hire sub-standard staff, just to fill the team. Apple’s strict method of hiring apparently leaves many departments short on staff.

“People have this idea that there are 100 people in India doing app reviews,” Lee tells Business Insider. “It’s just people in a building at Apple, and like every other part of Apple, they can’t get enough really good people. Apple will not compromise the quality of its teams to fill it in. I promise you its a lot smaller than you imagine.”

Lee says that the understaffing problem is just the beginning, but the real problem is the amount of garbage apps that get submitted. Apparently, one of the biggest problems with the crap apps that get submitted is their depiction of male genitals. Yeah, you read that right. Lee says there are so many apps submitted with pictures of penises in them, that it slows the whole review process down.

“It’s a very serious problem, trying to filter out things that no one is there to see. Somebody has to sit there and filter out all those d*cks. You can’t let all those d*cks get through. You have to err way on the side of safety. You have to have people sitting there looking at things that may or may not be d*cks all day long. Apple refuses to farm stuff out to massive groups of people. They insist on having actual smart, educated, well-trained people doing the job. So that means they have to have some of their actual employees sifting through a pile of d*cks.”

This seems crazy, to me! Knowing Apple’s strict approval process, why would any developer bother to submit such apps in the first place? Is it that they know the team is overwhelmed, and they are hoping one of the apps will just slip through the cracks? There is no way to know if Mike Lee is telling us the truth or just making up a good story, but you can see how this would be a big problem for the review team.

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