Iphone – App Name Expiry on iTunes Connect

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Apple in iTunes Connect Developer Guide says:

App Name Expiry

Once you have created your app, and it is in the state Prepare For Upload or Waiting For Upload, you will have 180 days (6 months) from your creation date in iTunes Connect, to deliver a binary to Apple. If you do not deliver a binary before the 180-day deadline, your app will be deleted from iTunes Connect. As a result of this deletion, your app name will be able to be used by another developer and you cannot reuse the app name, SKU or Bundle ID. See the Deleting an App section of this guide to learn more about the ramifications of App Delete.

  1. What's the meaning of "deliver a binary"? The app should be uploaded and approved in 180 days or just uploaded for review?
  2. Is it possible to upload a preliminary binary and set the release date in the future (Availability Date setting within Rights and Pricing), so that before that date I can upload the final binary of my app?

Best Solution

I worked around this by preparing a version of my app that was good enough to be approved by Apple, even though it wasn't where I wanted it to be yet for the first release. I submitted it just before the 180 day deadline but set a future release date on the Rights and Pricing tab in iTunes Connect. Apple approved the binary and I continued working on the app with no further warnings about the name expiration. I was even able to move the release date further into the future to give myself more time.

I don't know what would have happened if my submission had been rejected by Apple or if I had rejected it myself. That might have been okay, but I preferred to play it safe and submit something that met all the review guidelines.

Now I'm still not ready for a public release, but ready for beta testing. I submitted my latest version for review and Apple approved that, too. At this point, even though the app still isn't publicly available, I can generate promo codes and give them to beta testers and they can download the app from the App Store using the promo codes. In my case this is better than using up more of the 100 devices available in my developer account. The trade-off is that each beta version I want to share has to go through the Apple review process.

Anyway, setting your release date in the future does let you meet the 180-day upload deadline without releasing something before you're ready. When you're ready to release, you can submit your final version, make sure it gets approved, then move the release date to the desired date.