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New year brings faster approvals for Apple's App Store developers

Various developers have said Apple's turnaround time in approving applications for its iPhone and iPod touch App Store has significantly improved since the start of 2010.

Developer Jared Judd, creator of the application "Cootie Lert," told AppleInsider that his software was approved by Apple in just 48 hours — and it was submitted over the weekend.

"Submitted it on Saturday January 9th, and it got approved Monday January 11th," he wrote in an e-mail. "So one of the 2 days was a Sunday."

From Dec. 23 through Dec. 28, Apple disabled iTunes Connect, but since its return, developers have said Apple's performance has improved significantly.

"They have somehow gotten it down to a very very quick turnaround," Judd wrote. "I've heard a number of people say that it's been within 48 hours for them as well."

A similar story was relayed to TUAW, which quoted one developer who saw their application approved in less than three days. Previously, Atomic Cactus experienced wait times of two to three weeks.

It's quite a change from last summer, when stories of long delays and a lack of communication on Apple's part inspired Apple executive Phil Schiller to personally respond to some pundits and developers. The public moves were uncharacteristic of Apple, which is notorious for being a quiet, secretive company. But as bad publicity continued to grow, Schiller felt compelled to personally intervene.

Schiller revealed that the App Store has about 10,000 applications submitted every week, and said he feels the approval process guarantees a certain level of quality on the platform. He estimated that 10 percent of rejections are due to inappropriate content, while the other 90 percent represent "technical fixes" for bugs and similar issues.

In addition to placing effort into the public relations battle, Apple also attempted to make things easier for its development community. In September, the company introduced the App Store Resource Center, a private page for developers that shows how to prepare software for submission and details Apple's approval process. Months later, the company began allowing developers to view the approval status of submitted applications, and also partially automated the approval process.

Additionally, in December, one developer noted that Apple was taking a more lenient approach with software that technically violated the company's terms.