updated 02:40 pm EDT, Wed March 17, 2010
New option added to iTunes Connect
Apple is reportedly allowing App Store developers to choose the launch date for their applications, according to a Twitter image posted by amdev. The Pricing tab in iTunes Connect now provides an option for the availability date alongside the scheduling for price tiers.
Developers previously had no control over the launch date of their apps, as the titles were automatically added to the App Store after approval. Companies typically provided vague expectations, especially with new apps, as the review process allegedly took as long as several months in certain cases.
Apple has pushed to repair its tarnished image, following criticism from developers who wasted money on marketing while waiting for approvals that, in a few situations, never came. Recent reports suggest the company has improved communication with developers, while fast-tracking most apps through the review process.
The new scheduling option potentially allows companies to align App Store launches with marketing materials or promotions, while giving customers specific dates instead of "expected soon." Developers might still have to wait for app approval before scheduling a release date, however, which leaves a margin of uncertainty.