One of the traditions of the App Store for as long as I can remember is Apple freezing up the App Store over the Christmas holiday to give their staff a break, and this year Apple has just announced that the freeze will take place from December 23rd to December 27th Pacific Time. However, what exactly the freeze itself is has changed quite a bit over the years. In the early days all functionality of the App Store would freeze for that time period. That means that not only could you not submit new apps or updates but you couldn’t change the prices or make any other App Store page changes either. And the different App Store charts would also seize up for that period, leading to many developers trying to game the system by getting their apps to chart high by whatever means possible so that for that 4 or 5 day period they’d be stuck up at the top of the charts for all those new iOS device owners to discover. Sneaky devils.
Thankfully Apple has tweaked The Big App Store Freeze over the years so that it’s much less of a big deal nowadays. Basically no new app submissions will be accepted, and no new update submissions will be accepted during the freeze period. That means you better get your app or update out before the freeze begins if you want it to be available to all those receiving iOS devices under the Christmas tree this year. You can however still tweak prices and other meta data in App Store Connect, and thankfully the charts no longer freeze either. As is the case every year, I expect the lead up to the App Store freeze to be extremely busy in terms of new releases, so either make sure you’re ready for the freeze from December 23rd to December 27th or just relax and wait out the holiday rush and release your game in the comparatively dead time that is January.