Whenever there is a difficult decision as to the approval of an app submitted to the App Store, the final decision is tasked to an “Executive Review Board” (ERB) led by Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller.
That little detail was shared in a CNBC report that provides an inside look at the Apple App Store review team.
The ERB meets once per week and discusses apps that have been “run up the chain” to the group for the final decision on whether the app might be infringing on App Store guidelines. The group is the final word on whether or not an app will make it into the App Store or if it needs to be removed.
The ERB also creates policy for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Relations department, otherwise known as the App Review team. The ERB was the final deciding body on banning last year’s controversial Infowars app from the App Store.
CNBC says Apple runs multiple App Review teams around the globe, and recently opened up new offices in Cork, Ireland and Shanghai, China.
App review team members are in-house hourly employees, carry an Apple badge, and receive healthcare like all other Apple employees. The main team is based out of an office in Sunnyvale, California, nearby Apple’s Cupertino campuses.
CNBC reports new hires start out on iPhone apps. as they gain experience, they are allowed to evaluate iOS apps that include in-app purchases and subscriptions, as well as Apple Watch and Apple TV apps. Reviewers claim apps via a web portal, then check the app on the required device, comparing it to Apple’s App Store guidelines, deciding whether to accept, reject or put the app on hold.
Reviewers are expected to work their way through 50 to 100 apps per day, so evaluating an app on average takes a short period of time. Apple tracks the number of apps reviewed per hour, and also evaluates reviewers on whether or not their decisions are later overturned.
If an app is rejected, developers can appeal to the App Review Board to get the decision reversed. Devs are allowed more than one appeal, and several appeals may end up with the app being sent to the ERB. Special treatment is not given to apps from major developers and all apps are required to go through the same review process.