Rebranding and Apple’s App Approval Process Don’t Compute

Written by Michael on May 19, 2010

Posted in Mobile Forms

When we changed our name to Formstack in March we had anticipated launching the iPhone App with new upgrades to reflect the new branding.  However, Apple’s red tape delayed the launch for quite some time.

We were finally able to launch the App last week, but I wanted to give you a glimpse of the entire process we had to go through before the new Formstack iPhone App could be released.

It’s Only the Beginning

Before making any changes to the actual application, I updated our Apple ID to reflect our new company name, I regenerated our development and distribution certificates, and I generated new provisioning profiles. On March 22nd, I uploaded our newly enhanced and branded iPhone app to the App Store; the app was waiting for review. Our App was initially rejected for using a private API; after removing the offending code the App was accepted after a second review, our App was now available in the App Store.

Right App, Wrong Name

I was shocked to see that the new Formstack app was listed in the app store as created by FormSpring. I had changed every setting possible from FormSpring to Formstack (in our apple id, and in the iPhone provisioning portal). Making things worse, the “View Company Website” link in the App Store was linking to FormSpring.com, not Formstack.com. After a bit of research and an email to Apple, I found out that once the company name is set (during the first app upload) there is no changing it back; Apple can’t and will not change it. We needed a new Apple ID.

The Waiting Game

A new Apple ID meant that I had to enroll again in the Apple developer program. After $100.00 and multiple iterations of lost faxes of our business documentation, Apple finally approved our new developer account. Now I needed to upload our new Formstack App into the new account, but the App name “Formstack” was already in use on our old account! Apple was unwilling to change or delete our App from our old account. I had to re-provision our App and go through the entire approval process just to get the name changed so that I could use it on our new account.

Finally Arrives

Once our old App was approved with a bogus name, I was able to use the name “Formstack” in our new account (after re-provisioning again for the 3rd time).  Needless to say, the process we had to go through before our app could be come available was very tedious and unnecessary.  Thank you for being patient with us while we worked the entire process out.

Great news! As mentioned above, our new App was finally approved last week and is now available (for free!) in the Apple Store.