Whether you are publishing an app for the first time or you are releasing an update to your app, you might encounter a status “Ready to Review“.
For published apps which are getting updated with a new release, this can happen when you release an update even when you are trying to release in Internal testing, Closed Testing or Open Testing and the app status does not automatically change to “In Review” or “Available to Internal Testers“. But instead the status says “Ready for Review”.
Internal Testing should not even require a review and should be published to internal testers right away, so why is this status showing up in the first place?
This happens when your last update was rejected by Google; the reasons vary but for example in my case, it was an update to their metadata policy and a sentence in my app’s description was not exactly following their new metadata policy.
This is mentioned here in the docs: https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/answer/9859751?hl=en#zippy=%2Capp-status%2Cupdate-status
So once you have made the necessary changes to remedy Google’s objections and you try to release a new update, your release in intended track Internal Testing, Closed Testing, Open Testing, or Production will go into review. But not automatically, it will go to in-review only when you explicitly confirm it to.
For that confirmation, you need to go to Publishing Overview in the left hand panel and click the confirmation button to send the release to be reviewed.
Google in some exceptional cases such as when they were shifting schedules at the outbreak of COVID-19 outbreak or due to a policy change, are going to change the way they review apps or are going to take longer than usual to review. In such cases, the review times are longer and as mentioned above, is going to take you to explicitly state that your app is Ready for Review before starting to review it to confirm that you have fixed the issues. This is hard to find in the docs but again there is so much information lying there that this is difficult to find.