How to submit an app to the Apple App Store: A Step-By-Step Guide
August 27, 2023 | 139 Views
How to submit an app to the Apple App Store can seem like a daunting task, especially for first-time developers.
The process is intricate and requires careful attention to detail. Yet, it's crucial to transform your innovative idea into a live application accessible by millions worldwide.
Understanding how to navigate this submission journey efficiently separates the novice developer from the seasoned professional.
With its stringent guidelines and review processes, mastering how to submit an app to the Apple App Store could be what propels you into that elite group of successful app creators.
Understand the iOS App Store Guidelines
The journey to successfully submit your app to the Apple App Store begins with a comprehensive understanding of their guidelines. These rules are established by Apple, to ensure all apps on its platform maintain acceptable quality and safety for users.
Apple's App Store Review Guidelines, which you must familiarize yourself with, provide detailed insights into what types of content or functionality may be deemed unacceptable. It also outlines technical requirements that need fulfillment.
Navigating Legal Considerations
Beyond creating an app that functions smoothly and delivers value, legal considerations are also at play. This includes compliance with local laws where your app will be available and respecting copyright law.
Taking time early in development to understand these regulations can save valuable resources later by avoiding costly revisions or rejections from Apple due to non-compliance.
User experience is another crucial aspect of meeting Apple's guidelines. Your design should visually appeal and function intuitively for users - poor navigation or confusing interfaces could lead to rejection during the review process.
Above everything else, remember every facet of the application - from the interface down to core features - should strive towards providing value while maintaining a positive user experience throughout use.
Maintaining Quality Standards
Quality standards set forth by Apple aren't just about aesthetics; they delve deep into how well the application performs under various conditions, including different device models and operating system versions, among other things, such as stability issues and crash reports. These issues could potentially result in rejection if not appropriately addressed beforehand.
To avoid this potential setback, ensure thorough testing across a wide range of environments before submission to resolve any bugs or glitches ahead of time, thus increasing the chances of approval when finally submitting to the store.
This foundation is crucial for a successful submission process. The following section will give a comprehensive breakdown of how to set up an Apple developer account.
How To Create an Apple Developer Account: Step-By-Step
Embarking on the journey to app submission starts with establishing your app name and presence in the developer community by creating an Apple Developer account. This is a vital step as it provides access to resources necessary for development and distribution.
The Enrollment Process
To begin, navigate directly to the enrollment page on the official website of Apple's developer program. Choose to utilize your current Apple ID or create a fresh one only for this purpose. If enrolling as part of an organization, ensure that you possess legal authority binding your business entity.
This membership comes at a cost - $99 annually, but remember that it opens up not just opportunities for submitting apps but also grants access to extensive development resources, including beta software, advanced app capabilities, and technical support, among others.
Providing Your Information
You will be asked for basic personal information during the enrollment process. For individual developers, this includes details like name, address, etcetera. In contrast, organizations looking forward to volume purchases or custom B2B app deployment via the VPP store (Volume Purchase Program Credit) would require both user access to a D-U-N-S number uniquely identifying their company worldwide.
Please ensure all data provided is accurate; discrepancies can lead to delays in processing or even denial of the application by the review team at the App Store. Once completed successfully, though, you receive confirmation within 48 hours from Apple about activating your membership.
Navigating Through Your Dashboard
Your dashboard serves as the command center once enrolled in the developer program. Here, you manage certificates required for app signing, provisioning profiles necessary for device testing, app IDs, etc. In addition, it lets you configure test devices and test users (via TestFlight), among other things.
In essence, your dashboard forms the backbone of the entire iOS ecosystem, from developing to deploying applications onto the App Store. Familiarity, therefore, becomes imperative before starting actual coding work. Now we've covered how important having an Apple developer account is, let's move to the next phase, i.e., preparing our application for submission. Remember, the better prepared you are for each stage, the smoother the overall process, thereby increasing the chances of our app's approval.
Prepare Your App for Submission
The procedure of presenting an app to the Apple App Store is exacting. Your application must meet specific technical requirements and configurations.
Fulfilling Technical Requirements
Your application should be developed using Xcode, the official development platform provided by Apple. It must align with the latest version of iOS to avoid crashes or errors.
Configuring Your Application
Configuring your application correctly is essential. Every metadata associated with your app, from its name to keywords, must be formatted according to Apple's guidelines.
You must provide a series of screenshots demonstrating various features within your application, along with an eye-catching icon designed based on Apple's specifications.
If your app includes third-party content, secure proper licensing agreements beforehand.
Use a app store screenshot generator. If you don't want to bother with graphics software and mock ups, there are tools out there to make it a very smooth and easy process. Here's one that I would recommend: DaVinci Apps. All you need to do is to select a template, upload your screenshots (that you took with the iOS simulator) and add your custom text. Then you can export all your screenshots in one go. Shotbot is another tool that you can check out.
User Privacy: A Key Consideration
Submit Your App for Review
Submitting your app to the Apple App Store is a critical phase in the mobile app development process. This step can be accomplished through two primary methods: using Xcode or Application Loader. Learn about the review process, view the App Store Review Guidelines, and receive advice on how to avoid common issues before you submit. Make sure your app's name, icon, description, screenshots, app previews, and keywords are ready for your product page.
Xcode Submission Process
Xcode, an integrated development environment (IDE) developed by Apple, is one avenue for submitting your iOS apps to the App Store. The platform offers developers comprehensive tools tailored to create applications compatible with all Apple platforms, such as iOS and macOS.
To submit your existing app via Xcode, it's crucial first to archive and validate your application. Once completed successfully, navigate within Xcode's interface until you locate 'Organizer.' Within this window exists an option labeled 'Upload to App Store.' Following the prompts provided will guide you through until the completion of your app archive.
Application Loader Submission Method
An alternative method available for use is Application Loader - another tool that facilitates app store listing submissions from developers like yourself.
To effectively utilize this tool:
Select 'Deliver Your App' found on its main menu;
Browse, then select your .ipa file;
Fulfill any necessary metadata requirements;
Click "Next" continually until delivery confirmation appears on the screen.
In both instances, whether utilizing Xcode or Application Loader, it remains paramount that information requested by Apple during these processes is accurately supplied since misinformation could potentially lead to delays in processing time or even outright rejection.
Awaiting Approval After Successful Submissions
Upon successful submission via either route comes a period where patience becomes key while awaiting approval from Apple reviewers. The duration varies but typically falls within 24-48 hours.
TechAhead boasts extensive experience navigating these waters, ensuring quicker turnaround times without compromising quality assurance standards.
Having submitted our well-crafted piece of software artistry into the review stage, we move on to monitoring status, which brings us neatly to our next topic, ' Monitor Your Status.'
Monitor Your App Status
After your app submission, keeping track of your app's screenshots and status is vital. This is done through iTunes Connect, a platform by Apple for managing and overseeing apps.
The Significance of Monitoring Your App Status
Maintaining a vigil over your app's advancement furnishes you with current knowledge of its position in the examination cycle. Early identification and resolution of potential issues ensure your application sails smoothly through the approval stages.
This proactive stance can significantly minimize delays, facilitating quicker listing on the iOS App Store. The sooner this occurs, the sooner users can download and relish what you've developed with TechAhead's mobile app development expertise.
Navigating Through iTunes Connect
iTunes Connect equips developers with the tools to monitor their applications' advancement effectively. An 'App Status' section displays comprehensive information about each phase of app previews - from awaiting review or under scrutiny to ready-for-sale status.
Suppose complications arise during this stage, resulting in "Rejected" or "Metadata Rejected" statuses. In that case, feedback will be provided explaining why approval was not granted so that changes can be made before resubmission.
Action Based On Feedback
If the Apple reviewer rejects your app due to metadata discrepancies or other reasons, immediate action becomes crucial. Addressing these concerns promptly helps maintain momentum toward getting approved promptly.
A deep understanding ensures accurate modifications are incorporated before resubmission, thus increasing the chances of acceptance upon subsequent reviews.
Now that we have discussed how essential tracking is, let us proceed further: Respond efficiently when given feedback from the Apple team.
Respond to Feedback from Apple
The App Store submission process is a long-term goal, not an immediate one. One crucial milestone in this journey is responding effectively and promptly to feedback provided by Apple's review team.
This team meticulously evaluates each application for factors like functionality, content appropriateness, data security practices, and compliance with design guidelines. Your ability to respond effectively can significantly impact how quickly your app gets approved.
Navigating Through The Feedback
Receiving feedback via your App Store Connect organization may initially seem daunting due to its comprehensive nature. However, understanding that every point raised serves as an opportunity for improvement can make it less overwhelming.
Your response should address all issues flagged during the review clearly and concisely while demonstrating implemented changes or justifying specific features' functions with clear communication aids in faster approval of your iOS apps on the store.
Making Necessary Changes
If revisions are suggested based on received feedback, don't delay - implement them immediately. These could be minor adjustments like metadata information updates or significant modifications involving redesigning some aspects according to Apple's Human Interface Guidelines.
In instances where substantial alterations might take time, consider releasing a simplified version first, then gradually adding advanced functionalities in subsequent updates once approved.
Avoid Resubmission Pitfalls
A typical pitfall developers fall into during resubmission, after making necessary corrections, involves overlooking other potential areas previously flagged by reviewers that remain unchanged. Hence, ensure comprehensive revision before resubmitting.
Rushing through could result in further delays if overlooked aspects get flagged again during re-review.
With these considerations addressed adequately, responding swiftly and efficiently becomes easier, paving the way toward final approval.
As we move forward onto our next topic, let us dive deeper into one of the most exciting phases: publishing your hard-worked-on creation onto the world-renowned platform - stay tuned.
Publish Your App on the App Store
Reaching this stage signifies that your app has successfully navigated through Apple's review process and is now ready to be published on the App Store. This pivotal moment marks when your application becomes available to millions of potential users.
1. Initiate The Release Process
To commence with new app publishing, log into iTunes Connect and navigate to 'My Apps.' You can configure preferences such as price tiers or availability regions from the' Pricing and Availability' section.
Returning to the 'App Information' page, scroll down until you spot a button labeled 'Ready for Sale.' Clicking it makes the app live instantly. However, if the precise timing of app store screenshots is crucial due to its alignment with marketing strategies or synchronized launches across platforms like Android apps via Google Play Store, consider utilizing Apple's 'Version Release' feature to schedule an approved version's release time.
2. Maintain Visibility Post-Launch
The journey doesn't end at launching; maintaining visibility post-launch holds equal importance, too. Regular app updates will keep existing users engaged and enhance search result rankings over time since algorithms favor fresh content.
An essential aspect involves closely monitoring user feedback utilizing reviews and ratings left directly from their devices while using your software product.
These insights could prove invaluable in planning future enhancements or addressing any issues promptly before they escalate further, damaging brand reputation amongst potential new consumers exploring download options online today.
3. TechAhead Support Throughout The Journey
TechAhead, being one of the leading mobile applications development companies, understands every facet involved in getting an iOS application published onto Apple's platform - right from the initial ideation phase till the final deployment stage, including ongoing maintenance support after that, ensuring continuous success throughout the lifecycle stages associated with digital products explicitly built targeting the iPhone/iPad device user base worldwide.
Ayush Chauhan heads the pre-sales department at TechAhead. He's an aficionado of technology and gadgets, always looking for ways to leverage the best in tech landscape to create viable and efficient solutions to customers and wonderful user experience to their users.