Finally, the D-Day has arrived, your efforts gave result to you and you get your iOS application developed. After weeks of changes, new features, bugs, and a lot, now you have your iOS application, and you just need to submit it on the App Store. But as you are reading this article, you must don’t know about the complete app submission procedure of the App Store. App submission is mostly an afterthought on which you don’t focus at the beginning of the project. But you aren’t should, yet it is not easy as pushing a launch button, neither it is too much complicated either.
There are many rewards of successfully submitting the app on the App Store, but there are many obstacles that you need to overcome. According to Apple, 62% of the app rejections are due to non-compliance with the main Apple guidelines. In this article, we are going to tell you step by step how to submit an App on the App Store.
For publishing the app on Apple’s App Store there are 7 main steps involved. These are:
- Passing the App Store Guidelines
- Testing the App for bugs and crashes
- Sign Up for App Developer Program Account
- Creating an iTunes Connect App Record
- Configuration of App for distribution
- Uploading the App
- App Submission
Let’s discuss each in detail:
Passing the App Store Guidelines
There are more than 2.2 million apps on the Apple App Store. It is seen as the largest treasure to reach millions of users across the world. However, before submitting the app on the App Store you should have a sound knowledge of Apple’s guidelines and requirements for submitting the app smoothly. Even a small hitch can lead to rejection.
The Apple App Store wants its users to feel confident while installing an App from the App Store. The common reason for App rejection is objectionable content. No matter how captivating it is for the users with expert user functionalities, if there is offensive and improper content on the app it will definitely get rejected.
The common findings of the objectionable content are:
- Any type of racist, sexist, bigoted, or homophobic content
- Pornographic or sensual material
- Any reference to religious intolerance
- Incorrect or False information
Other major reasons for the objectionable content are:
- Physical harm: The app shouldn’t have any purpose to do any physical harm to the user
- Developer information: Apple wants to ensure that users who download the app can reach you with their queries and support issues.
Testing the app for bugs and crashes
If there is any bug or issue on your app then it can definitely be rejected by the tester. Even an impeccable coder can make bugs in a mobile application. However, testing of your mobile application will help you in finding the potential bugs or issues on the app.
Also, the iOS devices aren’t just iPhones but also iPads, iPods, etc. which come in different sizes. Testing the app on these different devices, there are more chances that your app will get approved. You need to ensure that your app fits well on all screen sizes, which is difficult to do on some iOS simulators.
And if the app store testers don’t find any bug on the app, it doesn’t guarantee that the user will also be fully pleased with the app. Be sure to test the user experience of your app, because a negative opinion from the users may cause your app to fail.
Sign Up for App Developer Program Account
For submitting the app on the Apple App Store, you must have enrollment in the Apple Developer Program. With this program, you can use additional Apple tools, can check the analytics of your app, perform beta testing, and much more. However, this registration is not free, and you have to pay for it.
For one employee the registration fee is $99 per year, while for the development team it costs $299 per year. But the team can use only one account. There are many benefits of the Apple Developer Program account such as:
- Submitting iOS apps to the App Stores on all Apple Platforms
- Developing Safari extensions and enlisting them in the extensions gallery
- Access to the Apple Softwares Beta Versions.
- Testing tools like TestFlight
- App analytics and advanced app capabilities
- Enabling app to store app data in iCloud
- Integrating social gaming in the app with Game Center
Creating an iTunes Connect App Record
iTunes Connect is a channel of web-based tools for the apps which are sold at the App Store for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other Apple devices. You can also manage the content on the iTunes store through it. You can use iTunes Connect to submit and manage the iOS applications as you are a member of the Apple Developer Program.
But first, you need to create a record on iTunes Connect before uploading the app. This is necessary for potential distribution through the App Store. The record will include all required information for managing the app through the distribution process and that appears in the App Store.
Configuration of App for distribution
You need to collect some information before submitting your app on the App Store. This information includes:
- Screenshots or App Preview
The icons of an app are tiny in size but play an important role in the success of your mobile application. It is the first thing by which the users’ encounters of your app. Henceforth, the icon of your app should be intimidating, beautiful, identifiable, and memorable. There are Human Interface Guidelines by Apple that you can use for designing the icon properly. The screenshots of the app are really insightful for the user to know your app. You can communicate with the users by using screenshots or by providing App previews. The previews can either be images or short video of your app which will display on the App Store product page.
The best strategy is to create 5 screenshots of the app and including one preview video. If the app is for multiple devices then you need to provide the screenshot of each device.
You also need to provide a detailed description of the app with relevant metadata which should include:
- App Name
- Version number
- App Category
- Detailed Description
- Relevant Keywords
The description of the app is also a major reason for the rejection of the app. The app owners find it as a way of marketing the app and focus on marketing rather than telling genuine information of the app. Anything in the description which is misleading, ambiguous, confusing can lead to the downfall of the app. Apple doesn’t want its user to feel cheated when they download an app.
Uploading the App
After following all the guidelines, now your app is ready to upload. Firstly you need to submit all the details of the app in iTunes Connect. To upload your app, you can use platforms such as Xcode or Application Loader. After creating the iTunes Connect record of your app, it would be reflected in the Activity section of “My Apps”.
You need to set the App status to “Prepare for Submission”. You can view and edit the app information on this page. To upload your app to iTunes Connect, in the Archives organizer select the archive you want to upload and click “Upload to App Store.”
The code would be sent to the servers of the Apple, and it would be verified for the validation. If anything goes wrong, there would be a submission failure. But you can leverage this error for fixing the issues before the Apple App Store team starts verifying it.
You should also use Apple’s Testflight before releasing the app. It is useful for distributing the beta versions to the testers.
The Apple team reviews every app of the App Store before the release. They approve the app for release if it follows all the specified guidelines. After the initial verification, the status of the app will get changed to Waiting for Review. The review team may take 1-3 days to verify your app. A thorough pre-submission process increases the chances that your app will not fail.
In the worst scenario, i.e. the review team rejects your app, then it doesn’t mean your all efforts went in vain. You can still communicate with the Apple team and resolve issues in the Resolution Center. You will get to know why your app gets rejected, or with which guideline your app doesn’t comply.
You can correspond with the Apple team through the Resolution Center until your next submission. You can also send attachments of supporting documents, screenshots, etc. in your replies.
When your app gets approved, you can choose whether you want a Manual release or an Automatic release. In the automatic release, there are several stages. This option is available if you are submitting an iOS version update and your app has one of the following statuses:
- Prepare for Submission
- Waiting for Review
- In Review
- Export Compliance Waiting
- Developer Release Pending
- Metadata Rejected
- Developer Rejected
In this option, the update would be released to a fraction of users which would be chosen randomly by Apple. In the manual release, you can click “Release your app” when the app is ready for end-users. Look for the green “Ready for Sale” version status, which may take from 1 hour to 1 day after release.
At Amplework Software, the best mobile application development company, we are having expertise in iOS app development which easily gets submitted at the App Store. Let us know your app requirements and we would adhere with you till it gets final release.