How To Submit Your App To the App Store in 4 Steps

The process of building your app seems like the most challenging step until everything is done and you run into the next milestone – delivering it to the users. If you want to submit your app to the App Store and gain access to 1.4 billion Apple devices around the world, you have to follow certain rules and guidelines. 

App Store currently has more than 1.8 million apps, and this number keeps growing, albeit much slower compared to the Google Play store. However, this doesn’t mean you should give up on Apple, particularly if your app belongs to its most popular categories such as gaming, business, education, lifestyle, and entertainment. 

Here are the steps you need to take to submit your app to the App store.

1. Prepare with the iOS 12.2 SDK

This is the step you’ve probably been aware of as you were building your app. Since March 2019, if you want to submit your app to the App Store, you have to build it with the iOS 12.1 SDK or any newer version.  It has to support the all-screen design of iPhone XS Max or the iPad Pro of the third generation. This also includes optimizing for the latest features, making changes in memory accounting, as well as updating compatibility.

Your app needs to be up to date with the latest iOS devices, including iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, the 11-inch iPad Pro, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. You will make sure of that by updating your information property list with the latest requirements. You can also repeat this every time you update your app. 

The final step before going to the app store should be testing. App Store recommends that you test with the simulator in Xcode 10.2.

In order to use the required software and later submit your app to the App Store, you need to be a member of the Apple Developer Program.

2. Create an App Store Connect account

The Apple ID you have from the developer program is a way to sign in to App Store Connect – mind it, this ID cannot be simultaneously used for distributing music, movies, books or for business management. 

Once you sign in, you can assign roles to various team members. You can control their access to developers tools and the actions their accounts can perform. Keep in mind that onboarding your team is not possible if you enroll in the developer program as an individual user. 

3. Add and Test Your App 

Adding your app to the App Store takes a few preparatory steps with your account. First, you have to sign the Paid Applications agreement and add your company’s contact information, as well as tax and banking details. All developers need to submit the U.S. tax forms, and there are also specific forms for Australia, Canada, Japan, and Brazil.

Once you settle this, you can start adding information about your app, including description, keywords, up to 10 screenshots, as well as pricing plans. Make sure this information is clear, informative, and enticing. Take special care to upload good screenshots – these are the first things your future users will see.

Upload the app utilizing Xcode or Application Loader. This does not mean your app goes public – it is only available in the Activity section until you choose what to do next – test or publish it.

App Store also offers one extra feature prior to the release of your app – beta testing it with TestFlight. This feature enables you to upload a beta version of your app and invite up to 10,000 testers. You can do this via email invitation or sharing a public link to the app.

Keep in mind that the app you submit for review and, ultimately, to the App Store, has to be final, tested, stable version with all required metadata and functional URLs. Messy submission or a buggy app will result in rejection and prolonging the release.

4. Submit the App for Review

Once everything is ready for release, it is time to submit your app for review. If you want to make sure this process goes as smooth as possible, you need to be aware of some App Store’s basic guidelines and requirements.

App Store has detailed, clearly outlined safety guidelines, so your app should not contain any content that is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, risks physical harm, intended to disgust, in exceptionally poor taste, or just plain creepy. This is particularly important for apps with user-generated content, where you need to provide a mechanism for managing this content. This includes filtering, reporting, and deleting objectionable content. 

Apps that belong in the Kids category have a specific set of guidelines. They cannot include external links, purchases, distractions, third-party advertising or analytics. 

All apps have to operate in line with legal requirements regarding users’ privacy, collection, and handling of their information. Your app also has to comply with any relevant legal requirements in every country where the app is available.

It goes without saying that your app has to be original. Also, the App Store puts a special focus on sleek, innovative app design. Finally, the app you submit to the App Store has to be more than just a “repackaged website”. It needs to be useful, unique and have a clear value proposition. 

You can find more details about the App Store’s requirements here

Conclusion

Once you submit your app for review, it will take some time to have it vetted. The status of the review process will be updated in your App Store Connect account. In general, gaming, gambling, and lottery apps are likely to take the most time for review, since these are the most heavily regulated content in the App Store.

In case you are running on a tight schedule, you can request an expedited review. Once your app has been reviewed and approved, keep in mind that it will go public on the date you set for release. Also, it will take around one day for the app to appear on all storefronts. 

Finally, submitting is not where your work ends. Your app needs to go through regular updates, which you can set and manage using your existing App Store Connect account. Apps that do not keep up can end up removed from the App Store – so don’t let all the hard work go to waste. 

All you need to do is give us a call or simply fill in the below form – we will take it from there

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