Releasing an app is a big step forward for any business. While it may seem daunting, it isn’t as hard as it may seem. The two major platforms that developers release their apps on are Google Play Store and Apple App Store. This article help to inform you about how you can release an app on the Apply App Store.
Apple App Store
Below is a broad step by step guide to publishing your app through the Apple App Store.
- Ensure your app follows Apple’s App Store Guidelines
Apple has some pretty strict App Store guidelines. Before you submit your application, make sure that your app adheres to Apple’s Guidelines. These guidelines apply to all developers, and any breach can lead to the removal of your app or an app store ban. The five main categories of the app store guidelines include: Safety, Performance, Design, Business and Legal.
Apple places an importance on safety when it deals with apps published through its App Store. Apple aims to ensure their customers trust that the apps they install are safe. Apple does not want any app to contain upsetting or offensive content, and ensure the app won’t damage the user’s device or be likely to cause physical harm from its use.
Apple has an extensive policy surrounding the safety of its apps. If you have any concerns with your app, then we recommend you getting in touch with the Apple App Store team to discuss the content of your app.
Apps will need to meet certain functionality requirements, including adhering to Apple software requirements, inclusion of metadata information and the app being able to be operated on Apple’s iPad devices.
An app’s business model should either be obvious or explained in the app’s metadata, and App Review notes. Pricing is up to the developer but must not be irrationally high or be a clear copy of another existing app. Any user review manipulation (such as paid/fake/incentivised reviews) may lead to expulsion from the Apple Developer Program.
Apple’s payment guidelines are particularly stringent, so we recommend that you familiarising yourself with Apple’s policies and procedures to ensure that you don’t accidentally breach any and find yourself banned from the platform.
Apple has certain minimum design standards when it comes to its apps. Your app must meet these standards to be accepted into the App Store for release. Apps should continue to work after they have been downloaded by users, including being regularly updated in line with Apple’s software requirements as they change. Apps that no longer work or offer a degraded experience may be removed from the App Store at any time. If your app hosts or contains extensions to other websites or platforms, then these must comply with Apple’s App Extension Programming Guide or the Safari App Extensions Guide.
Apps must comply with all the relevant legal requirements in any location that it is available, this may include ensuring that your app has the necessary terms and conditions of use by its users accepted upon downloading the app.
- Join Apple’s Developer Program
The next step is to register for the Apple Developer Program. The program uses a yearly subscription model depending on whether you are an individual or legal entity:
- Private Individuals or Legal Entities: $99.00 USD per year.
- Development Teams: $299.00 USD per year.
You will have to create an iTunes Connect Account to be able to manage your app on the App Store, as well as any content on the iTunes Store. Apps will be submitted through the Development Program. To do this, you will need to sign into the App Store Connect with the Apple ID that you used to enrol in Apple’s Developer Program.
- Collate app information and upload
Once you have created all the necessary accounts with Apple, you should begin assembling the following information about your app and prepare it to be uploaded to the Apple Development Program platform. Typically, the information required at this juncture is as follows:
- Pricing details
- Support URL
- Marketing URL (optional)
- App Icon
- A Category (can include a second category)
- Demo Account (a full-access account for the app).
- Create a Bundle Identifier, Production Provisional Profile and a Distribution Certificate
These are all profiles and identifiers that Apple uses to identify your app and allows your users to do the same. A bundle identifier is used to uniquely identify your app. No two apps have the same bundle ID. The bundle ID will typically be your reverse domain name.
The Provisional Profile and Distribution Certificate allow your app to be distributed to users. You will need these before you upload your app for final testing and release.
- Upload you App
Once you have the appropriate certificates, you can upload your app to the App Store through the iTunes Connect dashboard ready for final review. This upload requires you to upload the release build which users will download from the store.
- Submit the Version for Review
All apps uploaded to the App Store will be reviewed and approved by Apple. You need to change the release type within the iTunes Connect platform to submit your app to Apple for this final approval. Please be aware that the approval process takes between two to three weeks. If your app was not approved, review the feedback and make any changes that Apple requires.
- Release Your App!