Submitting an app to the Apple App Store requires a fee which varies from one country to another. In the US, the fee is $99. So get started with your Mac system with the latest version of MacOS installed and a valid credit card for the app submission fee.
App developers would also need a trusted and reliable development software, like Xcode, that supports Apple. Users have the option to install Xcode software from the Mac App Store.
Note: We suggest that you try out your app on one or more iDevices in real-time before directly opting for submitting your app to Apple App Store.
In this guide, there will be information on how to sign up for Apple's iOS Developer Program, how to configure your iOS app, how to submit your first app to the app store, and how to generate different developer certifications.
How To Submit Your New App To Apple App Store
Step 1: Basic Requirements
- The iOS app for submission should be in line with Apple’s App Store guidelines.
- A valid Apple developer program account. The Apple Developer Enterprise Program here will not work.
- A system that can effectively run MacOS X.
- Should have programs, like Xcode and Keychain Access, installed.
Step 2: Gather All Information
When it comes to submitting your app, information is something that you can't afford to miss. This information also consists of several segments:
- App Name: The name of the iPhone application which will be displayed to the users.
- App Description: The description of the application mentioning the working and features of the app.
- Screenshots: As per our experts, you should include 2-5 screenshots for supported devices.
- App Icon: The icon that will be used on the Apple App Store to represent your iOS application. This image should be in PNG or JPG format and should have a minimum resolution of 72 DPI in the color space RGB. [Remember to not opt for layers or rounded corners in your icon]
- Keywords: Make sure you separate all the keywords with a comma.
- Categories: Choose the right category that syncs up with your audience. Also, the secondary category is optional.
- App Rating: As far as the rating is concerned, you should create a genuine questionnaire for the target audience.
- Marketing URL: This is an optional URL that consists of marketing information about your app.
- Support URL: This URL would consist of the support information related to your application.
- Demo Account: This will require the username and password for complete access over the app along with details for additional accounts.
- Copyright: Follow the 'YYYY Organization/Company Name' format.
Step 3: Make A Bundle Identifier
Here, Bundle Identifier represents the name of your iOS application that you are submitting to the Apple app store:
- Open your browser and navigate to Apple’s Developer Portal.
- The next step is for the user is to log in.
- Once logged in, click Identifiers.
- After that click the “+” in the top right of the system screen.
- Then appropriately name the App ID the same as your mobile application.
- Here, the user has to ensure that the Bundle Identifiers' ID follows the predefined naming format i.e. com.yourcompanyname.yourappname.
- Now check any App Services that you think your app needs, then click Continue.
- Verify if the services are correct, then click Submit.
Step 4: Initiate A Certificate Signing Request
These Certificate Signing Requests come quite handy for linking your system to your Apple app developer account:
- Start by opening a program known as KeyChain Access.
- Now, on the top left menu, click the Certificate Assistant.
- After that click the Request a Certificate From a Certificate Authority option. Fill out options like user email and common names.
- Check the Saved to Disk option and click Continue.
- The last step is to save the Certificate Signing Request for later.
Step 5: Generating An App Store Production Certificate
The Code Signing Certificates are utilized to link the iOS applications to your Apple developer's official account:
- Go to Apple’s Developer Portal through the browser.
- Now, click the Certificates option.
- With that, click the “+” in the top right of your system's screen.
- Next, click the App Store Production option.
- After that, select the App Store and Ad Hoc under the Production category and click Continue.
- At this point, you can upload the Certificate Signing Request that was created earlier.
- Now, app developers can directly download their generated Certificate.
- Make sure to install the certificate on your system by double-clicking to keep your newly created file safe.
Step 6: Creating A Production Provisioning Profile
Provisioning Profiles come packed with iPhone applications. This acts as a major convenience for the users as they can directly install them:
- As stated above, first navigate to Apple’s Developer Portal in your preferred browser.
- Now login and click the Provisioning Profiles option.
- Then click the “+” in the top right of your system screen.
- After selecting the App Store Distribution option, click Continue.
- Here, the user has to select the Bundle ID that was created by them earlier and click Continue.
- Then select the Certificate that was also generated previously and click Continue.
- The Profile Name should follow the standard naming format i.e. App Name App Store Distribution, then click Generate to download it
- Once downloaded, install the provision profile on your system by double-clicking it and saving it somewhere secure.
Step 7: Working On App Store Listing
Basically, in this step, we will be reserving a slot in the Apple App Store for the developed app, where the target audience can see it.
- First, open your browser and navigate to iTunes Connect for logging in.
- Then click My Apps.
- After that click the “+” in the top left of your system's screen.
- Once that is done, click “New iOS App”.
- Now choose the Bundle ID that was one created on Developer Portal earlier. Also, ensure that your SKU matches this Bundle ID.
- Lastly, move ahead and create the first version listing of your app.
Step 8: Go For Release Build
The app developers have to pack the binary that their app users will be uploading to the app store.
- Begin with Xcode.
- After starting Xcode, open the project or the application.
- Get all the versions and build numbers updated.
- Now open the Build Settings of the app. Here you have to make sure that ALL settings are selected here.
- Then scroll down to Code Signing and use the provision profile that you worked on earlier along with the code signing identity.
- Once that is done, move over to the top of the menu and select Generic iOS Device as the actual build destination. But remember to do so only if no actual device is connected to it.
- After clicking Distribute, sign in as your official Apple developer account to submit your app to the app store.
- Now, all you have to do is wait for the confirmation.
Step 9: Filling Up Version Details
This is the information that the users will see to decide whether or not to download your iOS application on their iPhones:
- Start by entering all your app information in the respective fields.
- Then select the build that you prefer to sync with the version. App developers can also fill in the pricing information at this step if any.
- Once the details are mentioned, click Save.
- We suggest double-checking the details entered to avoid any future errors.
Step 10: Submitting App For Review
Each and every app that gets submitted to the Apple app store is first reviewed by the experts from Apple's official team.
- Users have to first choose the release type that means they have the option to choose between manual release and automatic release.
- At this point, the iPhone app developer just has to wait for approval from Apple's side.
- This app review process usually ranges from 2 to 3 weeks before providing the option for new app submission.
- Just in case your app is not approved, make sure to review the notes in the Resolution Center section and work on the mentioned points. Once the changes are implemented, then go ahead and resubmit your iOS app.
The very last step is that of the release of the app, which is undoubtedly one of the most awaited steps by the app developers.
Here, if the user selects the Manual release option, they will get a Release option if their app is passed on by the team. In short, wait for the “Ready for Sale” status of the app.
(Note: This process might take 1 to 24 hours after the official release.)
Apple App Store Submission Checklist
Note: You Can’t Miss No. 4
Now that you have gone through the above-mentioned process of how to submit your iOS application to the Apple App Store, there is one last thing that you need to keep in mind i.e. the app store submission checklist:
- The app should contain up-to-date contact information.
- It is advised to add an official email address of the app development team.
- Do not submit your iOS App that is in its beta version to the App Store.
- Make sure your app is compatible with various iOS devices and not just iPhones.
- Your app details should consist of all essential fields like app description, app icon, app categories, etc.
- As per basic protocols, you should never ask the users to restart their devices.
- Applications that tend to create alternate desktop tabs get rejected by the Apple team.
- Only add transactions made in cryptocurrencies in your app if they are complying all the state as well as federal laws.
- Ensure that you do not copy the design of any other app that already exists.
- Do not make push notifications feature mandatory for your app to function properly.
- In case your app is discovering user passwords or private details, it will be removed by the Apple team.
- Your app should not encourage the illegal sharing of files.
- Avoid using a real entity name as a celebrity or brand name for your mobile app promotion.
We hope these Apple app store guidelines provide you with a better understanding of what goes behind the process of putting an app on the app store. Once the app is live you can then focus on opting for appropriate app store optimization services so that your app can perform amazingly in the market.
And in case, you still have any unanswered questions related to how to publish an app to the app store, feel free to comment in the section below and our team will get back to you at the earliest.
Arpit Business Development Head
He is responsible for marketing programs, brand management, and corporate sponsorships. He thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the company’s reach. Next to work, Shadow, his dog, immensely contributes to his happiness.