Learning how to submit an app to the app store is necessary to secure total control over the submission process, improvements, and app updates submission. The Apple app store is a great platform to present digital products to a user base that loves technological innovation and is willing to pay for the digital experience.
If you think a ready-for-innovation customer base is not the reason enough to make your app live on the App Store, Business of Apps statistics suggest that 65% of all app revenue comes from the Apple app store. It means having a live app on the Apple app store would open up promising opportunities for your brand.
12 Steps to Get App on App Store
Follow every step described below to understand how to publish an app to the app store and increase the approval chances of your app on the Apple app store.
Gather Essential App Data
The primary step of how to upload an app to App Store is making note of all the information required to start the app submission process on the store, such as –
Prepare captivating and easy-to-read screenshots of your app MVP feature on every supported device. In case your app supports multiple languages, it would be a good idea to showcase this USP in the screenshot as well.
App Name & Icon
Have a catchy name for the app to display on the app store and customize your app icon for different iOS devices and in JPG or PNG format.
The next part of answering how to get an app on the app store lies in describing the application. What your app is about, what it provides, and how the app meets user needs. Stick to these points in the app description and keep it concise as possible since the app store word limit is 45 characters.
Have all keywords relevant to the product/services of your app before you publish an iOS app. Try to include relevant yet trendy ones to make an impact.
Customers that purchase the app can see the support URL. This URL must lead to the contact details of the app owner/manager, whom they can contact for app functionality errors, feedback, and update suggestions.
Determine one or multiple categories for your app on the Apple app store. For example, Business, Navigation, Education, and Finance.
Create a full-access demo account for your app if it has log-in functionality. You can delete it once the app store review process is complete.
You will need some OS X-specific programs to submit your app on the Mac. The person in charge of app store submissions will need to acquire, create, and access all these programs for app submission.
Apple Developer Program Account
A private and secure iOS developer account is essential to build and submit the app with advanced functionalities and global compatibility.
The Bundle ID is a unique identifier that represents your app in the Apple ecosystem.
You will need to acquire the latest version of Xcode on your OS X device to deploy an iOS App.
Testflight is a program that helps you test your new app build or updates before you submit them. It speeds up client approval, team feedback, and improvements.
Set Up a Developer Program Account
Join the Apple Developer Program (Costs $99 per year) to apply to the App Store. You can click here to get started now. You can also learn how to upload an app to the app store with the tools and guidance provided by the developer program.
App Developer Program includes:
- App Development/Distribution Tools and Resources
- Comprehensive Solutions for Advanced Features
- App Testing Tools
- Access to Apple Beta Software Program
- Technical Support
- Analytics Tools for the App
You can check out the app developer program benefits to learn about all you get from a developer account.
Create a Bundle Identifier
The bundle identifier is the unique representation of your app through its name and is displayed on the app store/iOS devices.
Follow these steps to create a bundle identifier:
- Go to Apple’s developer portal.
- Log in.
- Click on Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles Certificates.
- Then click on Identifiers.
- Click on the + sign with a blue background beside the Identifiers.
- Click on App Group and then on Continue.
- Create a Description and Identifier for the app.
For example, if your domain name is AIToday and your app name is FinTech, the identifier should be group.com.aitoday.fintech.onesignal.
- Click on “Continue” after creating the description and identifier.
- Then repeat the 3rd, 4th, and 5th steps.
- Click on “App IDs’’ this time and Continue.
- Select the type App and Continue.
- Fill in the app “Description” section.
- Choose “Explicit” and create the bundle ID in the Bundle ID section.
For example, if your domain name is AIToday and your app name is FinTech, the bundle ID should be com.aitoday.fintech.
- Scroll down to see the section with small boxes you will have to tick on if they are required.
- In this instance, you can click on App Groups, Associated Domains, Push Notifications, and Sign in With Apple and Continue.
- Then click on “Register.
Create Distribution Provisioning Profile
A distribution provisioning profile is required to distribute your app to beta testers/users through the App Store. You can simplify this process by using Xcode.
Here‘s a detailed guide for your convenience:
- Add your developer program account to Xcode.
- Select Xcode from the top and then click on Preferences.
- Click on Accounts, + sign, and Add Apple ID consecutively.
- Use the same Apple ID and password as for the Apple Developer Program.
- Click Sign In.
- Enable automatic signing.
- Pick a target from the Project Editor and click on General.
- Scroll down to the Signing section and click on the triangle icon.
- Click on the box Automatically manage signing.
- Choose your team.
Create a Certificate Signing Request (Code Signing)
Code signing with a certificate issued by Apple, assures users that your app comes from a known and trustworthy source.
- Open KeyChain Access.
- Click on Certificate Assistant in the top left menu.
- Click on Request a Certificate From a Certificate Authority.
- Enter the email address and the app name.
- Select Saved to Disk, and click on Continue.
- Save the Certificate Signing Request.
Create an App Store Connect Listing for Your App
What is App Store Connect and how it works is something you must understand before you get to the process of uploading your product. You generally use App Store Connect for multiple tasks such as app management, distribution, testing, accepting legal agreements, or checking financial reports. Here you can learn how to create the listing according to app store listing guidelines:
- Log in to App Store Connect.
- Click on My Apps from the App Store Connect Dashboard.
- Click the “+” sign in the top left corner and select New App.
- Choose the app platform.
- Add other required App information like app name, platform, primary language, user access, and bundle ID.
- Then click on Create.
- Click on App Information from the left panel. Add the required information and determine app content and age rating.
- Then click on Pricing and Availability to add the pricing for your app, free trials, and when and where it will be available to customers.
- Click on Prepare for Submission and scroll through the Version Release section to determine the app release strategy after the app certification process.
Steps to Follow For Paid Applications
Submitting a paid app will require you to sign a contract that defines the payment terms of your app.
- Begin by clicking on Agreements, Tax, and Banking on the App Store Connect dashboard.
- Under Request Contracts, click on Request.
- Carefully read and review the agreement and check the box to agree with the terms.
- Click on “Submit.
- Open the Contact Info Column under the Contracts in Process section, and click on Set Up.
- Then click on Add New Contact to fill in your information.
- Click Set Up and Add Bank Account under Contracts In Process in the Bank Info column.
- Click on Set Up in the column of Tax Info to fill in the mandatory U.S. Tax Form. Choose and fill in other countries’ tax forms as per your requirements.
The contract status will show Processing once you complete this process. It will be under Contracts in Effect within an hour after Apple verifies your information.
Create a Product Page
The product page must include descriptive yet to-the-point information about your app. This information explains the App USPs to users and why they should download and use it.
The three sections on the Product Page are iOS App, General, and In-App Purchases.
You have to include information about the current version of the about and confirm whether it is a new version or an update.
App Store screenshots
You can upload up to ten screenshots to represent the USPs of your app.
App Preview Video
You can add a short video to show app functionality, UI/UX, or achievements. Increase the reach with a multilingual app preview video.
This section must include information that customers need to know about your app to understand why they need it and can benefit from it.
Choose a mixture of relevant and trendy keywords to make it easier for customers to find your app.
The supported URL is to provide users assistance directly from you. It is also mandatory for iPhone apps with a website for the same products/services offered on the app.
The URL where consumers may obtain marketing information about the app.
App Age Rating
You will have to provide answers to Apple about adult content like nudity or violence in your app. Then Apple will determine the appropriate age group rating for your app.
Add a company or individual that currently owns the copyrights to the app.
This section includes locations where your app is available for use. For example, creating a food delivery app requires the selection of regions where customers can order from your app and get their food delivered.
You will have to complete sections like App Clip, iMessage App, and Apple Watch only if your app includes these functionalities.
Information for App Review
You have to provide all the required information like contact details and access to Apple for the review process of a new app or an update.
App Release Options
Determine how and when you will release the app on the iOS app store.
Manual: Go to the App Store Connect and Release.
Immediate: The app will be released quickly after app store approval and certification by Apple.
Fixed Date: You can provide a specific date on which you wish to publish the app if it passes certification.
Pricing and Availability
This page should contain details about the price the customer will pay to access and use your app. You will need to include information regarding the availability of your app in one or multiple countries/regions.
This section must include information about in-app purchases like access to advanced features or a premium account with multiple benefits (For example, an ad-free account).
In-App Purchases include:
- Auto‑Renewable Subscriptions
- Non‑Renewing Subscriptions
Test Your App, Identify Bugs, and Fix
Testing your app is a requirement you have to create for yourself. You can use tools like Testflight to help with the process as it makes it easy to identify unusual bugs and test the app in various compatible and incompatible settings.
Your team can improve the app and ensure the final version is the best of itself with a well-planned testing process. On a long-term level, you may have to fix various minor bugs in your app with updates and inform the Apple review team about every new bug fix and improvement.
Upload the App Build
The latest Apple app store submission requirement enforces the use of Xcode for all iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS app submissions. The Xcode comes with SDKs for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8.
You can follow the steps mentioned below to upload the app build using Xcode:
- You must upload the app build using Xcode to submit it for review.
- Choose Generic iOS Device for deployment in Xcode.
- Select Product from the top and click on the Archive option.
- Select your app build once the Xcode organizer launches.
- Click on Upload to App Store.
- Select your credentials.
- Click on Choose.
- Then click on Upload.
Submit Your App for Review
Ensure that all the steps mentioned are carried out correctly and recheck every small detail to ensure that the app you submit for review includes everything it requires.
- Find the Build section in your app’s App Store Connect record.
- Choose the Build you uploaded using Xcode.
- You will then have to answer Advertising identifier questions, Export Compliance, and Content Rights.
- You can click on Submit after that.
- Then the app’s status will be Waiting For Review.
Remember to meet all the requirements stated by the App Store guidelines to increase your chances of approval.
Monitor the Review Status
According to Apple, its team reviews 90% of app submissions within 24 hours on average. Every app has its products, services, functionality, and UI/UX that require a specific review process by Apple to determine its eligibility for the app store. In cases of complex apps, the review process can take 24 hours to 3 days or even some weeks.
You can request an accelerated review process if you have to plan the launch of your app on a specific date.
Approval and Rejection
You can check the approval or rejection of your app in your App Store Connect. Apple will also notify you with an email.
The app will be available to find on the app store after approval and launch. You can start checking downloads, ratings and reviews, analytics, payments, and in-app purchases in App Store Connect a few days after the launch.
App rejection can occur due to bugs, unfinished apps, poor functionality, broken hyperlinks, and false or misleading information. You can go to the Resolution Center in App Store Connect to get any queries regarding rejection. Apple also provides a chance for you to submit an appeal and make your case if the reasons for App rejection are not fair.
App performance testing, user feedback, and improvements help prevent rejection.
Benefits of Having Your App on the Apple App Store
The Apple app store has a trustworthy reputation among the global app user base. It is known to provide apps that conform to all Apple standards of security and privacy. The effect of this has been that the number of non-game apps on the store reached 3.593 million by June 2021.
Unlimited Hosting and Bandwidth
The Apple app store comes with hosting and bandwidth for all apps, updates & bug fixes, and in-app purchases, for both paid and free apps.
Multiple Payment Methods
Your customers can pay with credit/debit cards, digital wallets like PayPal or Stripe, and iTunes gift cards on the app store. The payments increase, decrease, and vary by different regions. It helps you increase the reach of your app and take it global.
Apple has a strict verification protocol to ensure that every user is authentic and pays the necessary amount for a paid app.
Assistance with Tax and Copyrights
The Apple app store assists with tax-related activities and obligations in over 60 regions. They also monitor and protect your app copyrights in the store.
Tools like TestFlight and Apple Search Ads
The Apple developer program enrollment comes with tools like TestFlight and Apple Search Ads. You can use TestFlight to test your app build according to your requirements ensuring that the app performance is good enough to submit for review. These tools make the testing process a lot easier for app developers for iPhone.
Apple Search Ads helps put your app at the top of search results.
Multiple Revenue Models
The app stores support eight revenue models for different types. These models include:
- Free with Ads
- Free with Physical Goods and Services
- Free with In-app Purchases
- Free with Subscription
Knowing the early impact of your paid app or the results of your marketing strategy for launch becomes easy with the pre-order option included in the app store. Users can pre-order and have the app automatically downloaded to their device once it is released.
Multiple Platform Availability
You can optimize your app to make it compatible with multiple devices such as Apple Watch, Apple TV, iOS, iPad, and Mac while submitting it to the app store. Compatibility with more devices means more users, usage, and revenue.
Also check – Latest Innovative Mobile App Design Trends
App submission to the Apple app store is easy, but increasing the app approval chances in the Apple store will take dedicated effort from your side. Our experts at Ailoitte can help you with both. We do not just answer how to create an app for iOS, but also make an app that goes on to get featured on the store.
We can help you with the time-consuming app store submission process from beginning to end. Our team can also help you deliver an app that will have a great chance of getting approved by Apple. iOS developers at Ailoitte are up-to-date with every new trend and requirement in the Apple development program. Get in touch with us to facilitate the best iOS app development or submission process.
Frequently Asked Questions
You need a team of developers to create an app and test it to make sure it can perform well and get approved on the app store. Contact Ailoitte for further details.
The Apple app review process usually takes 24 hours, but it can increase from days to weeks for different types of apps. The approval depends on your app functionality, UI/UX, data authenticity, and overall performance.
Join the Apple Developer Program to submit your app to the Apple store. The program subscription costs 99 USD per year.
Exceptional app functionality, UI/UX, data authenticity, and performance factors of app store listing optimization will ensure quick approval from Apple. Factors like bugs, unfinished apps, poor functionality, broken hyperlinks, and false or misleading information will lead to rejection.
Yes, Apple will reject your app if it does not meet the standards and requirements of the App Store. You can read App Store Review Guidelines to avoid rejection.
Common reasons for app rejections on Apple are bugs, unfinished apps, poor functionality, broken hyperlinks, and false or misleading information.
Ailoitte is one of the industry-leading mobile app development companies with more than 6+ years of experience.