How to put an app on the App Store?
You’ve created an awesome smartphone app, and now it’s time to put it on the Apple App Store. If you’re asking, ‘how do I get my application on the App Store?’ we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help.
When you’ve developed a mobile app, it’s important to make sure as many people download it as possible. The Apple App Store is one of the best ways to get your brand new app noticed.
With over 118 million iPhone users in the US alone, uploading your app to App Store means more eyes on your app, more revenue, and more eyes on your business.
If you’re new to the world of app development, you might not be sure how to get your mobile application on the Apple Store and have a lot of questions.
Do you have to pay to submit an app? How long does the process take from start to end? What happens if my app gets rejected? There are a lot of things to consider.
However, with a bit of help from us, you’ll be publishing apps like a pro in no time at all!
Read on to find out more about the process, and remember, if you need a little extra support to get your application on the App Store, we’d be more than happy to help.
- What is the App Store?
- Does the App Store charge a commission?
- Can I publish my app on the Apple Store for free?
- How do you put an app on the Store?
- In summary: Uploading your app to the App Store is easier than you might think
What is the App Store?
The App Store is Apple’s application marketplace, where developers can sell the apps they have created.
Launched in 2008, the Apple Store is now home to nearly 2 billion apps for iPhones and iPads. You can find everything from platform games and productivity apps.
Customers can either search directly for the application they want to download, or alternatively, the Apple Store can suggest apps that it thinks they would like.
App Store is installed by default on all iPhones and iPads and is the only means of downloading apps. This means you have a captive audience, ready to find out more about your smartphone app.
Does the App Store charge a commission?
The App Store charges a 30% commission on all apps sold through the store. This commission also applies to any in-app purchases that are made through your app.
You may be eligible for the App Store’s Small Business Programme, which means you pay a reduced commission rate of 15%. To qualify, you need to have earned less than $1 million in proceeds from the App Store the previous year.
Can I publish my app on the Apple Store for free?
The bad news is you have to sign up for Apple’s Developer Program to submit an application to the Apple Store. This costs $99 for one year.
(As an aside, you can publish your app on the Google Play store for a one-off fee of $25.)
The good news is when you register, you can upload as many apps as you like. You also get access to a lot of testing tools, Beta versions of Apple software, and app analytics. We’ll talk about some of them in more detail later in this article.
If you’re a non-profit or government organization that is only planning to distribute free apps, you may be able to get a waiver, meaning you can use Apple’s Development Program free of charge.
Why does Apple charge this fee? Quality control.
If people could upload apps for free, the Store would be flooded with poor quality and cookie-cutter apps. Even worse, people could upload malicious apps that could potentially be used to steal users’ data. The $99 developer fee shows that you have a legitimate business interest in creating an app.
If you’re not keen on spending $99 to publish an app, think of it as a return on investment. If you charge 99 cents per download, once Apple has taken its 30% commission, all you need is 150 downloads to break even.
How do you put an app on the Store?
So, what do you do if you want to put an application on the App Store?
Here’s what you need to know to make your smartphone app available for download as quickly as possible.
1. Sign up for the Apple Developer Program
As we mentioned above, you need to be signed up for the Apple Developer Program to submit your app to the App Store. You’ll need to also create an Apple ID if you don’t already have one — this is free of charge.
You need to keep your Apple Developer Program membership active to keep your application on the App Store. If you cancel your subscription, your app will no longer be available to download.
2. Test your app thoroughly
Before the next stage, you need to test your app thoroughly. You need to test for crashes and bugs and make sure all links are working — don’t be afraid to try and break your app!
Try testing it where there is poor mobile phone reception as well as on an older device. You want to make sure it works well in all circumstances and not just on the shiniest, newest iPhones.
As part of the Developer Program, Apple offers a program called TestFlight which you can use to invite users to test your app before it launches. You can invite up to 10,000 people to try your app and give you feedback, both inside and outside your business.
It also pays to keep checking your application after it’s made it to the Apple Store. If Apple thinks it’s buggy or gets too many complaints about it, it will be removed.
3. Submit your app to the App Store
When you’re happy that your app is good to go, you need to create your listing. You can do this by accessing App Store Connect with your Apple ID.
Once you’ve logged in, go to My Apps, and click on the blue plus button. You’ll then be allowed to register your app.
Think about your description carefully! You’ll want to top load your description, so the most critical information is at the start, as only the first three sentences are visible by default. This short guide to creating great app descriptions is really useful.
You’ll need to define an age rating for your app if there is swearing, violence, or sexual content. Be honest here if your opinion doesn’t match that of the tester, your app could be rejected.
Next, you need to decide whether you want your app to be launched manually, automatically, or on the date of your choice.
As part of the submission process, you’ll need to provide and upload examples of screenshots for all devices that are compatible with your app, including the Apple Watch. These screenshots will be shown to prospective customers so they can see how your app looks and feels before they buy.
Finally, you need to ‘select a build’ — this means you need to upload the freshly-tested code for your app. From April 2022, all code needs to be built in Xcode which again, comes with your Apple Developer Program Membership.
Then all you have to do is wait.
4. Understand how the review process works
So your app has been submitted… what next?
The App Store has a very thorough submission process, and it’s definitely worth giving the App Store review guidelinesa read before you start to submit your app.
Before your app can go live on the App Store, Apple’s team of moderators will vet it. If they think it is unusable, misleading, or unsuitable, it will be rejected.
How long does the review process take? It depends.
In our experience, it can take anything from 12 hours to four days — Apple advises that 50% of apps are reviewed in 24 hours, and 90% are reviewed in 48 hours. You can request an expedited review in extenuating circumstances; however, Apple doesn’t have to honor your request.
You can see how things are progressing in Apple Store Connect at any time.
Once it’s done…
Once it’s done, you’ll get a notification saying whether your app has passed or failed submission.
If all is good, congratulations! You’ve successfully put an application on the App Store! Depending on whether you choose automatic or manual release, it will either appear straight away, or you’ll have to make it live yourself.
If your app is rejected, you’ll be told why this is the case. You can then make the changes and request another review or submit an appeal if you think the reviewers made a mistake.
In our experience, most apps are rejected because of performance issues. Thoroughly testing for bugs and carrying out Beta testing will increase the chances of your app passing the first time around.
The good news is that if you need to update your app, the process is not as long. Just select the app you want to update, click the plus sign, and you’ll be given the option to upload new code and amend your descriptions.
In summary: Uploading your app to the App Store is easier than you might think
If you’ve asked the question: ‘how do I get my application on the Apple Store?’ we hope this blog has given you the answers you were looking for.
There may seem like a lot of steps to take to put an app on the Apple App Store. However, it’s a reasonably pain-free experience, and the great thing is, once you’ve done it once, you know the process for next time.
Follow the guidance, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and make sure you test your app before submitting it for approval, and you should be okay.
As long as your application is innovative, high-quality, and has been thoroughly tested, Apple will do what it can to help you upload it to the Apple Store.
In mid-May 2022, nearly 7,000 new apps went live in the space of a week, so the odds of getting to the App Store are promising!
Want to know more about app development and building a smartphone app everyone wants to use? Why not take a look at these articles?
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- How to find mobile application development consulting
- Lean startup in healthcare app development
- How to launch a car rental app with lean startup methodology
- How to use lean startup in fitness app development
- Six steps to building a mobile app startup
- Top ten tips for hiring mobile app developers for your startup