Last Updated on January 21, 2022

At last, after spending a lot in developing an iOS app, it’s time to roll it out before the world. 

As recorded in Q1 2021, being the second-largest app store, the Apple App Store is showcasing around 2.22 million apps available for iOS and constantly increasing with time. 

The App store targets offering the best experience to its end-users; that’s why every app arrives with tip standards and comes up with something new. The store wants its user to feel confident when it comes to safe app downloads.  

Well, it’s not an easy job to push a submit button, but not complicated either. 

Once you have built an app successfully all that remains is to submit it on the app store. We have come up with a step-by-step process of publishing an app to the Apple store. If followed in the right way, you will successfully upload your app for sure with seamless approval. 

Let’s start!

Things To Do Before You Upload Your App To The App Store

Before starting the process, first, let’s check the critical requirements your app needs to meet. 

Consider Technical Prerequisites

Let’s start with technical prerequisites. 

Sign Up for Apple Developer Account

Initially, you should start with enrollment in the  Apple Developer Program. The account will cost $99 annually. Apart from publishing your app, it will come with many benefits. 

apple developer program

App Build Submission To The App Store Connect

An app build is necessary before you submit your app for review.  

Note: You can upload the build using Xcode or Transporter. After App Store Connect processes the build, you can view it as a build resource. 

Fulfill Legal Prerequisites

The iOS app you upload to the App Store should follow all legal needs in all your chosen locations. 

Apple checks if the app fulfills the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. This license describes data usage and sharing agreements, data collection and storage, collecting data from kids, and health research data protection. 

The app should hold unique content that you create or have a license to use. 

Review The Official Guidelines

Apple takes special care of the app’s quality and app information that we see on the Product Page in the App Store. Your app should follow the guidelines of the App store relevant to the app submission process. 

How to Publish Your App on the App Store

Now, let’s start with uploading the app on the App store step by step. 

#1 Sign Up App Store Connect

Sign up for the Apple Developer Program

A website that gives access only after signing up, App Store Connect is your portal that helps you manage everything on the App Store. 

Apple Developer Program
Apple Developer Program

For Paid Apps

If the app you need to submit is a paid one, you must sign a contract covering payment terms.

For Free Apps

There is no such need. You can move further. 

#2. Prepare Your App for Submission

Prepare Your App for Submission

There are a few steps that you should take to make your app all set for submission. 

Follow the App Store Guidelines

You need to undergo an app certification process before uploading your app to the Apple App Store. If you want your app to go live, be sure it follows App Store guidelines

app store guidelines
App Store Review Guidelines

Test Your App & Fix Bugs if any

Moreover, your app should perform seamlessly and should be bug-free. If it crashes while the reviewer tests it, your app will not get a pass. 

While testing your app, let it undergo different conditions. Test it as if you are a hacker and try breaking it. 

#3. Create Your App Store Listing

Create Your App Store Listing

Go through the following processes to create your app store listing. 

Fill All Your App’s Information

For that, log in to App Store Connect.

To submit an app – 

  • To create a new app: 
create new app in app store connect

Go to 

My Apps menu > select ‘+’ option

To upload an update to your existing app, you will follow the same steps but select an existing app instead of adding a new one. 

Fill in the complete information relevant to your app that the store is asking for. 

Platforms: Select the platform your app supports. 

Name: Choose a name for your app (up to 30 characters) that the user will see. 

Primary Language: Choose the language that your app will use. 

Bundle ID: If your app builder is ready, select the same ID or choose from the app identifier registered in your developer account. 

SKU: The Stock Keeping Unit, an optional value that will help you if you want to connect your app sales with an internal SKU number being in use by your accounting. 

User Access: Specific whether your app is accessible to any specific groups of people or every member in your App Store Connect organization. 

After filling all the mandatory fields, tap onto the ‘Create’ button, which will take you to the Product Page.

Provide URL to Your App’s Privacy Policy

Next, add the URL of your app’s privacy policy. 

app privacy policy

You can include all the necessary details relevant to your app’s privacy practices, incorporating third-party partners’ practices the code you can integrate into your application. 

These details notify the app privacy label on the App Store product page and are necessary for submitting new apps and the app updates to the App store. 

Decide your App’s Pricing

Decide what pricing you will schedule for your app. 

Decide Your App’s Versions Release 

Next, you can decide which option you want to choose to release your app’s version after it passes the certification process. 

Manually: You will have to go to App Store Connect and release the version.

Immediately: It releases once it passes certification. 

On a Specific Date: After it passes certification, it gets released on a particular date. 

In-App Purchases

Here you can define everything relevant to in-app purchases, if your app will facilitate users to buy virtual products, such as access to features, points, and other content. 

Four types of In-App Purchases are there:

  • Consumable
  • Non-Consumable
  • Auto-Renewable Subscription
  • Non-Renewing Subscription

#4. Make & Upload Your App Store Screenshots

Make & Upload Your App Store Screenshots

You can follow distinct ways to create your screenshots as per screenshot specifications by Apple.

app screenshot specifications
Use a Mock-Up Template

For this, you will need some tools. 

Before that, you will need some graphic design software, like:

  • Sketch
  • Figma
  • Adobe Photoshop

Next, you need to design mockups. 

You can use free mockups generator to device mockups, like FluidUI, Moqups, AppCooker, and more. You can try portrait or landscape orientations. Next, you can import that into the graphics program and append whatever text you like. 

Raw Screenshots

The easiest and fastest way to publish your app in the iOS simulator is to navigate to the screen you want to take a screenshot, and then on your keyboard, hit CMD+S. 

It will place a PNG image file on your desktop. You just need to upload that to your App Store Connect!

Use an App Store Screenshot Generator

One more way to make the process of making screenshots easy and smooth, you can try various tools available in the market, like Davinci apps, Shotbot, etc.

Upload Your App Store Screenshots

You just need to go to your app store listing (we created earlier) and upload your screenshots created in our last step. 

#5. Submit Your App to App Store

Submit Your App to App Store using Xcode

For that, you should make sure that your app is running as expected and is error-free.

After that, in Xcode, you should set up your Signing and Team information. 

Also, you should ensure that your app’s version is set to 1.0.0 in case you are submitting a new app. On the contrary, if you publish an update, don’t forget to increase the build version. 

Publishing: 

You can use Xcode 11 to publish your app easily. It makes you free from various jobs you needed to perform earlier, like for profiles, certificates, and more. Xcode is intelligent and holds the caliber to conduct such steps by itself. 

To create a complete archive, you should first pick the Generic iOS Device from the simulators’ list. 

Go to – 

Product > Archive

And, next, allow it to bundle your application. The size of your app will decide how much time this process will take. 

After it’s done, you will see the Archive window from where you can manage the entire archives that Xcode has generated. 

Whenever you pick Archive in the menu, Xcode will bundle a new archive for your App Store Connect. 

You can delete the old bundles or duplicates from the list, if any. 

Next, select the archive and pick Distribute App. It will show you various distribution methods you can choose, like iOS App Store, Ad Hoc, Enterprise, and Development.

After choosing iOS App Store, they will start with checks and validations to ensure your app is not broken. 

If everything goes well, it’s good, but if something happens in between, Xcode will store you and take you back to coding or appending missing assets. 

If Xcode finds everything perfect with the archive, the upload process will constantly run. The time it takes to complete the uploading of the app will rely on the archive size and the speed of your internet connection.

Once it’s done, a final window will appear with a message, 

“App “LOSTLocations” successfully uploaded.” 

Now, your app needs to go halfway to get published on the iOS App Store. 

#6. Submit You App for Review

Submit You App for Review

Now, you need to append the build you exported from Xcode. Xcode receives the archive, but App Store Connect will take some time to process it. 

That’s all!

On the top-right corner of your screen, choose the Save button, and next, you will see the ‘Submit for Review’ button that will turn blue.

Before that, a couple of questions will emerge on the screen that you need to answer and press the ‘Submit’ button.

#7. Go Live!

Go Live with your ios app

Now, your app will join the waiting list for the review team and Apple’s certification. It will show a yellow color tag. 

Earlier, this review process used to take 1-2 weeks, but today it only gets closed within 3-4 days only. Moreover, an app update finishes faster. 

After the approval, you will receive an email. 

Voila!

If Rejected

Before resubmitting, you will need to make important fixes. 

With App Store Connect, you can communicate with Apple for any queries. Moreover, if you believe your app is unfairly rejected, raise an issue and submit an appeal. 

Most apps face rejections because of their poor performance. So, you need to be sure that your app is bug-free and performs as expected. You can use a bug reporting tool like Firebase, Crashlytics, Xcode, and more to perform beta testing to decrease the chance of your app rejection. 

If Approved

Now, you can view your app’s sales, downloads, ratings, and reviews directly in App Store Connect. 

App Store Submission Checklist

  • Test Your App
  • Review App Store guidelines
  • Add your app’s details, like name, category, and more
  • Create your app’s screenshots and upload
  • Register for the Apple Developer Program
  • Setup your iTunes Connect Account
  • Prepare your app for distribution
  • Upload your app
  • Submit your app for review

Conclusion

The app publishing process may look complicated, but you might have changed your thoughts about that after reading this post. 

You just need to be all set with the required resources to successfully upload an app to the App Store. You can also read our post on publishing an app on the Google Play store for capturing the audience using android devices.

As for the development part, Emizentech is a leading app development company providing services globally.

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Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!