Tips for Submitting an iOS app to the App Store

Tips for Submitting an iOS app to the App Store

Tips for Submitting

The following tips come directly from the Apple site here and from the iTunes Connect Apple Developer Guide.

Reqs for the Binary App

  • The binary must be a zipped file, and pass a code sign check upon upload in iTunes Connect

App Metadata in Info.plist File

  • The App Store requires that you provide metadata about your application before submitting it. While most of this metadata is specified using the iPhone Developer Program Portal, the process for selecting device-related dependencies in iTunes Connect is no longer available.
  • Instead, if your app relies on features that are specific to a device, such as the compass on iPhone 3GS, add the UIRequiredDeviceCapabilities key to your app’s Info.plist file to indicate the specific hardware feature required.
  • The UIRequiredDeviceCapabilities key in your app’s Info.plist file tells iPhone OS that your app can only be launched on a device with specific features and provides the App Store with a list of device requirements so users don’t download applications that they cannot run.

The Importance of App Name and Icon Consistency

  • It’s important when customers look for your app on their devices that they immediately recognize its icon and name, just as they appeared when the user downloaded your app from the store.
  • There are various creative ways to design your App Store icon so that it is similar to the icon that will be displayed on a user’s device—one technique for instance is to present a close-up of a specific icon section—but whatever approach you take, make sure the small icon retains a very similar look to the large one.
  • Similarly, you should create a name for your app that will be consistent with what customers see on the App Store and how it appears on their device. If your app’s name in iTunes Connect is, for instance, “Coraline’s Creative Cajun Cooking,” good choices for short names for devices might be “CreativeCajun,” or “CajunCooking” or “Coraline’s,” which directly evoke the long name, but not “Good Eats,” “Louisiana,” or “Comfort Food,” which do not.
  • The golden rule is simply that an end user should instantly associate the name and large icon in the iTunes App Store with the name and app icon on their devices.

Common Rejection Issues

  • The two most common reasons for application rejection are issues with core functionality and crashing.
  • Core functionality encompasses the belief that customers rightfully expect all the features described in the marketing text and release notes to work as described, and likewise that all the buttons and menu items within the application will be fully functional (i.e., no grayed out buttons or notifications that a feature will be implemented later).
    • Before you submit your app for approval, make sure that every aspect of your application is fully functional and that the marketing text and release notes correspond to the end user experience.
  • Also, make sure you thoroughly test your application on iPhone and iPod touch in addition to the iPhone Simulator.
    • A large percentage of applications are rejected due to various types of crashes, including crashes on launch, which would have been found and dealt with if they’d been tested on an actual device. Don’t skip that step in the development process.

Creating a Memorable App Name

  • A short, concise, and memorable name will leave an impression on potential customers.
  • Let your app name draw attention and use the marketing description to provide the features.
  • Be sure the name you submit in iTunes Connect matches the name within your app.
    • Inconsistent naming of your app can lead to customer confusion and could affect user experience and the quality of reviews submitted for your app.

Showcase Your App with Engaging Screen Shots

  • Engaging screen shots can make a significant influence on a user’s perception of your app.
  • This is your opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities, graphics, and usability of your app.
  • When creating screen shots to be posted to the App Store, follow these general guidelines:
    • Make sure the content is legible and appropriate.
    • Consider cultural sensibilities and restrictions.
    • Take screen shots on the target device (not the Simulator). To do this, hold down the Power button and press the Home button. The screen shot is saved to Camera Roll.
    • Always remove the status bar from screen shots.
    • Don’t forget to localize screen shots. Set the language for iPhone before taking screen shots by going to Settings > General > International > Language.

Do not Include Pricing Information in your Marketing or Icon

  • If you intend to market your application internationally, do not include pricing information in your application name, marketing text, or icon, as it can lead to user confusion.
  • Let the App Store list the price of your application, as it appropriately sets the price for the intended region.

iTunes Links

  • With iTunes links you can provide your customers with an easy way to access your apps on the App Store directly from your website or marketing campaigns.
  • Creating an iTunes link is simple and can be made to direct customers to either a single app, all your apps, or to a specific app with your company name specified.
    • To send customers to a specific application use: http://itunes.com/apps/appname
    • To send customers to a list of apps you have on the App Store use: http://itunes.com/apps/developername
    • To send customers to a specific app with your company name included in the URL use: http://itunes.com/apps/developername/appname

For more details on creating iTunes links, read: Creating easy-to-read links to the App Store for your applications and company

Setting Up an iTunes Connect User

  • You can control which members of your organization have access to the various iTunes Connect modules by assigning roles:
    • Admin, Legal, Finance, Technical, Sales