With distribution being a crucial stage of an application development process, submitting application to app store is of great importance. Apple has quite strict norms and requests towards developers, yet not that obvious and easily comprehensible guidelines. That is why, unfortunately, app approval process sometimes can be kind of an unexpected obstacle. Many developers have also complained that Apple is prone to take considerably long times to either approve or reject submissions. Usually it takes three to five days, but a month past app submission cases have also taken place.

These rates depend on couple of characteristics, such as:

• Application type (MacOS, iOS, watchOS or tvOS);

• Application scale - the bigger the app, the longer reviewing is going to take;

• Application features (ads, Apple Pay, in-app purchases, maps and notifications).

The worst consequence here is these unknown delays influence schedules in a rather chaotic way. Situation worsens if you submit an app and it gets rejected. It means you now have to get past the Apple’s wait queue (couple of weeks again) in order to get the application to reviewers again. All that impacts timelines and could cost, what isn’t good for business, especially a startup.

So, before you start an app store submission process it is a good idea to get acquainted with Apple’s guidelines on how to publish an app to the app store, other developers’ experience and get a checklist that would help you to prepare your application and minimize the chance it gets rejected.

Read also: Porting iOS app to Android

Processing Apple’s guidelines on app store upload gives us a number of necessary actions:

• Choose a name for your application.

• Write an application description but avoid using the word “beta” anywhere in your app or its description - Apple seriously dislikes that label in finished products.

• Selected primary, secondary and sub- categories.
Identify keywords.

• Choose an appropriate application rating. For instance, if your application is kids oriented, ensure privacy policy and parental permission statements are included.

• It is necessary that the SKU number is created.

• An application needs a website, ensure its URL is working.

• Make sure the support website URL and Email Address are provided, configured and are working properly.

• The End User License Agreement must be written, if required.

• Assign the pricing, set the availability date and distribution territories.

• Create viable and fresh screenshots representing different devices.

• You will need a large App Icon 512x512px, matching the icon images compiled into your application.

• Your application should be compiled with an Apple Distribution Certificate and a Distribution – App Store Provisioning profile.

• Your application IPA file has to be correctly compiled and must be bug free. Test it on your own iOS device.

• The copyright attributions must be decided.

• Provide additional information for the reviewers. Feature descriptions and account info (if needed for logging in) included.

In our research on how to submit your app to appstore we’ve developed some additional checklists concerning design and development. So before you upload app to app store, let’s quickly run through App Store’s submission checklist.

Design Checklist

• Make sure your application isn’t a clone of any native iOS application or any other application in the App store. App idea or its features must be fresh.

• Make sure you went through the In-App purchase checklist from Apple guidelines, in case your application provides in-app purchases.

• The interface design must be consistent with the HIG (human interface guidelines) published by Apple, so that the design does not deviate too much from native applications.

• Make sure the content going to be presented is copyrighted, including: logos, graphical assets, and contents fetched from any third party sources.

Developer Checklist

• First of all, avoid obvious crashes. Sure exterminating all the bugs is not really possible, yet developers should make sure the application works stable.

• Apple has a broad library of guidelines, address them during feature development.

• On the February 1st, 2015, 64-bit support together with being built with iOS 8 SDK was made obligatory by Apple for all apps submitted at the Apple App Store.

• Make sure the app requests user permissions for Location, Contacts, Microphone, Push Notification features and Network access.

• Application size is under reviewers’ attention too. Total application size is OK within 2GB, where the actual executable binary size should be less than 60MB.

• Ensure support of different screen orientations properly. And make sure your app supports both iPhone and iPad. Even though your application wasn’t supposed to be used on iPads, it should run as an iPhone application on one, without any mods.

• Avoid infinite loading spinners. Error handling should deal with this problem effectively.

• Finally and rather uneasy – find out if any new devices or iOS version have to be supported in your app’s upcoming versions. Ensure new APIs and deprecated API list are checked, schedule to implement necessary changes to your app.

Guidelines and checklists are good, but we all know that mistakes happen. Should you not worry in case your submission was rejected. Apple would provide review notes, they would be available in the Resolution Center. So you’d have to make all the necessary adjustments to your app and then resubmit.

We hope our advice would help you to successfully submit your app to the App store.

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Get Your App Ready: App Store Submission Checklist
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