When will the iOS app be released?

Publish apps in the App Store

19th February 2020

Overview distribution of apps

There are the following ways to publish and distribute apps:

  • Setting the app in the App Store
  • TestFlight: Pre-release of the app for beta testers who are invited to test the app via email or a link. One version of the app is valid for a maximum of 90 days.
  • Ad hoc distribution: The unique device ID (UDID), the app can then be installed on these devices yourself. This variant is now rarely used due to the cumbersome registration of IDs and the TestFlight alternative.
  • Enterprise distribution: In-house distribution of apps without registering the device IDs. The Apple Developer Enterprise Program is required for this (this in turn does not allow apps to be placed in the App Store).
  • Free provisioning/Developer provisioning for direct installation via Xcode.

Overview of publishing apps in the App Store

To publish apps in the App Store, you need to be a member of the Apple developer program for € 99 / year. The app is operated via the App Store Connect- Page with description and screenshots added. In Xcode, an Xcode archive build can be created and added to App Store Connect uploaded. There the app can be submitted for review by a reviewer and published in the App Store after successful testing.

Setting up the app in App Store Connect

The app is unique in App Store Connect set up. The following information must be provided:

  • Name and subtitle of the app (max. 30 characters each)
  • SKU: A unique name for identifying the app on bills
  • Bundle ID: The unique ID of the app that dem Bundle identifier in the Info.plist of the Xcode project - this ID cannot be changed after the first publication.
  • Price according to animal-Price categories: The prices cannot be set freely, but ready-made price levels can be selected (e.g. € 1.09, € 2.29, € 3.49, etc.). These price levels are assigned prices in other currencies that roughly correspond to the (for example 3,49€ = $2.99)
  • Countries in which the app is to be published: It is also possible to only offer the app in certain countries.

The following properties must be specified for each version of the app:

  • Version number
  • Primary and secondary category - according to the primary category, the leaderboards are kept in the App Store (see also Choosing a category)
  • Age rating (the representation of Violence, Sexual Content, Profanity, Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, Gambling)
  • Icon 1024x1024px
  • Max. 4000 characters description
  • Max. 170 characters of advertising text (this is the only information that can be changed at any time without a new app review)
  • Max. 100 characters keywords for the search in the App Store (in addition to these keywords, only the name and subtitle are included in the search in the App Store)
  • Support URL: A URL with support information about your app - this is displayed in the App Store and must give the user the opportunity to get support for the app (e.g. via a contact form).
  • Privacy URL: A URL with a privacy policy for the app is mandatory.
  • Max. 3 preview videos (up to 30 seconds long) and up to 10 screenshots
  • For apps that require registration, the reviewer must be provided with login data for a test account.
  • "Helpful information for the reviewer" can also be added if there are special points to consider when testing the app.
  • Publication date: The app can be published automatically after a successful review or on a specific date.

Build an app archive

For distribution in the App Store, the app must be in Xcode using Product »Archive be built. An iOS device or Build only Device - Generic iOS Device selected (the menu item is grayed out when the simulator is selected). With this build it should be noted that the build configuration Release used, visible under Edit scheme:

This means that changed build settings take effect. This is how the app works in Release-Mode with compiler optimizations and built for all CPU architectures:

Create provisioning profiles for distribution and app App Store Connect upload

To upload the app, it must be signed. The signature process works in the same way as the app is signed when it is started on devices (see Signature process and running apps on the device). It is recommended to use the Target-Option Automatically manage signing, for the Xcode automatically distribution-Certificate created and the app signed with it before the upload:

After a Archive build can this be done from Xcode via the Xcode Organizer to App Store Connect be transmitted:

App review

After uploading, you can expect a waiting time of approx. 1-2 days for the app to be checked by a reviewer for compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines is checked. It may take longer before public holidays and iOS releases. A rejection is generally based on the Review guidelines, you will be informed of a problem with the review by e-mail:

About the Resolution Center you get a description of the problem with a reference to the App Store Review Guidelines:

More common reasons for rejection are:

  • App crashes or behaves incorrectly. The app must behave as described.
  • An app must always be fully functional, not allowed Betas, Demos or Trial versions, allowed are Lite/PerVersions.
  • Problems with the localization of the app (time zones, language settings, formatting rules)
  • Pay attention to the behavior of the app in all situations (e.g. no internet connection available, slow internet connection, offline, flight mode, authorization for Location services declined).
  • Only actual application data is allowed in the folder Documents stored, for everything else there is the CachesFolder as the DocumentsFolder from iCloud backup is secured.
  • The Human Interface Guidelines Must be observed.
  • Use of trademarks (Guidelines for Using Apple Trademarks and Copyrights, „Apps or metadata that mentions the name of any other mobile platform will be rejected“)

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