Steps to submit an iOS App to App Store

App submission is often a second thought but you should ensure that you’re submitting your app to App Store properly. Here is the step-by-step guide to submit an iOS app to App Store. In part 1, you will go through developer registration process. And in part 2, you will go through an actual submission of an iOS app.

Prerequisites

For the steps of submitting an app, you will need,

  • US$99 (or the equivalent fee applicable in your country)
  • A valid credit card
  • A browser
  • App/Project that is ready for submission
  • Valid Apple developer program account
  • Mac OS X
  • Other two programs installed : Xcode and Keychain Access

 

Part 1 – Guideline Overview


Registration as an Apple Developer

  • Go to Apple Developer Site, and click on Account.
  • You can choose to create a completely new Apple ID or use an existing one. (Suggestion – better to use different apple IDs for personal and professional lives)
  • Create Apple ID and fill in your email, password and security information.
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  • Check the email account you have just specified, you will get an email.
  • On the next page, you will have to enter the code (you got in your email) and click Verify’.
  • You have a developer account Apple ID. Log in to Apple’s Developer Portal with your new ID.
  • Read legal agreement and click ‘Submit’.

Joining the Developer Program

  • Log in to Apple’s Developer Portal and click on ‘Join the Apple Developer Program’.
  • Click on ‘Enroll’. This section describes the enrollment as an individual or as a company. And then click on ‘Start your Enrollment’.
  • The next page asks if you want to enroll as an individual, as a company, or as a government organization. Select Individual / Sole Proprietor / Single Person Business, and click Continue.
  • Enter your billing/business information and click on ‘Continue’.
  • Review your information and click on ‘Continue’.
  • Now, you will be prompted with the summary of a purchase. Check ‘Automatic Renewal’ if you want this option, and then click ‘Purchase’.
  • Log in again.
  • Fill all the payment details.
  • Again, you will be asked to agree to the ‘Terms and Conditions’, and click ‘Continue’.
  • Confirm the order by clicking on ‘Place Order Now’.
  • That’s it. A thank you screen will be prompted.

 

Part 2 – Guideline Overview


Create App and Assemble App Store Information

  • Create App
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  • Assemble App Store Information
    It is very important to gather all the information you need to submit before you start the process.
    Final

Create a Bundle Identifier

The bundle identifier is the name of the app seen by both the App Store and iOS devices.

  • Open Apple’s Developer Portal in your browser.
  • Log in to that and click Identifiers.
  • Click on + (in top right of your screen).
  • Name the App ID the same as your App.
  • Make sure Bundle ID follows this naming convention – com.yourcompanyname.yourappname
  • Check any App Services your app needs, and then click on continue.
  • Verify the services and then click on Submit.
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Create a Certificate Signing Request

Certificate Signing Requests are used to link your computer to your Apple developer account.

  • Launch Keychain Access from the Applications folder.
  • Set the value of Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) and Certificate Revocation List (CRL) to off in the Preferences Menu.
  • Select Keychain Access -> Certificate Assistant.
  • Click Request a Certificate from a Certificate Authority.
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  • Fill in your email address in User Email Address field and your name in the Common Name field (both same as used at the time of registering as iPhone developer).
  • Certificate Authority is not really required.
  • Click ‘save to disk’ and choose ‘Let me specify key pair information’ and proceed.
  • If you chose ‘Let me specify key pair information’, you will have to provide a filename and click ‘Save’. Select 2048 bits for Key Size and ‘RSA’ for the algorithm in the next screen and proceed further.
  • CSR file would created on the desktop by Certificate Authority.
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Create an App Store Production Certificate

Code Signing Certificates are used to link iOS apps to your Apple developer account.

  • Once CSR file is created navigate to Apple’s Developer Portal and log in.
  • Go to Certificates -> Development -> Add Certificate.
  • Click ‘choose file’ button and select your CSR and click ‘Submit’. It will not allow if the key size is not set to 2018 bits.
  • Certificate status changes would informed by email on approval or rejection of the CSR by Team Admin.
  • Once the CSR is approved, Team Members can download it via ‘Certification’ section of the Program Portal. Choose ‘Download’.
  • Double click the .cer file to install your certificate.
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Create a Production Provisioning Profile

Provisioning Profiles are packaged with iOS apps so users’ devices can install them.

  • Navigate to Apple’s Developer Portal and log in.
  • Click on Provisioning -> Distribution -> Add Profile.
  • Click on App Store in Distribution Method.
  • Select Bundle ID and Certificate created earlier.
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  • Provide your application name in ‘Profile Name’.
  • Click ‘Generate’ and then download it.
  • Install provision profile on your computer by double-click on it.

Create an Apple ID

Follow the following steps to create an Apple ID.

  • Navigate to Apple’s Developer Portal and log in.
  • Click Identifiers -> App IDs -> App ID.
  • Fill the ‘App ID Name’ field with your application name and ‘App ID’ with something like com.yourdomain.applicationname and click ‘Continue’.
  • You’ll be prompted to confirm your values, click ‘Register’.
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Build an App Archive

Package the actual binary that users will be uploading to the store.

  • Open Xcode and your project.
  • Update the project and build numbers.
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  • Click the root node of your project in the file navigator to go to the Project Settings -> Build Settings -> Code Signing section. And select iOS Distribution.
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  • From the top menu, select Generic iOS Device as the build destination (if no actual device is connected).
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  • Go to Product Menu -> Archive.
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  • Xcode Organizer will launch and you will have all the archives that you’ve created in the past.

Create an App Store listing in iTunes Connect

Apple iTunes Connect is a dashboard that allows you to manage your apps, view reports of your performance in the App Store.

  • Navigate to iTunes Connect and log in.
  • Click ‘Manage your Apps’ -> ‘Add New App’.
  • In App Information fill the details like App Name and Bundle ID the one you created on Developer Portal. The SKU Number is just for your own reference or cataloguing. Then click on ‘Continue’.
  • Select App Pricing and Availability. (You can set the price and release date for your app)
  • App Prices for the different tiers
    Tier 0 = Free
    Tier 1 = 0.99
    Tier 2 = 1.99
    Tier 3 = 2.99
    Tier 4 = 3.99
    Etc.
  • Release date – Default value of this is current date, but you can set it to a date in the future if you like. If your app is approved before the release date you’ve set, then it won’t be available in the App Store until that date.
  • After that in second screen, you need to fill the information like version number, copyright, rating, description, keywords, Support and Marketing URLs, etc.
  • Click on ‘Save’ and you’ll see your app has a status of ‘Prepare for upload’.
  • In the upper right hand corner, you’ll see a blue button that says Ready to Upload Binary. Click that blue button and you’ll be presented with a few questions.
  • After that click on Save and you’ll see the status change to ‘Waiting For Upload’.

Submit your App through Xcode

If your App status is not ‘waiting for upload’ then you need to go back a couple of paragraphs and change your status to ‘Waiting for Upload’ first.

  • Open Xcode. Open Window -> Organizer.
  • Go to your Archives tab and select the archive that you created.
  • Then click ‘Distribute’.
  • Use your iTunes Connect login to sign in and it’ll look to make sure that you created a matching App Listing. Then if all goes well with the validation, it’ll proceed to upload the binary for certification.
  • After uploading the binary, if you go back to you iTunes Connect account, you’ll see the status of your app is now ‘Waiting for Review’.

 

I hope you’ll pass on your try, if not, don’t worry about that, it’s very common to fail the first try especially when you App is complex enough. They’ll tell you what’s wrong with it and they you can fix it. Increment the version number and re-upload the binary and again wait for another review..!

  • qian

    If you’ve designed an App using PhoneGap or any other app builder, and need to upload it to the Apple iOS App Store, then you need a Mac to use the Application Loader.

    If you don’t have a Mac, You can use the Appuploader tool, he can help you create iOS certificates and upload IPA to App Store in Windows PC.

    Free trial

    I’ve had no problems with them in the past, and my apps have been successfully upload :).