March 29, 2024
min read

How to publish an app to the App Store in 2024

Roman Furman
Founder and CTO at Natively

Introduction: The Importance of App Store Submission

The Apple App Store, a digital behemoth, boasts over 2 million applications, making it a pivotal platform for developers and businesses worldwide. In fact, as of 2022, the App Store has seen over 200 billion downloads, highlighting the vast reach and potential it offers. 

However, navigating the intricacies of uploading an app to the App Store is challenging. Recent statistics reveal that between 2017 and 2019, Apple rejected approximately 35% of apps submitted, emphasizing the stringent quality standards in place. 

This underscores the importance of a meticulously prepared App Store submission checklist. A well-crafted submission not only ensures your app's approval but also sets the stage for its success in a competitive marketplace. 

While many ponder how much it costs to put an app on the App Store, it's essential to recognize that the actual investment lies in the time and effort spent ensuring that every submission criterion is met. In the subsequent chapters, we'll delve deep into the nuances of this checklist, guiding you through a seamless App Store submission process.

Setting Up Your Apple Developer Account

Before you can navigate the steps of uploading an app to the App Store, establishing a foundation with an Apple Developer Account is essential. 

Creating and Securing an Apple ID:

To begin, visit the Apple Developer website to create an Apple ID. This ID serves as your gateway to all Apple Developer resources. Enter your basic details, including name, email (which will be your Apple ID), and set a secure password. Once created, it's imperative to enable two-factor authentication. Apple mandates this security measure to ensure that only you can access your account, adding an extra layer of protection.

Setting Up Your Apple Developer Account

Enrolling in the Apple Developer Program:

With your Apple ID secured, the next step in the app store submission checklist is enrolling in the Apple Developer Program. This program offers two enrollment options: individual and organizational. While individual enrollment is straightforward, enrolling as an organization requires additional verification. A crucial component of this verification is the D-U-N-S number, a unique identifier assigned by Dun & Bradstreet to businesses worldwide. Ensure you have this number handy if you're registering as an organization.

Crafting Your App's Store Presence

Once you've navigated the initial steps of how to upload an app to the App Store, the next crucial phase is to craft a compelling presence for your app within the store. This is where potential users will get their first impression, making it vital to capture their attention and interest.

Metadata and App Information:

Start by writing a compelling app description that succinctly conveys your app's core features and benefits. This description should be clear, engaging, and free of jargon. 

Next, select appropriate keywords that potential users might use to search for apps similar to yours. Remember, these keywords play a pivotal role in App Store Optimization (ASO) and can significantly impact your app's discoverability. 

Additionally, set up other metadata fields as required in App Store Connect. 

Crafting Your App's Store Presence

Given the global reach of the App Store, it's also essential to provide localized content tailored to different markets. This ensures that users worldwide can understand and relate to your app's offerings.

Publish app to App Store | localization

Visual Assets:

Visuals play a significant role in user engagement. Begin by preparing high-quality screenshots that showcase your app's main features. Apple provides specific guidelines for screenshot dimensions based on device types, so ensure you adhere to these specifications. Read more about -sizes, requirements, best practices of app screenshots for the App Store here.

publish app to App Store | images

Additionally, app previews, which are short video clips of your app in action, can offer potential users a sneak peek into the app experience. Ensure these previews are engaging and represent the app's core functionality.

Technical and Compliance Checklist

As you delve deeper into how to upload an app to the App Store, it's essential to ensure that your app stands on a solid technical foundation and adheres to all compliance guidelines set by Apple. 

Ensuring Technical Soundness:

First and foremost, your app must be technically sound. Avoid using private or undocumented APIs, as Apple strictly prohibits their use and can lead to immediate rejection. Regularly test your app on various devices to ensure it doesn't crash and offers a consistent user experience. Adherence to Apple's technical guidelines is non-negotiable. This includes optimizing your app for different iOS versions, ensuring compatibility with various devices, and following best practices for memory and battery usage.

Legal and Compliance Aspects:

Beyond the technical realm, your app must also meet all legal and compliance requirements. This begins with ensuring data privacy. If your app collects user data, it's imperative to have a clear and accessible privacy policy, informing users about data collection, storage, and usage. Additionally, your app must adhere to Apple's age rating guidelines. Accurately rate your app based on its content to ensure it reaches the appropriate audience and avoids potential legal pitfalls.

Finalizing Submission and Review Process

As you approach the final stages of how to publish an app to the App Store, it's crucial to understand the intricacies of the submission and review process. 

Uploading and Testing Your App:

Once your app is ready, upload it to App Store Connect. Before making your app live, it's advisable to conduct beta testing using TestFlight. This platform allows you to invite users to test your app, providing invaluable feedback and helping identify potential issues that might have been overlooked.

Publish app to App Store | testing

Submission for Review:

After thorough testing, it's time to submit your app for Apple's review. Familiarize yourself with the review process by referring to the app store submission checklist. 

On average, 90% of submissions are reviewed in less than 24 hours. You’ll be notified by email of status changes. You can also check the review status of your submission in the My Apps section of App Store Connect or on the App Store Connect app for iPhone and iPad. If your submission is incomplete, review times may be delayed or your submission may not pass.

Apple's review team assesses apps based on a set of guidelines, and understanding these can help preempt potential reasons for rejection. Common reasons include technical issues, non-compliance with guidelines, or unclear app functionalities. Ensuring your app adheres to Apple's standards and providing clear documentation can pave the way for a smooth review process.

Apple App Store fees 

There is no app hosting fee, however; there is an annual fee of $99 for the Apple Developer Program and $299 for the enterprise version. Additionally, Apple will take a share of your in-app purchase (digital goods) revenues. 

While many developers ponder how much does it cost to put an app on the App Store, the true value lies in the meticulous preparation and understanding of the submission process. With the right approach, your journey on how to upload app to app store can be seamless and rewarding.

Conclusion: Post-Submission and Launch Strategies

Successfully navigating the intricacies of how to upload an app to the App Store is undoubtedly a significant achievement. However, the journey doesn't end with the app's approval. As you transition from submission to launch, it's essential to strategize for the road ahead.

Celebrating the App's Launch:

Once your app is live on the App Store, take a moment to celebrate this milestone. It's a testament to the hard work, dedication, and adherence to the app store submission checklist. Share the news with your team, stakeholders, and early supporters. This initial buzz can serve as a springboard for your promotional efforts.

Published app on App Store | Dyvo Avatars

Strategies for Promoting the App:

With countless apps vying for attention, having a robust promotional strategy is crucial. Begin by optimizing your App Store listing, ensuring compelling visuals, and a clear value proposition. Leverage social media platforms, press releases, and influencer partnerships to create awareness. Consider offering limited-time promotions or discounts to garner initial downloads. Furthermore, encourage users to leave reviews and ratings, as positive feedback can significantly boost your app's visibility on the App Store.

Remember, how to publish an app to the App Store is just the beginning; the real journey starts when users begin to interact with your creation.

Easy way

It should be noted that there is an easier way to build and publish an application on the App Store - build and submit your app to the Apple App Store using web-to-app converter Natively.  

Natively is a fast and easy mobile app builder that allows you to convert your website into native apps for both iOS and Android platforms without any coding.


How it Works:

  • Set up appearance: Choose the name, launch screen, app icon, brand colors, etc. (Takes about 2 minutes).
  • Integrate native features: Set up special mobile features like push notifications, in-app purchases, geolocation, deep links, and more. (It takes about 5 minutes).
  • Release your app: Test and download your build to publish on the App Store. (About 7 minutes).

Whether you're using JavaScript frameworks or no-code platforms like Bubble, Webflow, Wix, WordPress, or Shopify, you can easily convert your site into a mobile app and publish to the App Store.

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