Top 10 things to know when deploying an iOS app to App Store
Developing and launching an iOS app is an exciting process, but it's not without its challenges. One of the most critical stages in the app development process is deploying the app to the App Store. In this blog post, we'll explore the top 10 things you need to know when deploying an iOS app to the App Store.
1. Developer Account
Before you can deploy your app to the App Store, you need to sign up for an Apple Developer account. The developer account allows you to create, distribute, and manage your apps. There are three types of Apple Developer accounts:
Individual: An individual account is designed for individuals who want to develop and distribute apps on their own. It's suitable for sole proprietors, independent developers, or freelancers who want to publish apps under their name.
Company/Organization: A company or organization account is suitable for businesses or organizations that want to develop and distribute apps under their company name. This type of account allows multiple developers to access the account and work on the same app.
Enterprise: An enterprise account is suitable for companies or organizations that want to develop and distribute apps internally within their organization. This type of account is not intended for publishing apps on the App Store, and apps developed with this account cannot be distributed outside of the organization.
It's essential to choose the right type of developer account for your needs, as this will affect the way you manage your app.
Cost of Developer Account
There are three types of developer accounts that Apple offers: Individual and Company/Organization and Enterprise. Here are the charges for each:
Individual Developer Account: The cost of an individual developer account is US$99 per year. This type of account is suitable for individual developers who want to develop and distribute apps under their own name.
Company/Organization Developer Account: The cost of a company/organization developer account is US$299 per year. This type of account is suitable for businesses or organizations that want to develop and distribute apps under their company name.
Enterprise Developer Account: The cost for an enterprise account with Apple is not publicly disclosed. Unlike the Individual and Company/Organization Developer Accounts, which are available to anyone who meets the eligibility requirements, an Enterprise Developer Account requires additional documentation and is only available to companies or organizations that meet certain criteria.
If your organization is interested in obtaining an Enterprise Developer Account, you should contact Apple directly for more information on the eligibility requirements, fees, and application process.
It's important to note that these fees may vary depending on your location and currency. Also, Apple may occasionally offer discounts or waive fees for specific types of developers, such as educational institutions or non-profit organizations.
2. App Store Guidelines
To ensure that your app meets the App Store guidelines, you must thoroughly read and understand the App Store Review Guidelines. These guidelines are updated regularly, and it's crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest changes to avoid potential rejections.
You can find the App Store Review Guidelines on the Apple Developer website. Here's how to access them:
Go to the Apple Developer website: https://developer.apple.com/
Click on "App Store" at the top of the page.
Scroll down to the "App Store Review Guidelines" section and click on "Download PDF".
The PDF document will open, and you can review the guidelines.
3. App Store Connect
App Store Connect is a web-based portal that allows developers to submit, manage, and monitor their apps on the App Store. You can use App Store Connect to upload your app, create app metadata, manage app versions, and track app performance.
4. App Metadata
App metadata includes your app's name, description, screenshots, and other essential details. It's essential to create compelling metadata to entice users to download your app, which includes the following fields:
App Name: This is the name of your app, which should be clear, concise, and representative of your app's purpose.
Subtitle: A short line of text that appears below your app name and provides additional context or information about your app.
Description: A detailed description of your app, which should include information about its features, functionality, and benefits.
Keywords: A list of relevant keywords that describe your app and can help users find it in the App Store search results.
App Icon: A visually appealing icon that represents your app and helps it stand out in the App Store.
Screenshots: A series of screenshots that showcase your app's user interface, features, and functionality.
App Preview: A short video that provides a preview of your app's user interface, features, and functionality.
Categories: The primary and secondary categories that your app belongs to, which help users find it in the App Store.
Release Notes: A brief summary of the changes and improvements made to your app in the current version.
Version Number: The version number of your app, which should follow the standard format of "major.minor.patch".
Build Number: A unique number that identifies each version of your app and is incremented each time you submit a new version to the App Store.
It's essential to ensure that your app metadata is accurate, informative, and complies with the App Store Review Guidelines to increase your app's visibility and downloads on the App Store.
5. App Store Review Process
The App Store review process is the final step before your app is published on the App Store. The review process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the complexity of your app. You must follow the App Store guidelines and ensure that your app meets all the necessary requirements to avoid rejection.
6. App Pricing
You can choose to make your app available for free or charge a fee for users to download your app. If you choose to charge a fee, you'll need to set the appropriate pricing in App Store Connect.
Apple charges a commission of 15-30% on payments made through iOS apps. However, the commission percentage may vary depending on the type of product or service being offered through the app.
For example, if your app sells physical goods or services that are delivered outside of the app, such as a meal delivery service or ride-sharing app, then the commission rate may be lower (15%). However, if your app offers digital goods or services, such as subscriptions or in-app purchases, then the commission rate is typically 30%.
Apple's App Store guidelines state that all in-app purchases of digital content or services, such as virtual items, subscriptions, and additional features or functionality, must use the in-app purchase system provided by Apple and are subject to the commission fee. If you offer such products or services, you are required to use Apple's in-app purchase system and pay the applicable commission fee.
It's important to review and understand the App Store guidelines before submitting your app, as violating these guidelines can result in your app being rejected or removed from the App Store.
7. App Localization
To reach a broader audience, you may want to consider localizing your app. Localizing your app involves translating the app's user interface and content into multiple languages. It's essential to ensure that your app is localized correctly to avoid any confusion or errors.
8. App Store Optimization
App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of optimizing your app's metadata to improve its visibility and ranking in the App Store search results. ASO can help you increase downloads and improve your app's overall performance on the App Store.
Here are some things to consider when doing ASO:
Keyword Research: Identify the relevant and high-traffic keywords related to your app's category, features, and target audience. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or App Store Optimization tools to find relevant keywords.
App Title: Use a clear and descriptive app title that includes your primary keyword and differentiates your app from similar apps in the market.
App Icon: Use a visually appealing and unique app icon that represents your brand and stands out in the App Store.
App Description: Use a detailed and informative app description that highlights your app's features, benefits, and unique selling points. Include relevant keywords and user testimonials to increase credibility.
Screenshots and Video Preview: Use high-quality and visually appealing screenshots and a short video preview that showcase your app's user interface, features, and functionality. Use these to engage users and encourage them to download your app.
Ratings and Reviews: Encourage your users to leave positive ratings and reviews, as this helps increase your app's credibility and ranking in the App Store.
Localization: Localize your app's metadata and content to target different markets and languages. This helps increase your app's visibility and downloads in those markets.
Competitor Analysis: Analyze your competitors' app metadata, features, and user feedback to identify areas for improvement and differentiation.
Regular Updates: Regularly update your app with new features, bug fixes, and content to improve user engagement and retention.
9. App Analytics
App analytics can help you track your app's performance and gain insights into user behavior. You can use App Store Connect to monitor your app's downloads, revenue, and user engagement metrics. This information can help you make data-driven decisions to improve your app's performance.
10. App Updates
After your app is published on the App Store, you'll need to continue to update and improve your app. You can release app updates to fix bugs, add new features, and improve overall app performance. It's essential to keep your app up-to-date to maintain user engagement and avoid negative reviews.
Deploying an iOS app to the App Store requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a thorough understanding of the App Store guidelines. By following these, you'll be well on your way to launching a successful iOS app on the App Store.