1. The Apple App Store

The Apple App Store is the place where apps with the iOS operating system are published and marketed. With the App Store, Apple has made a decisive contribution to the way we use smartphones today. Many apps are an integral part of our everyday lives. More than two million apps are represented in the App Store. As an app pioneer, Apple sets high requirements for apps before they are allowed to appear in the store.

2. Which Apple Developer Account?

In order for your app to be submitted to the Apple App Store, a so-called developer account is required. You must set this up yourself at Apple. Depending on whether you are a sole proprietor, an organization, an educational institution or a public institution, different steps have to be taken. The Developer Account comes with an annual cost of $99.

For creating an Apple Developer Account, there is a separate support article here that walks you through the process step-by-step.

3. Synchronization of the Apple Developer Account

After creating the developer account, it is now necessary to link and sync it with the app dashboard (where you create your app). To do this, please access the app dashboard in addition to the Apple web pages to work in parallel.

Step 3.1: iTunes Team Name

Log in to the Developer Console of iTunes with your Apple Team ID. Then click Membership to check the team name.

This team name is automatically provided by Apple. Please insert the team name displayed there in the app dashboard.

To do this, click on PUBLISH -> iOS and select the item 3.1. iTunes Team Name. In the iTunes Team Name field, insert the iTunes name provided by Apple.

Step 3.2: Apple Team ID

Next, it is necessary to check the Apple Team ID as well. To do this, click Membership and select Team ID.

Please insert the Team ID displayed there into the Apple Team ID field in the App Dashboard under point 3.2 Apple Team ID.

Step 3.3: Application Specific Password

You will need the application-specific password to log in to your account when using third-party apps with your Apple ID.

Please log in to https://appleid.apple.com/ and confirm your identity. Then in the Security section, under App-Specific Passwords, click Generate Password.

Enter your password (Application is noted here as an example) and then click Create.

Apple creates the application-specific password. Copy and paste it in the app dashboard under point 3.3 Application-specific password.

4. Provide Submission Data

The submission data is important information that you need to store for your app to be submitted to Apple. In addition, this data is also displayed in the App Store. To provide the data, navigate to PUBLISH -> Apple in the Dashboard and click on App Data.

Category

Enter a suitable category name here. This is where your app will be displayed when the user searches for it. Example: Category Business. In addition, you can specify a second category, e.g. productivity, to narrow down the search even more.

General

Enter general information about you and your company here.

First name

Your full first name

Last name

Your full last name

Copyright

Name of the person or organization that owns the exclusive rights to the app and the year the rights were obtained

Email

Your email address for contact and support requests

Support URL

Your website for contact and support requests

Description

Describe your app with max. 300 characters in unformatted body text

Keywords, separated by commas

Add appropriate keywords for your app to be found in the app store; max. 100 characters and separated by commas

5. Additional information about the app (for Apple App Store listing)

Before you can publish your app in the Apple App Store, you still need to store some information about the app (app metadata). This information is necessary so that the app can not only be submitted to the App Store, but also be found by users.

Required information is:

App Icon

Under MY APP -> Design -> GRAPHICS -> App Icon add it. The app icon must be in 1024 x 1024 px.

App Name

The name of your app that will appear under the app icon. You name your app under MY APP -> Design. The maximum number of characters for the name is limited to 12. More characters will cause the app name to be truncated or have ellipses (...) - this is to be avoided.

Screenshots

Use screenshots to present your app. On the one hand to stir up interest and on the other hand to present its features. Our submission module automatically generates screenshots of the first modules of your app. In total, up to eight screenshots can be deposited in the App Store. The required sizes of the screenshots are 5.5 inches and 6.5 inches. The graphics must be in 72 dpi and in the RGB color space as well as in PNG or JPEG format.

6. Reasons for rejection on the part of Apple

Apple has set up strict guidelines for the submission of iOS apps over the years. With this, Apple wants to make sure that the apps are technically and content-wise correct and offer the best possible benefit for the user. You can look up Apple's specifications on their website. These guidelines may seem overwhelming, but it doesn't hurt to take a closer look.

For this reason, there is a checklist stored in the dashboard under PUBLISH -> Status. This shows you at any time what you still need to deposit for your app to ensure a successful submission. The submission process is also only initiated when the checklist lights up green and thus all the required information has been deposited.

Rejection due to "missing" information

Quite often we had the case that an app was rejected in a developer account for individual/sole proprietorships, even though the account was cleanly created and all required information - especially the business registration - was deposited. In these cases, we have to appeal and start the submission process another time.

Rejection due to Guideline 4.2.6

A few years ago, Apple had made a huge mess of the app market, severely hindering app builders in particular from submitting apps to the Store. For a short time, submission had even been completely impossible.

What was the reason?

Due to the guideline 4th Design -> 4.2 Minimum Functionality -> 4.2.6, building block apps were rejected if they were not submitted via the own developer account. Before that, it was perfectly possible to submit apps via another developer account.

In addition to the requirement that apps be submitted via one's own developer account and thus also by the person responsible for the app content, there was another point that came into play under guideline 4. minimum functionality.

Lack of interaction, too few modules, low added value and app copies

Apple only allows apps that offer enough interaction, modules, and therefore a lot of added value for app users. An app that only consists of text modules and does not offer the user any interaction options, e.g. booking an appointment, has fewer than five modules and does not show any apparent benefit, is consistently rejected.

We make our customers aware that simply assembling an app is not enough. Think about what you want to achieve with the app and what benefits your app users will get when they use it. No one voluntarily gives up storage space to have a useless app on their phone. Offer them interaction opportunities, provide the app with current content and modules through which your users recognize added value, e.g. shopping comfortably via app on the sofa at home.

Copycat apps prohibited!

Please do not create apps that are pure copies of other apps. Apple rigorously punishes such so-called copycats.

Rejection due to missing privacy policy and imprint

Apple's 5th Legal guideline combines all legal and privacy-related aspects that your app must have in order to appear in the App Store.

Remember the privacy policy

An app also needs a privacy policy, which can be reached within a maximum of three clicks. Under MY APP -> Settings -> Legal Information, you can store a privacy policy for your app. You can also generate a privacy policy. Note here, however, that you still have to adapt this pre-generated privacy policy for your app and your company accordingly. If you already have a privacy policy for your app, simply add it.

The imprint must not be missing either

Your app must have an imprint that shows your company data, e.g. company name, address and who the legal representative is. In addition, the privacy policy is also located there. You can add the imprint under MY APP -> Settings -> Legal Information and fill it with other information, see privacy policy, image sources as well as disclaimer etc..

Other reasons for rejection?

Even though the checklist is green and the submission process can be started, we would like to draw your attention to a few more points that can lead to a rejection:

Corona or Covid 19 app?

Apple does not allow content about the Corona virus to be distributed via your app. Only the official apps are allowed to provide information about Corona. You can also find more information about this here: https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=03142020a

Of course, you can inform if your opening hours or upcoming events have to be changed or rescheduled due to the virus. But a pure Covid 19 coverage is not possible and will lead to the rejection of the app.

Before submission: App must be completely ready!

Make sure that the content of your app is up-to-date before submission. Therefore, do not use placeholder texts, e.g. Lorem ipsum, of which you only want to replace the content later. Test content and entries in modules (This one is a text module!) are not allowed, as they do not add any value to the app user.

No references to Apple

Do not place any references to Apple, such as the logo, in the app. Neither in a module, nor on the home page of your app. You have the option to include the Apple App Store logo on your website (to promote your app), but Apple has no place in the app.

Pornographic content

Pornographic content in apps that serve sexual gratification is not supported by Google and those apps will be rejected.

Violence

Any depiction of glorified violence towards humans or animals, whether in text or video form, is strictly rejected by Google.

Tobacco and Alcohol

Apps that intend to sell tobacco or alcohol or promote the illegal as well as inappropriate use of tobacco or alcohol will not be submitted.

More information about Apple's App Store policies can be found here: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/


In conclusion:

We hope this detailed guide helps and supports you in successfully submitting your iOS app to the Apple App Store. Of course, if you have any questions, you can always contact our support team via phone, chat or email.

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