The App Submission Process

The submission process for Apple’s App Store is rather notorious among developers for several reasons (just search on Google for “app store submission process”).  In the last two years, Apple has made an effort to make submitting your apps more friendly and less prone to rejection for unknown reasons.  Even so, here are a few observations on pain points we encountered when submitting Grow Your Garden for aspiring developers to be aware of:

  • Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines aren’t always clear on what they expect.  This is less relevant for games than for apps, but there simply isn’t a nice checklist you can run through prior to submission.
  • Before you can submit your app, you first have to create it in iTunes Connect, then change its status, then code sign your app, then build and archive it in XCode, then upload it and hope you pass automated tests.  Figuring out this process took much longer than it should have.
  • Code signing is annoying when you have more than a couple of profiles you can use.  We had to try three times before getting the settings just right to pass automated tests (tip: don’t re-sign after archiving).
  • You don’t get enough keyword space.  In the very limited text field for keywords, we were able to fit exactly 8 keywords to match against user searches in the App Store.  This simply isn’t enough to cover all of the bases, as anyone who has done a bit of research on AdWords will tell you.
  • After you pass the automated tests, there is virtually no way to tell what is happening until your app’s status changes.  Waiting days or even weeks (update: it took 1 week before Apple reviewed Grow Your Garden, and roughly 3 hours from review start to approval) for approval after submission is maddening.  A simple queue indicator would be a huge help for developers.

For more detailed tips on app submissions, be sure to check out these tips from Submit iPhone Apps.  And be sure to look for Grow Your Garden in the App Store soon!

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Category : Blog

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