Users see this element in App Store search results, even before they find themselves on the product page. The visibility of an icon places extra importance on how it should look like. To be eligible for the App Store, icons have to meet the following specifications:
The promotional text goes before the app description and is limited to 170 characters. A huge advantage of this product page element is that it can be changed without having to upload an updated app version. Consequently, it’s a good place to share messages that are limited in time, such as sales, announcements of new features, events or content, and more.
For this part of the process, you’ll have to select your pricing and the territories it will be available, from the Pricing and Availability section. For pricing, even if your app is free, you have to input a start and end date. If you don’t plan on changing the price anytime soon, then you can select no end date. You’re also able to schedule a price change.
For territories, you can select “All Territories” if you want your app to be available for download worldwide, however, some might recommend starting with a few places then expand later, so you can test how your app does on a small market, then you can expand.
It might be common knowledge to developers that Apple only permits developers to sell apps at certain price points.Apple permits developers to choose from 94 price tiers, which range from US$0.99 to US$999.99. Developers pick one price tier, which applies to every country that their app is distributed in. So, before you submit your app for review, you must set a price for your app, which will be used for all App Store territories. If you don’t have a Paid Applications agreement, you can only choose a free price.
What currency is used for a given App Store territory? You can refer to Exhibit C of your Paid Applications agreement to see the currency used by a specific App Store territory. You can select the territories where you want your app to be available on the App Store. By default, all countries or regions are selected, but you can deselect territories where you don’t want your app for sale. Your app will appear on the App Store in the updated or changed countries or regions within 24 hours. Now talking about Apple’s fees on your product. Apple's cut is between 15–30% (15%, for software developers with less than $1 million in annual net sales on their platform).
Apples guiding principle of the App Store is very simple, they want to provide a safe experience for users to get apps and offer a great opportunity for developers to have success. They do this by offering a highly curated App Store where every app is reviewed by experts and editors to help users discover new apps daily.
The App Store now helps users better understand an app’s privacy practices before they download the app on any Apple platform. On each app’s page, users can learn about some of the data types the app may collect, and whether that data is linked to them or used to track them. You need to provide information about your app’s privacy practices, including the practices of third-party partners whose code you integrate into your app, in App Store Connect.
They also strongly support all points of view being represented on the App Store, as long as they respect the guidelines. Any attempt to cheat the system, for example by trying to trick the review process, steal user data, copy another developer’s work, manipulate ratings, or App Store discovery, your app will be removed from the store, and you as a developer will be expelled from the Apple Developer Program.
You are responsible for making sure everything in your app complies with their guidelines, including ad networks, analytics services, and third-party SDKs. Apps should implement appropriate security measures to ensure proper handling of user information collected according to the Apple Developer Program License Agreement and their Guidelines, and prevent its unauthorized use, disclosure, or access by third parties.
Apple wants their user to feel confident that the app they download is safe and will not break their phones. That is why:
- Users can choose whether or not to share data
- Every week, Apple's experts review around 100k apps
- There were over 150k app rejections last year for violating privacy guidelines and over 1M rejections for inadequate content
- Every app has a page with detailed information, which an app owner must fill during the publishing process
For your app approval to go as smoothly as possible, you should review the most common missteps listed below, missteps that can slow down the review process or trigger a rejection. So make sure that you:
- Test your app for crashes and bugs
- Ensure that all app information and metadata is complete and accurate
- Update your contact information in case App Review needs to reach you
- Provide an active demo account and login information, plus any other hardware or resources that might be needed to review your app (e.g. login credentials or a sample QR code)
- Enable backend services so that they’re live and accessible during the review
- Include detailed explanations of non-obvious features and in-app purchases in the App Review notes, including supporting documentation where appropriate
- Check whether your app follows the guidance in other documentation.
After submitting, your app will be on the waiting list for Apple’s certification and review team. You’ll just have to wait now. In the past, the review process took between 1 to 2 weeks, and then a couple of years ago, they said they would be working on improving the speed, so the review process was cut down to a few days, usually between 24 – 48 hours, but certainly not weeks. The process isn’t artificial, but human. They have real persons playing with your app so they can give subjective feedback.
Once the review process has finished successfully, you'll be able to publish the app (it takes between 24 - 48 hours to be available in the App Store). After the review process, the app can go directly to the store, or you can decide on what date you want it to be released. For existing apps that release a new update, phased releases allow you to distribute the update to the users over a period of 7 days. Phased releases don’t quite have the same flexibility as the Android staged rollouts but it is certainly much better than releases to potentially millions of users simultaneously.
If you opt for phased releases, App Store Connect will gradually release your new version to users who have opted into automatic updates over the period of 7 days. All users can still bypass this and go directly to the app store to download the new version if they chose. It ramps up as follows:
- Day 1 - 1%
- Day 2 - 2%
- Day 3 - 5%
- Day 4 - 10%
- Day 5 - 20%
- Day 6 - 50%
- Day 7 - 100%
You can pause a release at any time for a total maximum paused time of 30 days. This is a cumulative number and doesn’t reset if you unpause and pause again. You can pull the app version from sale if there’s a critical problem you can’t fix, this will remove the app from the store though so it’s a last resort. You’re free to cancel the phased release at any time and release it to all users.