Our series of articles on the development of a native mobile application was previously devoted to the conceptualization and design of an application as well as to application tests. Chapter 5 is dedicated to the deployment of your application on an online application shop.
The first subpart 5.1 of this chapter was concerned with downloading your Android application to the Play Store. If you have developed an iOS application, and you just have to launch it, it will naturally be necessary to download it for Apple’s App Store. We are revealing to you how to configure its installation and how to download it in order to manage this step with simplicity.
How to publish an app iOS on the App Store
Apple’s Apple App Store is the only official platform to offer and download an iOS application. To deposit it in the App Store, two services are imperatively required: Apple Developer Program (platform that helps application development for Apple’s Apple’s Apple) and iTunes Connect associated with it. These two services constitute the interfaces of Apple’s App Store.
Deploying an app for Apple’s App Store takes more time overall than Google Play Store. The purpose of this article is therefore not to explain in great detail, as in the previous chapter 5.1 for Play Store, how the recording is carried out on the necessary services and how to install its application. On the other hand, we have decided to give you an overview of the different procedures that are necessary to publish your iOS application on the App Store, and to detail the most important approaches and the main points of vigilance.
On the Apple website you will find detailed information and explanations for your deployment to the App Store. You can turn to the App Distribution Guide but also the “iTunes Connect Developer Guide”.
The conditions to install an application in the App Store
In addition to having an iOS application ready to use, it is necessary to have a Mac computer with an Internet connection. Having a Mac is necessary to format its application in binary file using Xcode software. The latter is Apple’s official FDI (Integrated Development Environment), with which you can in particular create an iOS application. If you have not already installed the software, you can download the most recent version of Xcode free of charge to Apple’s Developer site.
In addition to its technical aspects, it is also necessary to have a credit card and to have a small budget. Registration on Apple Developer Program is certainly in principle free, but the deployment of an application requires registration amounting to US $ 99 per year. As soon as you have fulfilled these conditions, you will be able to take an interest in the first steps to be taken with Apple Developer Program.
Apple Developer Program
First, visit the Apple Developer site (proposed only in English) and click on “Account” in the top menu bar. Then register with your Apple identifier. If you don’t have one yet, you can create one on the site. However, in case you already have an account, it is still advisable to create another one so that your project can benefit from its own identification number.
By generating this new identifier, some information about you and a valid email address will be requested. A confirmation code is then sent to this address. After confirming your registration using this code, log on Apple Developer. Then accept the legal agreement, and your account is ready to use.
To install its app iOS, it is necessary to pay a (annual) membership, as mentioned above, of US $ 99. To do this, go to “Enroll” on the Apple Developer Program site, where you can click on “Start Your Enrollment” at the bottom of the page. There are two options available to you: an “individual” (for individuals) or “Company” (for businesses) registration.
Registration privately or as a business
If you are an independent developer, preferably register as an “individual” on Apple’s Developer Program. So you will only need a credit card. Registration takes effect almost immediately: after completing all of the required data and after validating it, just wait for confirmation by email which demonstrates your membership. Through this recording, you will have access to iTunes Connect where you can for example process and modify the presentation of your application for the App Store. Important: if you register as an individual for Apple Developer, only you will have access to the user account.
If you want to establish an account for a company, the personal investment will be little greater. For example, you will need, in addition to your credit card, your tax identification number and what is called the D-U-N-S number. This 9-digit sequence assigned by Dun & # 38; Bradstreet (D&B) is an identification number for businesses, traders and others found in the D&B database. You can request a free D-U-N-S number on the D&B site. A major advantage of the business user account is that you can allow access to multiple participants. Users who register as company employees can access iTunes Connect.
Apple certificate to set up an app
After registering on Apple Developer Program, some configurations will be required for your application. Each iOS application available in the App Store requires, for example, to have several Apple certificates signed. These can be created from the Xcode program or your Apple Developer account. We detail below the main lines of your approach on Apple Developer Program for a better understanding of the complete process.
To produce a certificate under Apple Developer, log on the site and open the “Member Center”. Click here on “Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles”. To be able to deploy on the App Store, two certificates are requested: a development certificate and a distribution certificate (also called a production certificate). You can establish these certificates by clicking in the left menu on “Certificates”, then “All”, and finally by clicking at the top right on the sign “plus”. Here are the following steps:
- On the window that appears, first click on “iOS App Development” then “Continue”.
- For the next step, you will need the Keychain Access program found on all of the newest Macs. Thanks to this software, will interfere with a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) file. When opening the Keychain Access, choose from the top menu “Keychain Access” → “Attractive Assistant” → “Request a Certificate From a Certificate Authority” and enter your email address and name in the window that opens. Make sure the backup is on your hard drive and specify the location.
- After certifying your CSR file, use the Apple Developer Program again. In the “About Creating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)” window, you will arrive by clicking “Continue” at the next point and can then download the established CSR file to your Apple account. Then click on “Generate”.
- Download your iOS development certificate, open it with a double click and confirm that you want to add the certificate to the Keycam. Thus, the certificate is registered in Keychain Access.
- The establishment of your development certificate has been completed. In order to obtain the production certificate (or distribution), click on “Add Another” and choose “Production” then “App Store and Ad Hoc”. Repeat the whole process to finally obtain the second certificate.
Save a device
Then save an Apple mobile device to your Apple Developer account. This is useful if you want to test your application with a Developer Program tool. Device recording can be done using Xcode just like Apple Developer. To start the configuration in your Developer account, click on “Devices” on “All”, and again on the plus symbol.
- For the registration of a device, you will need its Unique Device Identifier (UDID), which you can consult for example in the iTunes program. To do this, open iTunes and connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac.
- Choose the connected device from the drop-down list of iTunes. By clicking on the serial number, you will get the UDID from the device. Copy it.
- Return to the Apple Developer program and name the device with the name of your choice under “Register Device”. In the “UDID” field, add the copied suite.
- After clicking on “Continue”, you can save the device that will then be in your device list.
- You can save other devices by doing the same. Up to 100 devices per year can be saved to your Developer account.
Create an App ID for your application
Another condition for downloading an app iOS: generate an application identifier. This identification number characterizes a full application. It is divided into two parts: an identifier assigned automatically and a termination defined by you. In principle, you can create an “app ID explicit” or a “Wildcard App ID”. In the case of the App ID explanation, the identifier must be generated each time for any new app. However, it allows you to set up push notifications, in-app purchases and other functionalities useful for a single application. If, on the other hand, you set up a Wildcard App ID, you cannot use these functions but the App ID can be used for several applications.
To create an app ID, go to the menu entry “Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles” and click “Identifiers” → “App IDs” and then select the plus sign again.
- Under “App ID Description”, enter the name of your application. You will find below the prefix of your app ID assigned by Apple.
- The following field defines the suffix of your app-ID. This is where you can also choose whether you want an App ID or a Wildcard App ID. In addition, it is necessary to enter your “Bundle ID”.
- Then click on “Continue” and then, after checking all the data, on “Register”. You have finally generated your ID .
Establish a provisioning profile
It is important to finally devote yourself to the provisioning profile of the Apple Developer Program. This profile brings together all the configurations previously carried out (certificates, device recognition and app IDs) in a single profile, and connects the developer account to the app-ID and the recorded test devices. With the downloaded certificate, it is possible to sign the app code on Xcode. Without this, an application can neither settle on an iOS device nor configure on Apple’s App Store. To establish a provisioning profile, go to the left menu on “Provisioning Profile” → “All” and add a profile with the plus symbol again.
- For the provisioning profile, a development version and a distribution version also come into play. The first allows its use during the application development process. The second is devoted to the publication of the application (“Distribution” → “App Store”).
- To set up a provisioning profile in development version, choose “Development” → “iOS Development App”. After clicking on “Continue”, a new window appears.
- Then enter your application identifier for the profile. The previously created identification number can be found in the drop-down menu. Collect it and continue by clicking again on “Continue”.
- In the same way, generate in the next step your provisioning profile. The window that appeared allows you to check the certificate that must be part of your profile.
- Set the device (previously saved) that you want to associate with the profile.
- Finally, give a name to your development providing profile and download it.
- Going to “Add Another”, renew the procedure to create a provisioning distribution profile. You can start the operation under “Distribution” → “App Store”. The result is similar to a provisioning development profile.
- After configuring the two provisioning profiles and having them both downloaded, it is necessary to check them under Xcode. Open the profile in Xcode with a double click. You can either create a new project for the profile or use an existing one. Choose the appropriate project from the left menu in Xcode. In the “Build Settings” → “All” menu, you will find “Code Signing”. Here, it is possible to check in the entry “Provisioning Profile” if your profile is listed under “Automatic”.
Deploy your app iOS via iTunes Connect: the main lines
Itunes Connect is part of the Apple Developer account. It is essential for the following process as it allows you to download your app to the App Store. You can access iTunes Connect from the menu in your Developer account or directly by connecting to the site.
Contractual, banking and tax information
If you want to set up a paid application in the App Store, it is first necessary to go to “Agreements, Tax, and Banking” on iTunes Connect (if you offer a free application, you can skip this step) . To market an application on the App Store, it is necessary to request a contract beforehand. You will have several variants on iTunes Connect available. It’s up to you to select the most suitable. Note: all requests or acceptances for new contracts can only be managed by the iTunes Connect team agent.
To conclude a digital contract, Apple needs to collect information about you as a partner: these include your bank details because 70% of the income will be returned to you (Apple keeping the remaining 30%) but also contact details of the person who will deal with the legal aspects of the marketing of the application. You can manage all contracts at any time in this menu. Using iTunes Connect, you will find all the necessary information on the configuration possibilities of the “Agreements, Tax, and Banking” section
Create an iTunes Connect folder
To be able to publish your app iOS, the application requires having previously created an iTunes Connect file which includes all the information to set up and manage your application in the App Store.
If you want to postpone the configuration of your iTunes Connect folder until later, you can click the “Save” button (top right in each menu window) to save your changes.
- On the iTunes Connect start screen, click on the “My Apps” menu. You will then find a + symbol at the top left to download your application. Then click on “New App”.
- Choose in the next window “New iOS App” and enter the name of your application, the primary language as well as the Bundle ID (which you have already saved previously) and SKU (identification number which you can define yourself).
- After clicking on “Creaty”, it is necessary to enter additional information to the categorization of your application. This is where you will define the main category and where you can, if you wish, choose a second category as well as one to two subcategories. IONOS recommends that you do this because this will then allow you to better find your application in the App Store. Depending on the contents of your application, additional configurations may be necessary. Finally, complete this step by clicking on “Save” at the top right.
- Then go to the “Pricing and Availability” section, which you will find in the left bar. You will indicate here if your app is free or paid for the App Store. If you sell your application, fill in the data required for this marketing. Again, save your data using the “Save” button at the top right.
App presentation page for the App Store
It is now necessary to tackle the presentation of your application in the product page by providing all the information allowing to understand its usefulness (such as a description of the content, screenshots, keywords for research in the ‘App Store etc.). This still requires a little work and investment. Help you find an optimal description in „iTunes Connect Developer Guide“ under „Identifying Your App in iTunes Connect“. Here is a summary of the most important points:
- Choose under “My Apps” in the left menu “Prepare for Submission”.
- In the window that appears, download the screenings from your app. You can download the images in JPEG or PNG format. At least one screenshot is required for each compatible device. The resolution can indeed be very variable. The display of an iPhone is for example smaller than that of an iPad, which creates big differences. Among iPhone and iPad, there are also very different models. Precautions are therefore to be taken. For more advice on this point, see the iTunes Connect Developer Guide, the “Platform Version Information” and then “Screenshot Properties”.
- In the next field, you can write your presentation in “Description” and then fill in the keywords “Keywords”. These are tags corresponding to the content of your application. If a user searches for these keywords in the App Store search bar, they may come across your application. Therefore, it is important to think carefully about these terms (you will no longer be able to change them after the fact). In addition, it is mandatory to fill in the “URL Support” field. This entry must include a website, on which your users can find an email address and / or a telephone number to be able to contact the customer service of your app.
- To download a Build (also called binary) from your application, use the Xcode program :
- Open your project under Xcode. If you have not programmed your application under Xcode, you can import your file under .xcodeproj.
- Choose in Xcode from the top bar “Generic iOS Device”. Then open in the “Product” → “Archive” menu. The binary is then created for the App Store.
- Then you need to open your app file in a new window. A check must be performed by Apple so that your application can be hosted on the App Store. Click on “Validate”, select your Developer account and confirm the validation in the following window.
- After validation of the application, you can download the application. Confirm with the “Upload to App Store” button, choose your Developer iOS account and click “Upload”. As soon as your confirmation appears, return to your browser under iTunes Connect.
- The time it takes for the Build file to appear on iTunes Connect can be long. Do not waste time downloading your application icon (app icon). This image will serve in particular as a start button on the interfaces of users’ devices. It must be 1024 x 1024 pixels.
- To the right of the app icon, enter the copyright information, including the year of publication of the app and the contact details of those responsible.
- Under the appendix, enter the version number. “Rating” is finally used to configure the age limit for your application.
- You still have to complete “app review information”. It is especially important here to give the contact details of the people who serve as contact for Apple for this specific application. Under “Notes”, you can add some details for Apple (useful especially if your application is special). Finally, indicate under “Release Version” whether your application after verification of Apple should be published immediately or after a certain period of time.
- Come back to the top of the page and click on “Save”. If you have not forgotten any mandatory data, the work is finished. Use the “Submit for Review” button to file your application on Apple.
And after filing his app iOS ?
By launching the deployment of your application, it is not said that it will be published immediately. First, as noted above, Apple checks the content of each application and makes sure it is not a malicious program. Unlike Google Play, this verification is performed normally manually. In the past, more than a week was on average required for the app iOS to be available. However, Apple has managed to shorten this time considerably: the review process now in principle requires almost 2 days. However, it is impossible to make generalities: the more Apple considers the application to be sensitive, the longer the process can last.
The status of the verification can be consulted at any time on iTunes Connect. In the “My Apps” menu, you will find information on the status of your application on the left under “iOS App”. After publication, it will still be advisable to keep an eye on this section. The success of an app can indeed be hampered by blockages of the application or programming errors. Only a working application is likely to prevail on the market. Your Apple Developer and Xcode account will help you resolve errors in so-called “Crash Reports” sent to Apple. However, these reports will only be communicated to you if users have agreed to forward error messages to the application developer. These messages can then provide clarification on the problems your users face.
If you can locate and resolve errors, it is necessary to create a new version of your app iOS and to publish it. This is done by downloading a new Build file to iTunes Connect. To this end, simply use the same application entry you used to deploy the previous version. This ensures that the ID app and the majority of the characteristics of your application will be kept. However, it is possible to modify the description of your application and some metadata.
In addition to updates, it is also a good idea to optimize your referencing on the online application store (for). There are indeed effective ways to try to place its application at the top of the list of the App Store. The last chapter of our series of articles on the design of a native mobile application is therefore dedicated to this subject: the first sub-chapter 6.1 will focus on improving your classification on Google Play Store while our second sub -part 6.2 will deal with this optimization on Apple’s Apple’s App Store. Better visibility of your application indeed increases the number of downloads and must therefore be taken into account to market an application.
A study of almost 2 million applications by the Adjust application analyst found that 90% of smartphone applications can only be found by direct search, and are therefore considered to be “zombie applications”, as the illustrates the following infography.