How to Publish an iOS App on the Apple App Store?

Updated on :June 14, 2024
By :Tayaba Aslam

Developing an engaging and user-centric mobile app is one thing. Pushing it to the right audience is another. The first step to publishing your mobile app is to submit it to the relevant app stores for your audience to find and download. With the increasing popularity of smartphones and digital platforms, more businesses are entering the mobile app landscape. Entrepreneurs are launching creative apps every day, yet only the best ones make it to the app stores. Mobile App Developers must have Apple’s guidelines on their tips to get their app approved for the store.

Here is your step-by-step guide to publishing an iOS app on the Apple App Store!

Sign Up for the App Developer Program

If you haven’t already, register with Apple’s App Developer Program. It costs $99/year and gives access to submit iOS apps on all Apple platforms, access to Beta versions of Apple’s software, testing tools, app analytics, and more. 

You must renew the app every year, or Apple will remove your apps from the App Store.

Keep Your Screenshots Ready

Apple will ask you to submit screenshots of your app, especially if you are catering to different screen sizes. The easiest way to get your screenshots for each screen is to launch the app in the iOS simulator. Next, select the screen you want the screenshot for and choose CMD+S on the keyboard. The screenshot will be saved as a PNG file on your desktop. 

Steps to Publish an App on the App Store

Follow these steps to publish your app on the App Store without any hassle:

  • Step 1: Choose Your Build
  • Step 2: Set Pricing and Availability
  • Step 3: Submit Your App for Review
  • Step 4: View Your App Status and Resolve Your App Issues
  • Step 5: Request Promo Issues

Step 1: Choose Your Build

The chances are that you have built different versions of your app. However, the App Store accepts only one build. You can change the build before submitting the app to App Review. 

To choose your build, go to My Apps and choose the app version you want to submit. Now scroll down to the Build, and click on (+). Click on Done and choose Save on the upper-right corner. 

To remove a build, go to My Apps, and from the Build section, click on (–).

Choose your build

Step 2: Set Pricing and Availability

The next step is to set a price for the app for paid apps. You can choose to publish a free app as well.

Go to My Apps and select the app you want to submit. Select Pricing and Availability from the sidebar, and a Price Schedule will pop-up. Add the price of your app in the Price column. Now tap on Save on the upper-right corner. 

Set app price upload on Apple app store

You can choose which regions to launch the app for. Go to My Apps and select the app. Click on Pricing and Availability. Now from the Availability section, click on Edit and select the countries for your app. You may also Select All from the upper-right corner to publish the app worldwide. 

Click Done and Save the changes. 

Set price for your app on store

Step 3: Submit Your App for Review

You are now ready to submit the app for review. Go to My App and select the app that you want to submit. Select the app version that you want to submit from the sidebar.

Now scroll down to the Build section and verify that the right built is selected. Go to the Version-Release section. You will see three options: 

  1. Manually Release this Version 
  2. Automatically Release this Version
  3. Automatically Release this Version after App Review

If you are submitting a new app, you might want to publish your app as a pre-order as it removes other Version-Release options to simplify it. However, if you are submitting an update, you might want to release your update in phases. You can also reset your app’s summary rating if you are submitting a version update.

Finally, click on Submit for Review in the upper-right corner.

Submit your app for review on Apple store

Step 4: View Your App Status and Resolve Your App Issues

The app status will now change to Waiting for Review. In case Apple rejects your app, you may discuss the issues via the Resolution Center and fix the issues.

You may resolve the issues and submit the same build again. Go to My Apps and select the app. You will see a link that shows unresolved issues. The left column will show communication with apps that are grouped by a thread. App Store App Review communications appear first, followed by Beta App Review communications. 

You can also attach files in your replies. To reply to the thread, click on Send. 

The App Review team will help you identify the reasons that led to the rejection of your app. You can then work on making the changes with your development team and resubmit the app for review. 

View your app status on Apple store

Step 5: Request Promo Issues

Once your app is approved by Apple, you can request promo codes. The codes are distributed among potential users before the app is available on the App Store for download. 

Go to my Apps and select the app. Now select the Features tab, and from General, click on Promo Codes. Under the In-App Purchase Promo Codes, enter the number of in-app purchase codes, and under App Promo Codes, enter the number of version promo codes you need.

Click on Generate Code on the upper-right corner. Read and Agree to the terms and copy the codes displayed in the dialog box.

Click on Done to finish. 

Request promo

App Store Review Guidelines

Before submitting an app to Apple App Store, make sure that you understand the guidelines provided by Apple. 

General Guidelines

  • Ensure that your app is thoroughly tested for bugs and crashes.
  • Add contact information, so App Review can contact you if needed.
  • Provide supporting documentation and detailed explanations of non-obvious app features and in-app purchases.
  • Provide login information and a demo account for Apple to review your app.
  • Before submitting, make sure all information and metadata are complete. 

Safety Guidelines

The app you submit must not include insensitive or offensive content that may upset or disgust anyone. 

Your app must not include the following content:

  • Discriminatory or defamatory content about any gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, nationality, race, or any other group.
  • Images of people or animals being abused, tortured, or killed.
  • Content that encourages reckless purchase or use of weapons, ammunition, or firearms.
  • Pornographic material and graphic display of sexual activities or organs.
  • Religious commentary or misleading religious text
  • False information about features
  • Inaccurate medical data

Apps that allow user-generated content must take care of the following:

  • Objectionable material must not be allowed to get posted on the app
  • Abusive users must be blocked from using the app to provide a safe and comfortable user experience
  • Providing contact information for users who wish to reach you
  • Users must be able to report abusive content 
  • You must respond to the concerns raised by users on time

Mobile apps developed for kids must take care of the following:

  • No links to other apps or advertisements
  • Links to purchase of any product
  • Strictly follow privacy laws applicable across the globe for kids’ content
  • No links to third-party analytics

Design Guidelines

Apple is meticulous about app designs. It believes in simplicity and innovation. Your app must meet the following standards to get published on the App Store:

  • Your app design must not be a replica of any other app. Do not copy the design of top-performing apps and submit as yours. 
  • Your app must not be just an app version of the website. It should provide added value to users and must look and feel like an app.
  • Your app must not require another app to function. It should work on its own.
  • Your app must inform users about the size of any in-app download.
  • Your app design must consider regional sensitivities. 
  • Apps that use third-party logins must also offer Sign in with Apple.

Post-Submission Activities

Once your app is submitted, App Review will explore the app. Complex apps take longer to get approved. If you have a deadline approaching, you may request an expedited review. Once your app is approved, it will be released on the set date and may take up to 24 hours to appear on all storefronts.

In case your app is rejected, talk to the App Review team via the Resolution Center. Apple allows you to update the app and resubmit it for review. 

Get Your Apps on the App Store!

Apple accepts mobile apps that meet all its guidelines and deliver an exceptional user experience to the audience. This step-by-step guide will help you in developing apps that meet the requirements that are successfully accepted by Apple. 

Now it’s your time to submit your iOS app to the App Store. 

Tayaba Aslam
Tayaba Aslam

Tayaba Aslam is a Senior Digital Content Producer at Cubix. She loves writing about digital marketing, technology, mobile apps, and tech trends. She is a regular contributor to leading tech publishers and magazines.

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