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The App Store is a giant app market created by Apple. Every day, hundreds of iOS applications are being published to the App Store. To keep a high bar on the quality of mobile applications, Apple has a system in place to review iOS apps very carefully. In this article, we are publishing a Complete App Store Submission Checklist, that can be reviewed by entrepreneurs and developers, before submitting to the iOS App Store.

It is normal for your application to be rejected by Apple during the review process. In fact, if you’ve ever developed an iOS project, you most likely have been rejected several times by Apple before being able to successfully publish your app to production. This article will help you gain a little more experience in submitting an app to the Apple Store. Hopefully, you’ll avoid the most common silly¬†mistakes that get apps rejected, with this curated checklist, so you can publish your mobile app to the App Store as quickly as possible.

App Store Submission Checklist

1. Make sure your app is complete and all features work as advertised

Before submitting an app, you should make sure that your app’s functionalities are stable (no obvious crashes) and your application doesn’t have any major highly-visible bugs. If your apps still have bugs or crashes, Apple will immediately reject your application. Bugs and crashes are the most common reasons for getting rejected by Apple. Their reviewers are that good – they test all the apps thoroughly, so if there are any inconsistencies between the expected (advertised) behavior and the real app, they will reject your app.

You should also pay attention to the¬†Minimum Functionality issue. If your application is too simple or doesn’t bring too much on the table for the users, it will also be rejected by Apple reviewers.¬†Apple always encourages the integration of multiple apps with similar content into one before uploading it to the store to enhance the user experience. A common scenario is developers or agencies creating a simple Webview, where they embed their existing website. This kind of app will instantly get rejected by the app, since the iOS app wouldn’t provide any extra value for the users, that is not already offered by the website.

2. App Store Guidelines Compliance

Please make sure that your app is compliant with the App Store Guidelines, especially to those around user-generated content. You should pay attention to some critical issues such as whether your app has pornographic or violent content, or if the content in the app is copyrighted. If it is, you need to register with Apple, and must provide full information in the Description section as well as proof of copyrights.

3. Collect app screenshots, links, icons, and description

In addition to providing icons corresponding to the sizes and screen resolutions of each type of iPhone that Apple requires, you must ensure that all links in your application are active (if your app displays clickable links). Just one broken link (such as 404) will make Apple reject your application immediately.

You should also ensure that all images in the application are fully provided and avoid displaying errors as well as inappropriate placeholders when displaying an image.

Another important part of your app submission is “Screenshots” and “Description“. You need to provide them for Apple if you don’t want your app to be rejected. In fact,¬†even if Apple would ignore this section, you would still want to describe the application and provide clear and accurate screenshots. They help users to better understand your application, and therefore it serves as an App Store Optimization strategy.

app store guidelines

4. Sufficient Information

You must provide sufficient information so that reviewers know how to fully test the app. For example, if your application has authentication functions, you must give Apple a functional username and password combo. For two-way authentication case such as OTP code, the backend must provide mocking code, so that Apple reviewers can indeed test the app. In general, you need to create favorable conditions for Apple to review your application without a hitch.

5. Content of Permissions

Many modern applications require access to user’s private information such as access to the phone book, camera, library or location (in applications with maps, for instance).¬†When requesting these permissions, you should describe¬†clearly why your app needs this information. Be as specific as possible, since users have a right to know exactly how their data is being used.

If your app uses APIs that access sensitive user data, you also need to declare them in Info.plist file, otherwise your app would crash when trying to retrieve that piece of sensitive information.

6. Other Notes

There are many other things you should know and check your app before submitting.

  • Your application’s performance is stable, without draining the battery or affecting the device’s performance
  • Your application needs to be compatible with the latest Apple devices and operating systems.
  • The app’s UI is friendly, easy to use and isn’t broken for special iPhone models like iPhone X and iPhone 5. Your app UI should conform to¬†the Apple Human Interface Guidelines.
  • Your iOS app must have functions matching the basic purpose of the app. For example, if a shopping app doesn’t have a payment or search function, Apple might reject it. For instance, we got rejected because of this exact reason for our first of¬†the¬†shopping app template.

App Store Submission Checklist РConclusion 

With the help of this App Store Submission Checklist, we hope you will gain some more knowledge prior to submitting mobile applications to the iOS App Store, to avoid encountering multiple rejections. Apple has a very thorough app review team, so your application will be inspected in every little detail with strict review steps. This article is written based on our experience of publishing most of our Xcode templates, so we look forward to receiving your comments. Good luck!


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