iPhone Application Publishing
“Winning isn’t always finishing first. Sometimes winning is just finishing.” –
Publishing refers to the process that takes the completed Xcode project and moves it into the Apple store. It has it’s own name because, honestly, it’s an entire process in itself, even for seasoned veterans. There are companies whose entire business is publishing apps for people – Chillingo is actually considered a “publisher” but has turned into a marketing juggernaut in the process.
To publish an app, you need to interface with the iTunes Connect portal – this is going to be your mission control moving forward. iTunes Connect allows you to manage the following:
• Sales and Trends – All the revenue and download data
• Contracts, Tax, and Banking – Legal information
• Payments and Financial Reports – Shows payouts and the reporting behind them • Manage Users – Test users and developers who want access
• Manage Your Applications – Data like icon, screenshot, description, pricing
For sheer information load, I’m going to skip the whole Provisioning Profile fiasco, which is something your developer should take care of anyway. In short, provisions profiles are Apple’s permission slips for developers – it allows your phone to be a test device and then gives the go ahead to be able to distribute your apps. It’s a MASSIVE headache and something you should leave to the pros.
Here is a basic breakdown of the publishing process:
1. Development finishes up, and the developers have a code project that is built and ready for upload.
2.You (or developers) go into the iTunes Connect portal and set up a new app – name, version, language, in-app purchase IDs, GameCenter, etc
3.Once you set up the app, you will fill out the information such as the large icon (512px by 512px), categories, copyrights, meta description of the app, keywords, and screenshots.
4.Then you’ll have your developers log into the iTunes Connect, prepare the app for upload, set the distribution certificates (these are provisioning items, don’t worry about it), and load the archived build in Xcode up to iTunes Connect.
Then you wait about a week, and you will get email notifications about when it goes in for Review, Processing for the App Store, and Ready for Sale. Let’s talk briefly about the parts that YOU will probably care about using one of my other apps as an example.
INSIDE iTUNES CONNECT
Name – pretty straightforward
SKU – kind of arbitrary, haven’t found anyone who’s given me a great explanation Bundle ID – what the developers use to “sign” the game and in-app purchases Apple ID – how Apple identifies your app
Type – iOS, Mac, Safari app
Default Language – English or whatever
You can see some parts on the right there – rights and pricing just allows you to change the price and the in-app purchases are more of a development deal. I wouldn’t worry about most of that, except the pricing, so we’ll skip it.
Version – 1.0 is usually the first release. If you do an update, you’ll change that to 1.1 or something.
Primary Category – Where you want your search to come up (games will allow for two subcategories, as seen above)
Secondary Category – Listed in a secondary category, but usually does not rank Copyright information – Add whatever you’d like
Rating – When you upload the game, you need to select different criteria about violence, nudity, etc. to determine the audience that can download it. Localizations – Also known as “translations” – this is when you have your app in different languages
Metadata – The information you see in the app store
Keywords – you are allowed 100 bytes (characters) of keywords here. Choose wisely. Screenshots – now these all need to be retina resolution (960px x 640px). Your designer should be able to supply these.
Game Center – Lists and leaderboards and achievements if you have any
Now you’ve got your app in the store, and you’re ready to start getting SERIOUS downloads!