App store gotchas

My notes on adding apps to Apple app store

⚠️️ Important:
⚠️️ Important:
⚠️️ Important:
⚠️️ Important:

Here’s how to submit your app to the Apple App Store:

Great tutorial for submitting to the Appstore:

  1. To create an iOS distribution provisioning profile and distribution certificate, follow the instructions provided by Apple’s documentation.
  2. Create an App Store Connect record for your app by adding a new app.
  3. To archive and upload your app using Xcode, select ‘Generic iOS Device’ from the list of simulators, then click ‘Product’ -> ‘Archive’. Finally, click ‘Distribute App’ to upload your app.
  4. Configure your app’s metadata and further details in its App Store Connect record.
  5. Submit your app for review.
  6. Check on the status of your app.


Great tutorial for adding an app to test-flight:

  1. The first build of your app must be approved by TestFlight App Review (This build is automatically sent for review when you add it to a group.)
  2. To upload a beta build to App Store Connect, select the build you want to upload and click ‘Add to TestFlight’. Builds remain active for 90 days after upload.
  3. Internal testers (100 org members) and external testers (10k people) can be invited via email or by enabling and sharing a public link. To enable a public link, go to your app’s TestFlight page, click an existing group, and click ‘Enable Public Link’.
  4. When sharing your app with external testers, provide details on your app’s Test Information page in App Store Connect.

App review:

Find message that resonates with target user:

  • Identify the core user problem or pain.
  • Present an innovative solution that solves the problem.
  • Keywords, metadata, app name, and description.

Title (App name)

Your app’s name plays a critical role in how users discover it on the App Store. Choose a simple, memorable name that is easy to spell and hints at what your app does. Be distinctive. Avoid names that use generic terms or are too similar to existing app names. An app name can be up to 30 characters long.


  • Your app’s subtitle is intended to summarize your app in a concise phrase. Consider using this, rather than your app’s name, to explain the value of your app in greater detail.
  • Avoid generic descriptions such as “world’s best app.” Instead, highlight features or typical uses of your app that resonate with your audience.
  • You can update your subtitle when submitting a new version of your app to help you determine the subtitle that’s most effective for engaging users.
  • A subtitle can be up to 30 characters long and appears below your app’s name throughout the App Store.


  • Craft an engaging description that highlights the features and functionality of your app. The ideal description is a concise, informative paragraph followed by a short list of main features. Let potential users know what makes your app unique and why they’ll love it. Communicate in the tone of your brand, and use terminology your target audience will appreciate and understand.
  • The first sentence of your description is the most important, as it’s what users can read without having to tap to read more. Every word counts, so focus on your app’s unique features.
  • If you choose to mention an accolade, we recommend putting it at the end of your description or as part of your promotional text. Don’t add unnecessary keywords to your description in an attempt to improve search results. Also, avoid including specific prices in your app description, as pricing is already shown on the product page and references within the description may not be accurate in all regions.
  • You can update your app’s description when you submit a new version of your app. If you want to share important updates more frequently, consider using your promotional text instead.
  • Focus the bulk of your energy on the first three lines of your description to immediately grab your reader’s attention. Given the ever-growing number of apps in the marketplace, customers are sure to have a few — if not several — alternatives to consider when evaluating yours. Make their decision easy by immediately communicating what it does and why they should use it.

Promotional text

Your app’s promotional text appears at the top of the description and is up to 170 characters long. You can update promotional text at any time without having to submit a new version of your app. Consider using this to share the latest news about your app, such as limited-time sales or upcoming features.


  • Use screenshots captured from your app’s UI to visually communicate your app’s user experience. You can feature up to 10 screenshots on your App Store and Mac App Store product pages. Depending on the orientation of your screenshots, the first one to three images will appear in search results when no app preview is available. Make sure these highlight the essence of your app. Focus each subsequent screenshot on a main benefit or feature so that you fully convey your app’s value. If your app supports Dark Mode, consider including at least one screenshot that showcases what the experience looks like for users.
  • For more information on uploading screenshots, see the App Store Connect Help.
  • You have to upload 2 sizes of screenshots. launch simulator for iPhone6 and iPhoneX and click screenshot button to grab some shots
    1. For 6.5 inches iPhones (1242 x 2688px or 1284 x 2778px)
    2. For iPhone 5.5” Display the trick is to take a shot and then resize in preview to 1242 x 2208 (the extra pixel must be removed to the height)
  • For mac: 1280x800 1440x900 2560x1600 2880x1800
  • iPads (2048 x 2732px)


  • Keywords are an important factor in determining where your app displays in search results, so it’s important to choose them carefully to ensure your app is easily discoverable. To choose the right keywords, think about the words your target audience is likely to use when searching for an app like yours. Be specific when describing your app’s features and functionality to help the search algorithm surface your app in relevant searches. When choosing keywords, consider the trade-off between ranking well for less common terms versus ranking lower for popular terms. Popular, functional terms like ‘jobs’ or ‘social’ may drive a lot of traffic, but they are highly competitive in the rankings. Less common terms drive lower traffic, but are less competitive.
  • Keywords are limited to a total of 100 characters, with terms separated by commas and no spaces. You can use spaces to separate words within keyword phrases, such as ‘Property,House,Real Estate’. To maximize the number of words that fit within this character limit, avoid using plurals of words that you’ve already included in singular form, names of categories or the word ‘app’, duplicate words, and special characters like # or @ unless they’re part of your brand identity. Special characters don’t carry extra weight when users search for your app.
  • Improper use of keywords is a common reason for App Store rejections. To avoid this, do not use unauthorized trademarked terms, celebrity names, or other protected words and phrases. Also, avoid using terms that are not relevant to your app, competing app names, or irrelevant, inappropriate, offensive, or objectionable terms.
  • Keep in mind that promotional text doesn’t affect your app’s search ranking, so it should not be used to display keywords. Instead, use your promotional text to highlight your app’s unique features and benefits.

What’s New

  • When you update your app, use the ‘What’s New’ section to communicate changes to users. This text appears on your product page and on the Updates tab.
  • If you added a feature or fixed a bug based on feedback, use the ‘What’s New’ section to let users know that you’ve listened to them. List new features, content, or functionality in order of importance, and add call-to-action messaging that gets users excited about the update. This will help users understand the value of the update and encourage them to download it.
  • Updating your app frequently is important because mobile customers are looking for apps that are constantly improving, with regular updates based on customer feedback. Apps that are frequently updated are seen, by both the app store and the customer, to be of higher value and more customer-centric. This can help improve your app’s visibility and attract more users.

Ratings and reviews

  • Ratings and reviews have a significant impact on how your app ranks in search results and can encourage users to engage with your app. Therefore, it’s important to focus on providing a great app experience that motivates users to leave positive reviews. Individual ratings contribute to your app’s summary rating, which is displayed on your product page and in search results. This summary rating is specific to each territory on the App Store.
  • The SKStoreReviewController API provides an easy way for users to provide feedback about your app. You can prompt for ratings up to three times in a 365-day period. Users will submit a rating through the standardized prompt, and can write and submit a review without leaving the app. This feature can help you increase the number of ratings and reviews for your app, which can improve its visibility and attract more users.
  • You can use App Store Connect to respond to customer reviews of your app and directly address their feedback, questions, and concerns. When you respond, the reviewer will be notified and will have the option to update their review. Reviews and responses can be updated at any time, but only the latest review and response for each user will display on your product page. This feature can help you build a positive relationship with your users and improve their overall experience with your app.


  • Categories on the App Store are used by users to discover new apps that meet their needs. You can assign a primary and a secondary category to your app. The primary category is particularly important for discoverability, as it helps users find your app when browsing or filtering search results, and it determines in which tab your app appears on the App Store.
  • It’s important to choose the primary category that’s most relevant to your app. Choosing categories that are not relevant to your app may cause your app to be rejected when submitted for review. This is because the App Store review team wants to ensure that users can easily find apps that meet their needs and that the categories accurately reflect the app’s functionality and purpose.
  • To choose the right category, think about the primary function of your app and the problem it solves for users. Consider the features and functionality of your app, and choose the category that best describes its main purpose. If your app has multiple functions, choose the category that best represents the primary function.


  • In the ‘Bundle-ID’ field, you can select from the app identifiers that are registered in the Developer Account. This value is unique for every app on the App Store. If the app build is ready, make sure you choose the same ID that was used in Xcode during app archiving.
  • When you create a new build, it’s important to increment the build number. This helps to differentiate between different versions of your app and ensures that users are always using the latest version. You can increment the build number in the general settings of your project.
  • You can specify the app price for a specific time period. This is useful if you want to make your app cheaper at the beginning to encourage users to download it.
  • The SKU number is used for profit record keeping. You can use the app ID, date, or version number to create a unique SKU. For example, ‘NameOfAppV1_y2022m12d04’.
  • When filling out the App Store info pages, make sure to click the save button frequently. There is a lot of information to fill out, and it can take a day to complete.
  • The App Store review process can be unpredictable, and your app may be rejected for unexpected reasons. To avoid this, make sure that your app’s design and user experience work as expected and are free of bugs. This will help to minimize the back-and-forth with the review team.
  • Send your app for review early and often. Review times can be found here: .
  • If your app is rejected, provide the reviewer with succinct information about the issue and try again. If the issue cannot be resolved, you can appeal to higher-ups with your claim.
  • Reviewers are usually not responsive and may not go out of their way to understand your app. To avoid this, keep things simple and straightforward, and be persistent in your efforts to get your app approved. Also, keep in mind that reviewers may change over time and may not be familiar with previous information.
  • After a build is uploaded to App Store Connect, it may take some time before it shows up in the dashboard. This is normal and should not cause concern.
  • After a build is added to the App Store build dashboard, it will take some time before it can be added to TestFlight. The build will say ‘processing’ for a while, and then after a while, it will be ready for TestFlight review. For current review times, see: .
  • To create a unique SKU number, you can use the bundle ID of your app.


  • Q: Do I need to get approval to start testing beta builds?
  • A: To make your beta builds available to members of your App Store Connect team, your app doesn’t need review by TestFlight App Review. To make your beta builds available to external users, your beta build may require review. When you add the first build of your app to a group, the build gets sent to TestFlight App Review to make sure it follows the App Store Review Guidelines. A review is only required for the first build of a version and subsequent builds may not need a full review. Testing can begin once a build is approved.


  • The fastest and easiest way to make screenshots is just to launch your app in the iOS simulator (for the screen size that you need), navigate to the screen you want to take a screenshot of and then hit CMD + S on your keyboard.
  • Use to generate privacy policy. Store in a html on your website or in a github gist (more info: ) (or google for “App Privacy Policy” and you’ll see a lot of samples and privacy policy generators that you can use). An option is to use GPT to create legal documents.