Mobile App Submission to Apple App Store and Google Play Store

As a new app owner, you have worked hard to design your app and build it so it will provide the best experience for your designated clients and will optimally serve your business goals.

Once the app development process is completed, the next important step is to submit the app to the two major marketplaces: Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 

If you’re launching your first app, submitting an app to these two platforms isn’t as simple as just pushing a launch button. Due to its challenges, other app builder platforms refrain from being involved with the submission process, so the app owner is left to deal with it alone, and other service providers who do offer assistance in this process would charge as high as several hundreds of $USD merely for guiding the app owner through the submission process. 

For us at Swiftic, it is very important not to leave you to deal with this challenge by yourself, and as part of our long-term support and commitment of service excellence to our clients, we decided to support and guide our clients through the submission process as a complimentary service for no additional fees.

  1. First Thing First: Ensure Proper Functionality 

The app stores allow the publication only of top-quality apps, thus benefit mobile users by limiting publication strictly to apps that meet their high standards. This approach, while important for quality assurance, poses challenges for the developers, and it is crucial to meet the store’s respective standards, potentially in advance, or as early as feasible if the app submission was rejected. Prompt implementation of the app store requirements will help you to avoid delays and to minimize the chances for additional rejections. 

Right before submitting, testing a copy of your app (usually referred to as an ‘AdHoc’ version), is a very important step. When it comes to mobile apps, users have high expectations for performance, and testing your app is important in order to ensure successful adoption and high usage levels by your target audience. At Swiftic, we review the app you’ve built and advise on best practices in order to mitigate and correct flaws, and to minimize, the chances of having the app rejected during the submission process.

Failure to meet the required standards may result in multiple rejections which will require multiple resubmissions, resulting in a lengthy and frustrating process.

Once you’ve created the app in our app builder and selected your preferred subscription plan, we will contact you with instructions as to how to handle the submission process, covering both Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Please note that your app submission process is done through your developer account and under your email address, on both app stores, this means that the notifications and updates received from either Google and/or Apple, regarding your app status, the required actions/fixes and other important notices, will be received by you. It is therefore important you’ll regularly check for any such messages and bring it to our attention as soon as you get it so that we can guide you further as to the right course of action.

  1. Overview: How To Publish in Google Play Store

First, you will need to create your own Google Developer Account and pay a one-time payment of $25. 

Users who search Google Play Store for an app of their interest will typically be able to find many options available, they usually take a few seconds only to evaluate and decide whether a certain app matches their interest or not. Therefore, it is very important to make the app listing compelling, in order to win their short span attention and convince them to download. This includes:

  • The app’s ‘Short description’ is the first text users will see on the app page and should be considered a “baiting” text.
  • The ‘Long description’, where you should describe accurately your app using the right keywords. 
  • Furthermore, you will need to provide several images, such as a high-resolution App icon as well as a series of screenshots that will be featured as part of the app listing on Google Play. Our team will guide and help you to complete the list of the required images.

You should use the app screenshots to convey capabilities, the Look & Feel, and the experience of your app to potential users for better app discovery and decision making. 

Once these steps have been completed, you can upload the app file that we will provide you with (an Android .apk file) and follow the guidance on your Google Console to roll out the release. 

According to our experience, submissions to Google Play Store are likely to be accepted on one of the initial attempts, the review process on the Play Store may last anywhere from several days up to one or two weeks, during which Google will inform you whether there are any issues you should address and then resubmit a fixed version. Once the highlighted issues are resolved your app will be approved to become available on the Play Store.

  1. Overview: How To Publish in Apple App Store

The process of submitting an app to the Apple App Store is considered relatively more challenging than the process on Google Play Store, and it requires some preparation due to its high standards, and strict guiding principles. 

First, you are required to register as an Apple Developer and pay the $99 yearly fees. 

Here are the main steps you’ll need to go through: 

  • Create Certificates for your app

In order to be able to handle your app listing on the App Store, you need to create several certificates for the app. Our team will guide and support you during this process. 

It is important to note that from time to time, Apple may revoke certificates that have been created at its sole discretion. An email will be sent to the app owner’s email address from Apple to advise of an upcoming revoke of a certificate, as well as the expiration date, so it is very important to monitor whether such email has been received, and contact our team to make sure we can help you to renew the certificates in due time.

  • Providing app data 

Once the certificates are ready, you need to generate an app build that you will be able to upload to the App Store, and as part of that, you should provide all the other app data In order to have your app reviewed by Apple.

The app data you have to provide, includes an icon, app preview/screenshots images, and various metadata entries (such as the name of your app, its category, a detailed description, and additional keywords).

Note – The first three lines of description of the app are important because users will see it without having to tap the “read more” link. The description needs to be clear, concise, and to explain to the target audience why they would like to download the app.

Once these steps have been completed, you can upload the app file that we will provide you with (an iOS .ipa file) and follow the guidance on your App Store Console to rollout the release. 

According to our experience, the review process may last anywhere from several days up to several weeks, during which Apple will inform you of any issues they may have with the app, and once addressed, you should resubmit an updated version. Once all requirements are satisfied, your app will be approved and become publicly available on the App Store.

  1. Possible Reasons for Apple App Store Rejections

Apple is known to employ a relatively stricter approval process as compared to its rival, Google. It’s important to become familiar with specific technical, content, and design criteria that are required by Apple. There are generally two major reasons for rejection by Apple: 

(a) technical flaws; and 

(b) quality of content in the app.

However, with the right precautions and with the support of our team of experts, we will help you smoothen and speed up the app submission process.

We are pleased to offer this assistance as part of our service for which we do not charge additional fees (as said, in different from other companies that may charge up to hundreds of $USD for such services). However, it is important to realize that this process is not in our control and the final app approval is subject to the App Store’s subjective views and policies (that may also be updated from time to time).

Therefore, there are no assurances the submission will be approved on the first attempt and the process may require several iterations and fixes/adjustments to the app until it will satisfy the App Store’s requirements and be approved for listing.

For that reason, kindly be prepared for some back-and-forth exchanges and just rest assured that with our team support, this process will most probably be smoother and shorter than what you may have been facing without having our team guidance.

  1. Special Note: App Store Optimization (ASO)

While having your app meeting all the requirements to qualify for listing on the app stores is your main task, there are some other steps and preparations you may want to be aware of and take into consideration, in order to make it easy for users to find your app and increase the chances of your app coming out relatively high among the results presented for relevant users’ searches.

The higher your app ranks on an app store’s search results, the more visible it is to potential customers, and this tends to translate into more traffic to your app page and potentially more downloads and engaged users. 

The app stores use complex algorithms to list search results based on the relevancy of an app to a specific search query, and ASO is the name of the process of optimizing mobile apps ranking on the app store search results.

Applying a good level of ASO requires an understanding of your target customer base, including the keywords your potential customers are using on their searches. This topic will be covered in greater detail in one of our coming blog posts. Stay tuned!