How to Upload Your App to the App Store: A Step-by-Step Guide

Oleksandr Kruglyak
Head of Dev Department at TRIARE
5 min read

In this post, we will explain how to upload your app to the App Store and how much it costs.

It can be assumed that creating an application is the most challenging process for a development team. However, submitting the app to the App Store can also demand a lot of effort. This process may take quite some time: to ensure the best and safest experiences for its huge audience, the App Store maintains strict guidelines and a scrupulous verification process.


What Are the Benefits of the App Store?

The most exciting things  about creating an application are freedom and endless opportunities. This is precisely what Apple provides to app developers. They can bring to life any of their ideas and reach millions of users worldwide. The App Store is ahead of the competition regarding security and user-friendly content: shorter videos and fewer requests to rate the app.

It’s worth noting that in 2020, App Store users spent about $64 billion on apps and the number of downloaded apps in the App Store exceeded $18 billion in the first half of 2020. Thus the App Store gives the opportunity to reach a lot of people.

How to Add Your App to the App Store?

The Internet is full of instructions on how to upload an application to iOS application market, and we have highlighted the main steps to follow:

Step 1. Register as a developer in the App Store. To do this, you need to create an Apple ID, go to the iOS Developer Center website, and fill in all the required information. The developer registration procedure takes about two weeks and costs $99.

Step 2. Upload your marketing materials, taking into account the following App Store requirements:

  • The icon is the face of your application. It should speak to the target user about the app’s primary function and all the details of the image should be clear on any mobile phone screen.
  • Screenshots greatly impacts users’ decision on whether to install or purchase an application. Emphasize your strengths and the benefits that the user will receive by downloading your product. A bright picture that is not cluttered with text is perceived better. This is especially true for the first screenshot: it should show the app’s major function and reveal what’s unique about it.
  • The name of your application should be well distinguishable, relevant to user requests, and stand out from others. For the App Store, the developer indicates their product’s name with keywords and writes a subtitle that should attract users.
  • The description in the App Store, unlike Google Play, is not indexed – scanning the app page and displaying it for the identified keywords. Primary function of description is marketing. Outline your app’s benefits in simple language and explain its functionality so that the user understands what they will get by downloading your product.

Step 3. Attach a digital assembly certificate so that the App Store can identify you as a developer and provide you with limited access to make changes to the application. A developer can get the certificate on the iOS Developer Center website after filling information for the developer’s profile.

All applications must be signed with a developer certificate before being uploaded to the App Store. This is necessary to ensure that App Store users will download a verified application from a particular developer and not a fake one.

The process of code signing allows the operating system to know who the developer is. Make sure that the application has not been changed since the build. There are three entities involved in this procedure: developer’s certificate, App ID, and Provisioning profile. To create a certificate, you need to go to in the “certificates” section, select the type of certificate Production – App Store and Ad Hoc. Save the generated certificate to your computer, open it. The certificate will be placed in the system store and available to Xcode – software development environment for Apple platforms. App ID identifies the app. To get the full App ID, you need a generated Apple ID and a Bundle that the developer created. In the center’s Provisioning profile section, you can manage your profiles, giving yourself the ability to release app builds for different purposes.

Step 4. Set up the price of the application. Fill in the information about “Pricing and Availability”.

Step 5. Apply for verification. App Store verification takes time, so we advise you to approach the placement carefully so that later you do not have to make edits and waste time. You can review the uploaded build in iTunes Connect, on the Activity tab. For projects built on Swift, the build will be checked automatically in about half an hour. Until then, the assembly will have the Processing status. For non-native languages the checking will take a little bit longer.


What Сan Cause the App to Be Rejected?

On the App Store, over a million applications were rejected for questionable, unsafe or illegal content. If the app doesn’t meet Apple’s guidelines, reviewers will return it to the developers asking them to fix the bugs. They usually indicate the reason for the rejection, so developers can fix it and send the application for a second review. Some of rejection reasons:

  • The app violates Apple guidelines: contain malware, easily hacked during installation or use, contains pornography, insults, scenes of violence, propaganda of drugs, alcohol and smoking. Also, Apple has certain requirements for the user interface: the tab bar should not be located on top, you cannot go back with a swipe
  • Apple is having trouble testing the app in its environment
  • Apple needs more information about the app
  • It is not specified for what purposes you ask users to give access to the camera and photo library
  • The app does not have enough functionality to be considered complete


How Much Does It Cost to Upload Your App to the App Store?

After your application is verified, you have to accept the agreement and pay a yearly fee of $99. Apple also charges 30% of the price of any in-app purchase.

Read case study Budget Application

Oleksandr Kruglyak
Head of Dev Department at TRIARE