The Publish step is crucial in the publishing & upload process. This is where you'll fill in all the info that will appear in the App Store and Google Play listings once your app is live. When you publish an app for iOS, a "metadata" file is created at that very moment. This is sent to us as-is, and that file is used when we upload your app. If you make a change to the Publish step after publishing, it will not automatically update that metadata file. For that reason, it's extremely important you verify that everything in Publish step is exactly as you'd like it before publishing.
In addition, the majority of the content found in the Publish step cannot be changed after an app goes live in the App Store. It requires a full republish & update to change elements like the app icon, screenshots, and app name. We charge an update fee of $50, which is in place simply to prevent an unmanageable amount of update requests for small changes.
Note: Since you upload your Android apps on your own, and their restrictions are looser, you can update and change app listing info in Google Play at any point, though it may require updating the app.
This section covers the majority of the app listing info. After you've filled out all the fields, make sure to click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the section, otherwise your content will be lost.
- App Name: The name that will appear in the App Store and Google Play. Users will search for this name in order to locate the app.
- App Icon Name: The name that will appear below the icon once an app is installed on a device. It can be up to 12 characters, and is typically just a shortened version of the app name.
- App Keywords: Search terms that are relevant to your app. These will help users locate your app if they plug keywords into the search bar. It's usually best to use industry-based keywords, and include the business name as well.
- App Description: A short description, which typically covers a bit about the business, but should primarily focus on how beneficial the app will be to users. It's good to list a few features the app offers here.
- What's New in This Version: If you're updating your app, you'll detail what's available in the new version—for instance, "Performance improvements and new features."
- Contact Email: The email address for the business.
- Phone Number: The phone number for the business.
- Official Website: The website URL for the business (must include http:// prefix).
- Copyright: The copyright you'd like to appear in the App Store listing. Usually this is your business name, whether you're a Reseller or a Single Client.
- App Category: Select the best industry fit from the drop-down menu. This will help properly categorize your app so users searching within that category are more likely to find it.
- App Price: Though the majority of our clients produce free apps, you can opt to charge for yours. Select the price from the drop-down to do so. Keep in mind, both Apple and Google Play take 30% of the profits from app sales, and priced apps tend to discourage users from downloading.
- Default Language: The default language of the app listing in the App Store. This refers to Apple's own text that you otherwise don't have control over, like "Details," "Reviews," "Related," "Description," etc. If you select a language here, the app listing will appear in that language by default. Keep in mind, the text you provide (like all the other fields in the Publish Step) will display as-is, so if you want the listing available in multiple languages, you'll need to add localizations before your app goes live. (Localizations cannot be added after an app is released.)
- Disable ALL commenting ability in your application: If your app is running our Chestnut source code or later, you can disable the commenting section in tabs like Contact, Events v2, etc, at any point by simply checking this box and saving. If you'd later like to re-enable commenting, you can uncheck the box and save once more to bring it back instantly.
- Audio Background Play: This feature allows you to continue playing music from the app while navigating elsewhere on your device. For instance, if I begin playing a track through the app, then click my home button to return to my phone's main screen, the audio will keep playing. This box should only be checked if you have a Music or Podcast tab active within the app. Without one of the two, Apple will reject your app for containing an irrelevant feature.
- Google Plus Client ID: Skip this step. We've discontinued Google+ integration, but keep this field on the platform for legacy apps already using the feature.
- App Store Content Rating: Click the More button to set rating options for your app. An improper rating can lead to a Metadata Rejection from Apple, so it's important to elevate the rating when necessary. Common reasons for upped ratings are mature/sexual content, drug/alcohol content, and violence.
The app icon will appear both in the app listing and on the device screen itself once installed. It's built into the app file that we send to Apple, as well as the APK file that's generated when you publish for Android. Like other elements, changing the app icon requires a full republish, since a new app file containing the updated icon must be created.
- Icons should be 1024x1024px.
- Icons should not be transparent. iOS is no longer compatible with transparent icons, and the transparent portions will be automatically darkened, leaving you with a much different design than desired.
- Apple automatically rounds icon corners. Keep this in mind if you plan to have text on your icon, as it may get cut off. It's best to go with simple designs regardless, since icons are small and text is hard to read.
- Icons should be relevant to the business. Usually a clear logo on a nice background is best.
- If the file size of your icon is too large, you'll receive an "app icon is too heavy" error message. Follow this troubleshooting article if you see that message.
Screenshots are snippets of your app that give potential users an idea of the features and layout. They'll appear in the App Store listing, and cannot be changed without updating the app.
- The screenshot section should not be used to upload your Android screenshots. You'll upload those directly to Google Play during the Android upload process.
- Screenshots must be taken on an iOS device, or Apple will reject the app for displaying alternate platforms.
- We recommend uploading at least 3-5 screenshots per device size. If you don't plan on publishing an iPad version, you can leave off the Tablet screenshots.
- The best screenshots to take are of the home screen, the More or Modern menu, and an actual tab. This gives a good idea of the functionality, which is important.
- Our Publish step screenshot tool auto-generates screenshots of your app. This is a great option for those without the necessary devices to take their own.
To delete a screenshot:
- Hover over a screenshot and check the white box that appears at the top left of it. You can select multiple at once.
- A red Delete button will appear at the bottom of the screen once you've selected a screenshot.
- Click Delete to remove the selected screenshots.
To replace a screenshot:
- Click Replace below the screenshot.
- In the pop-up window, you'll see the other screenshots you've uploaded for this size. Select one, or click Upload Images to replace it with a new image.
- Once you've made your selection, click Save My Choice to replace the screenshot.
To download a screenshot:
- Click Replace below the screenshot.
- In the pop-up window, you'll see the other screenshots you've uploaded for this size. Select the screenshot you'd like to download.
- Click Download, and the file will automatically download.
Splash Loading Screen
The splash loading screen is the graphic that appears before the app's content loads. It can serve as a good intro for users, and many Resellers use it as an advertising opportunity by plugging their app business here. Splash loading screens are built into the app file and cannot be changed without updating.
- Upload a splash loading screen for each device size. If you don't plan on publishing an iPad version, you can just stick to Phone and iPhone 4.
- The splash loading screen should not display any mobile platforms. Apple will reject your app if an Android or Windows logo appear in the splash loading screen, for instance.
Once you've completed the Publish step and are ready to publish, see our iOS publishing tutorial to complete your submission process.