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How do I Submit or Distribute My App

How Do I Submit or Distribute My App

Before you publish your app on any platform and distribute it to users, you need to sign up with the relevant developer programs and store accounts. You should build and sign your app appropriately and test it across the relevant devices and o/s systems, as well as prepare your promotional materials. You should determine your country distribution and any localisation requirements you need and make decisions on pricing taking into account what price models and tiers exist in the stores. Build, submission and approval processes can vary across the platforms and stores so we have provided information below to help you. Always allow a flexible timeframe for app approval and possible rejection if you are planning a critical launch date.

iOS

 

iTunes Store

To submit and distrubute apps for iOS you need a developer account (annual cost approx £80) and this will give you access to the iTunes Connect Portal https://itunesconnect.apple.com/ where you manage you app submission, more information about the portal here: iTunes Connect Developer GuidePrior to building and signing your binary .ipa file for submission you will need to create developer certificates and distribution profiles, more information on this here:iOS Provisioning Portal Developer Guide

To add a new iOS app, click on the 'Manage Your Applications' module in iTunes Connect. You will need the various assets and information including app name, bundle ID, description and screenshots set up in order to submit your binary. For each item required there is a Help button beside the respective text or menu field if you need assistance. More details on these is available in Apple's documentation. For your app to be included in the Newsstand, first add it and then enable Newsstand as specified in the Newsstand section in Apple's iTunes Connect Developer Guide.

When thats complete you are ready to upload your binary app file (.ipa) for submission. To do this you need a mac machine and Application Loader installed. You can download the latest version from iTunes Connect portal.

As always before submitting your application make sure you have fully tested your application on relevant devices and o/s’ and ensure you’ve followed the Apple Developer Guidelines appropriately: https://developer.apple.com/appstore/guidelines.html. Once submitted you’re application will go into ‘Waiting review’ state. This approval process can take an inderterminate length of time, we’d usually advise allowing two weeks for approval which should allow time for any unexpected rejection and re-submission. iOS review times can vary, this sitehttp://reviewtimes.shinydevelopment.com/ gives a good indication of the current timescale but use this as a guide. If you are submitting an app update to an existing live app you can take advantage of the Apple Expedite form to fast-track your app for approval:https://developer.apple.com/appstore/contact/appreviewteam/index.html

Enterprise App

Alongside company and individual developer programs Apple also offer an iOS Enterprise program. An enterprise account is for companies who want to develop iOS apps but don’t want to make them publically available in the iTunes eco-system. Examples would be an internal communications app for employees. It gives companies the freedom to develop and distribute apps without requiring knowledge or the specific device UDIDS that need to install it. It also allows you to bypass submission and approval so you are not constrained by this. More information here: https://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/enterprise/

Note: registration for an enterprise or a company developer program requires a valid DNUS number and approval may take approx two weeks to complete.

Once you are registered, Enterprise apps don’t require a submission and approval phase. Once you have developer you application you can go straight to distribution however this differs to the usual iOS apps because you won’t distribute via iTunes.

Google (Android)

You need to sign up for a Google Play Developer Console account (one-off cost approx £25) and have this linked to a Google Wallet merchant account (if you are selling products).

https://play.google.com/apps/publish

Google play provide detailed information for submission with a launch checklist, but noticably there isn't an official approval/review process to get your app published, they run some automated tests for malware and theres some rules which apply noted below but you are fully responsible for the testing of your app. More information here: http://developer.android.com/distribute/googleplay/publish/preparing.html

To sell in-app content you must use Google's in-app purchasing with the exception of physical goods. Apps must not contain anything racist, criminal or undisclosed.

Note: You can't make your app free and then change it to paid later. Once an app is listed as free it can't be changed. Also Google Play is not globally available. Some locations may not be supported for the distribution of applications.

All applications need to be signed with a cryptographic key. Once you have registered, log in to your Google Play developer account and beginvia the “Upload Application” button. The first step in this process is to upload your application’s Android Package file (.apk). Make sure to switch the APK files tab and activate the APK file that you have uploaded. The maximum size for an APK published on Google Play is 50MB. If an application exceeds that size, Google Play will allow extra assets through APK Expansion Files. Prepare the remaining items e.g promotional assets and details

From an app-compatibility perspective, Android platform versions are defined by API level. You should confirm the minimum version that your app is compatible with (<minSdkVersion>), as that will affect its distribution to Android devices once it is published.

Amazon (Android)

Sign up for an Amazon developer account: (approx £70) https://developer.amazon.com

To add a new app click on ‘Add a New App’ on from your dashboard. You will need the various assets and information in order to submit your binary.

Once you have set up your app you can add in-app purchases by clicking on ‘In-App Items’ on your app’s dashboard. You can add a subscription by clicking on ‘Add subscription’, please note you will need to create a parent subscription that has multiple length subscription periods within it. Note all subscription periods will have their own an SKU which you will need to define. You can add single issue purchases by clicking ‘Add an Entitlement’ each entitlement will need an SKU which is the same as the equivalent product ID you have set up in your iTunes connect account.

More information on in app purchasing can be found in Amazon’s documentation. More information on the submission and approval process:https://developer.amazon.com/sdk/in-app-purchasing/documentation/submitting.html

Note: Whilst distributing through Amazon will enable your app to be installed on Kindle Fire devices, the Amazon Store app can be installed on all other Android devices. The same can't be said for Google Play Store, this can't be installed on Kindle Fire devices.

Once submitted like on iOS there is an approval process, in the UK your app can sometimes be waiting for review for a number of weeks however we have always found contacting Amazon directly results in a quick response and your app being reviewed shortly after.

If you wanted to distribute an Enterprise Android app without utilising the store, you should still sign your .apk file and then the user/devices you want to install it for will need 'Allow installation of applications from unknown sources' enabled. This feature can be located in device settings.

Windows

Sign up for developer and store account at the Windows Dev Center http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=280300

https://appdev.microsoft.com/StorePortals/en-gb/Account/Signup/Start?wa=wsignin1.0

Note: It requires a Microsoft verification process via sign up with a valid credit/debit card. A transaction is made to this card and you need to verify the account code or transaction value before you can submit your applications so allow time to complete this.

Windows follow iOS with a closely controlled approval process. Microsoft provide certain guidelines notably around design and UX which you should aim to follow and utilise when developing for their Windows 8 platform and Surface tablets. More information can be found on the developer site.

Blackberry

Sign up for a Blackberry Developer account as well as a BlackBerry World vendor account:

http://developer.blackberry.com/ https://appworld.blackberry.com/isvportal/vendor/reg_terms.do

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