Oct 22, 2018: Updated and revised by Adrien Villez
This is it! The end of the tunnel!
After working on your app for days, weeks and months … it’s finally time to set it free and publish it to the world.
First, your app needs to run properly and be clean of errors (the red warnings).
Second, you should have your Signing and Team information set up in Xcode.
Don’t forget you should have your app version set to 1.0.0 if you are publishing a new app (or remember to increment the build version if you are publishing an update).
At this point if you are still having issues regarding your Apple ID or the certificates, I would recommend to check this article. As a small refresher, go to Xcode >> Preferences >> Accounts.
Publishing an app with Xcode 10 is really simple. Where it used to take multiple steps, certificates, profiles, etc. now Xcode is smart enough to enable or create all of those by itself.
To create the full app archive, you first need to select the Generic iOS Device from the list of simulators.
Now go to Product >> Archive and let it bundle your app. This can be a pretty lengthy process depending on the size of your app.
Once this is done, the Archive window will open and this is where you can manage all the archives generated by Xcode.
Every time you select Archive in the menu, Xcode will bundle a new archive for iTunes Connect.
If you have duplicates or older ones, just delete them from this list.
Now select the archive and choose Distribute App. You’ll be prompted to select the method of distribution:
Once you have selected iOS App Store, it will go over a couple of checks and validations to make sure you are not uploading a broken app.
If something happens, there is a great chance Xcode will stop you here and you’ll have to go back to coding or adding missing assets like icons.
If Xcode doesn’t find anything wrong with the archive, the upload process will follow. Once again the upload time will vary depending on the archive size and your internet connection.
Once completed, you will see a final window like this. Congratulations! Your app is halfway there to the iOS App Store.
iTunes Connect / App Store Connect
You can finally close Xcode because our work on this app is over. Now open your browser (if you want to upload an app preview video, it’ll require Safari) and go to iTunes Connect / App Store Connect and log in.
You will also have to accept a couple of terms and conditions and contract, fill up tax and bank info – especially if your app offers IAP (in app purchases) or is not sold at the free tier.
To publish an app, go to the My Apps menu and select the “+” option to create a new app. If you are looking to submit an update to an existing app, the steps are similar but instead of adding a new app, you’ll be selecting an existing app instead.
Fill in the information about your app and use the “?” button if you are not sure what Apple wants. The website is pretty straight forward too.
If you app is based on social media and demands a log in, you have to provide a test account and password for the Apple reviewer.
The next step is to take care of the app screenshots, app icon and to select the build to publish.
iTunes Connect asks for different sizes of screenshots for each device but I found that using the screenshots of the iPhone 6S Plus works for all of them.
Use this link to go read more about the screenshots needed by the App Store, especially if you have multiples sizes to cover like iPad, Apple Watch, etc.
Now it is time to add the build you exported from Xcode. The archive was sent via Xcode but iTunes Connect needs some time to process it.
If you’ve already taken care of the app title, description, pricing and screenshots, there’s a great chance that the build is ready to be selected.
In my case, since I was publishing an app update, I was faster and had to wait about 10 minutes. (Tip: you also get an email when your archive has been processed and is ready to use.)
THIS IS IT!
Select the save button on the top right of your screen and the “Submit for Review” button should turn blue.
You’ll have a couple of questions to answer about your app:
After that, your app will be on the waiting list for the Apple’s certification and review team.
Your app should now have a yellow tag:
You just have to wait now.
In the past, the review process took between 1 to 2 weeks and then a couple of years ago Tim Cook said they would be working on improving the speed.
Then the review process was close to 3 or 4 days but I’m happy to say that my app update has been reviewed and accepted 13hrs later! (app updates usually take a shorter time to review than a brand new app.)
After your app is approved, you’ll get an email about it.
Your app is now on the App Store! Hello World!
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