iPhone App Store Resource Center

by Brook Lenox on September 25, 2009

apple-iconiPhone app developers are always eager to know how to make the submission process easier. Well Apple has stepped up to the plate and started helping a bit with 2 resources.

The first is the App Store Resource Center and the second is a list of App Store Submission Tips.

Especially if you are new to the iPhone app submission process, I’d give these both a look.  You just might save yourself from getting your app rejected for a clearly stated reason. That could cost you 2-4 weeks in missed revenue.

App Store Resource Center

At this point the 3 sections in the resource center are:

Prepare for App Submission
App Store Approval Process
Managing Apps on the App Store

I’ll give you my quick take on each area as well as issues we’ve run into at Pinger.

Prepare for App Submission

iphone-app-developer-resource There are two things I really like about this section:

1) It’ll help you get organized with a check list (see below) and
2) You’ll be able to see guidelines for submitting keywords with your app

apple-submission-list1NOTE: Be careful…Apple is very particular when it comes to the keywords you’ll enter.  If you’re worried about getting rejected I’d steer away from keywords that:

1) Don’t obviously describe the app. For example, we used a keyword referring to some of the backgrounds in an app and because the reviewer didn’t see those backgrounds they didn’t think the keyword was relevant.

2) Competitors or Trade Marked Words. You can’t enter a competitor’s name in your keywords and I’ve also heard of examples of words like “Space Invaders” getting an app rejected even though the app was like the original space invaders game.

App Store Approval Process

app-approvalThis section simply walks you through the approval process. Whether it’ll play out or not for you, Apple claims that 87% of apps are approved in 14 days. 

NOTE: One thing they bring to light that caught us a couple times is the “availability date”. You can set your availability date when you submit your app.  If you set it for 9/25/09 when you submit your app, but your app isn’t approved till 10/9/09, then it will immediately go live when approved, but it will still have the 9/25/09 availability date.

So you lose the chance to be recognized as a new app. I’d encourage you to update your availability date daily.

Managing Apps on the App Store

app-managing

 This area brings up an interesting dilemma between Apple and developers. It appears that releasing updates often (i.e. Pocket God) can be a good strategy for pleasing users, but also getting your app weekly in new releases. 

Apple states: “Keeping your iPhone application on the App Store up-to-date is important, however submitting these updates at a high frequency may cause an unnecessary delay in your update posting to the App Store.”

My Take: If you’ve got a content strategy like Pocket God, go for it. Test the waters. Submit often and see if it is a problem. But don’t just submit a bunch of updates to get noticed in new releases. Makes more work for Apple and doesn’t add a whole lot to the user.

App Store Submission Tips

This is a running list of submission tips. 

NOTE: Tip on 9/4/09 – in app purchases for 3.0 users only.  Wish we had known that earlier. When a chunk of your user base is < 3.0 and you want to implement a 3.0 feature, you’ve obviously got a problem.

If you’ve launched more than a couple of apps, you probably had to learn from the school of hard knocks like us.  Hope this helped. Let me know if you’ve found anything interesting that I missed.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Keith Moore February 2, 2010 at 3:55 am

Nice summary. I’ve tried to access those resources through the apple developer program website but I keep getting an “access denied” message.
I’ve enrolled in the program and paid the $99 what else do I need to access these resources?

Brook Lenox February 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Keith,

Hmmm…good question. Do you have a friend at Apple? :) . Honestly, not sure why you can’t access that information. Sorry about that.

Brook

Keith Moore February 2, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Thanks for the reply Brook. I went to sleep last night, woke up this morning and it was mysteriously working. I had only just activated my dev program enrollment so maybe it was just a timing issue.

Thanks again.

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