Today is your big day. You've spent months of hard work on developing your app idea, which will bring you closer to the world of fast cars and champagne for breakfast. Everything is ready: your business plan and marketing strategy are just waiting to be fully launched, you've already bought letter balloons spelling your app name and people are nervously waiting to see your baby born. So what are you waiting for? Oh, yeah, there is one teeny-tiny thing you need to take care of first.
Adding Your App to the App Stores
By now, your app exists only in yours and your developers'/closest ones'/investors' consciousness. That's not enough - it's time for your app to leave the nest and fly as high as it can. The places where it can thrive the most are app stores - that's why it's essential to put your app there the right way. According to Statista, there are 2.8 million apps in the Google Play Store and 2.2 million in the App Store right now - that's A LOT of apps.
You think that people would add their precious app to these stores if they weren't the best place for them? I don't think so. But before you find out how to add your app to app stores, you need to find out the main differences between the two biggest application markets, owned by Apple and Google. It will help you to make a decision as to which one you should add your app into. But remember - you can't add your Android designed app to the App Store and vice versa - so you need to very thoroughly consider the platform you are choosing for your app at the very beginning of its development process. Back to app stores- we will start with the numbers:
App Store vs. Google Play Store - Differences in Numbers
By the numbers, it appears to be clear that the Google Play Store is definitely a better place to publish your app. The procedure is much faster and cheaper, and the number of apps downloaded in total is much higher. So how the heck is it possible that apps in the App Store bring so much more income to developers and the store than those in Google Play? The catch here is that these two app stores have different target audiences.
As you can see, the users of those two app stores differ from each other greatly. And we believe that the key to getting the most valuable users of your app is to tailor your product and its marketing strategy to the RIGHT target audience.
Alright, I guess you know enough to proceed. Creme de la creme. So let's add your app to an app store!
Adding Your App to the Apple App Store
We will start with the App Store.
What You Have to Prepare First:
Check that your app passes the App Store Review Guidelines.
Create an Apple developer program account.
Make sure that your computer runs Mac OS X and has the Xcode development environment installed.
1. Create an Itunes Connect App Record
Before you can upload your app to Apple App Store, you need to create a record in iTunes Connect. You have to include all the information needed to manage the app through the distribution process and data that you want to appear on the store for the app.
2. Configure Your Xcode Project for Distribution
You have to set Identity and Team, Bundle ID, create a provisioning profile, and set the version number and release string. All that can be done from the General pane in the project editor.
3. Archive Your App
Regardless of the type of distribution method that you have selected, you need to create an archive for your app. Xcode archives allow you to build your app and store it, along with critical debugging information, in a bundle that's managed by Xcode. Choose Product > Archive to create an archive. Xcode will create and store the archive in the Archives organizer.
4. Run iTunes Connect Validation Tests
Validate your archive before uploading it to iTunes Connect. In the Archives organizer, select the archive and click Validate. If it finds any validation issues, take a closer look at them and fix them.
5. Upload Your App
You're almost there! To upload your app to iTunes Connect, in the Archives organizer, select the archive you want to upload and click "Upload to App Store."
6. Submit Version for Review
Before releasing, each app that is submitted has to be reviewed by the Apple team. The app should comply with App Store guidelines. You can request a Manual or Automatic release of the approved app - we recommend you choose the manual one. Before submitting your app, make sure that all the relevant infrastructure (backend servers, etc.) is running in production mode. The review usually takes one day for the Mac App Store and two days for the iOS App Store. If your app was not approved, review the notes in the Resolution Center and make any necessary changes to the app or version information, then resubmit.
Now finally, your big moment has arrived: you will make your mobile app live. The last things that you need to do are, if you selected Manual release, click to Release your app when you're ready. Then wait for the green "Ready for Sale" version status (this might take from one hour to one day after release) when it appears to search for your app on the App Store. Is it there? Well, you made it, it's time to open a bottle of champagne!
And that's it, there is no turning back now - your app is available for all Apple users. Just remember that when you will want to submit a new version of your app, you will only have to repeat steps 2 through 7.
Adding Your App to the Google Play Store
Obviously, the next one is the Google Play Store.
What You Have to Prepare First:
Create your Google Play publisher account.
If you want to sell your apps instead of offering them for free with ads, you also need to set up a Google Wallet Merchant account.
It will be much easier for you if you also prepare a description of your app, high-res icon. and at least two screenshots.
1. Add New Application
When your Google Play publisher account is ready, click the "+ Add new application" button to add the application. The first thing you'll see is a dialog asking for the default language and the title of your app. You're then presented with two options: "Upload APK" and "Prepare Store Listing." It doesn't matter which one you choose first, but we will go with APK first.
2. Upload APK
As the title says, this step is all about uploading your Android Package File (APK). A link to this file is emailed to you whenever you successfully build your application and it can be downloaded at any time from your projects section on Andromo. Click the "Upload APK" button and browse for your application file to upload.
3. Preparing Store Listing
4. Pricing & Distribution
This is the moment when you choose the monetization strategy for your app: will it be free or paid? You are also choosing here where you want your app to be available and you are defining users consent options.
5. Publishing Your App
If you have done everything right, you should be able to publish your app. A "Publish This App" button will be enabled on the page. Click it! After you do it, your application should appear in the store usually after a few hours (but could take longer).
BONUS STEP: Editing Your Listing
If you want to go back to edit your listing or upload a new version of your application, you can. When you make your changes, simply save them and they should be live in the store in twenty minutes or so.