App Store Review - Prepare Your Art
For all the App Store virgins out there - brace yourselves - it's a bit of a bumpy road.
The moment is finally here - you have finished developing a game or an app, and you need to publish it online so people could buy it.
When distributing through Google's Play Store, it's a piece of cake.
You enter the necessary information, which is basically your company info, payment method, app info, and it's ready to go.
There is no review, and your game or app is uploaded instantly for anyone to find.
Apple works a bit differently. It's always more difficult and longer for the first time, and we want to make it easier for you to avoid the pitfalls that can lead to rejection.
The process includes plenty of challenges, and according to Apple, 62% of common app rejections occur due to non-compliance with the main Apple guidelines.
There's a lot to follow - the Apple Developer account, guidelines, testing, iTunes Connect, app information, binary version, and of course, the graphics.
Time is money, they say.
Let's get back to preparing your graphics and artwork for the App Store review.
Apple's system is a bit weird, and they want you to exclusively use their formats and file sizes when uploading screenshots and previews to the App Store Connect, but we've got everything you need.
There's a couple of graphic files you'll be uploading when submitting for review:
Required size is 1024x1024, no alpha allowed.
Screenshots must be in the JPG or PNG format, and in the RGB color space.
At least one screenshot of your app is required, and there is a limit of 10 screenshots per device. Your screenshots must communicate real example of user's experience.
In other words, you cannot edit the screenshots and app/game scenes the way you wish to, and if needed, you will have to adapt them to the correct resolutions.
We tried to show Aero Attack gameplay without certain parts of the UI, such as boost buttons, score counter and bullet bar, and Apple rejected our application.
All the required files need to be uploaded in multiple formats, and if you don't upload larger versions (optional ones), these screenshots will scale down for other models of iPhone, and will display with rounded corners if possible.
The following resolutions are acceptable to App Store Connect:
iPhone 5.5" screenshot is required, while the iPhone 6.5" display is optional.
- iPhone 3+4 (3.5 Inch)
640 x 960
- iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C (4 Inch)
640 x 1136
- iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 (4.7 Inch)
750 x 1134
- iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus (5.5 Inch)
1242 x 2208 - you need the screenshot in this resolution - the phone scales them down to 1080x1920
- iPhone X (5.8 Inch)
1125 x 2436
- iPhone XR (6.1 Inch)
828 x 1792
- iPhone XS (5.8 Inch)
1125 x 2436
- iPhone XS Max (6.5 Inch)
1242 x 2688
iPad Pro 12.9" (2nd gen) screenshot is required, iPad Pro 12.9" (3rd gen) screenshot is optional.
- iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4 (7.9 Inch)
1536 x 2048
- iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Air 2 (9.7 Inch)
1536 x 2048
- iPad Pro (10.5 Inch)
1668 x 2224
- iPad Pro (12.9 Inch)
2048 x 2732
- Apple Watch Series 1, Series 2, Series 3 - 38mm (1.5 Inch)
272 x 340
- Apple Watch Series 4 - 40mm (1.57 Inch)
394 x 324
- Apple Watch Series 1, Series 2, Series 3 - 42mm (1.65 Inch)
312 x 390
- Apple Watch Series 4 - 44mm (1.78 Inch)
448 x 368
ShotBot is a completely free tool you can use to design the screenshots for the AppStore, but also very limited when it comes to customization options.
Uploading an app preview is optional, and you're able to upload up to 3 files.
App previews are required to be between 15 and 30 seconds, in the M4V, MP4, or MOV format and can’t exceed 500 MB.
App Store Connect behaves like a child. They didn't allow us to load an app preview because they really don't like the format of the file saved by Quicktime.
I kept receiving the message 'Your file could not be loaded. Please try again.'
After crawling the web, the only thing that worked was this little program called Handbrake, which will convert your file to the right format. See tutorial.
They're also supposed to be mostly based on the captured footage, although editing the graphics here is (somewhat) allowed.
- iPhone X (5.8 Inch), iPhone XS Max (6.5 Inch), iPhone XR (6.1 Inch)
886 x 1920 for portrait, 1920 x 886 for landscape
- iPhone 5 (4 Inch), iPhone 6, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 (4.7 Inch),
iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus (5.5 Inch)
1080 x 1920 for portrait, 1920 x 1080 for landscape
- iPad/iPad Pro (12.9 Inch)
1600 x 1200 for portrait, 1200 x 1600 for landscape
In-App Purchase Screenshots
After you have connected your in-app purchases, you will need to provide screenshots for those items under Review Information, as it appears on the device.
Screenshots are not displayed on the App Store, and they're required to be exactly 640 x 920 pixels.
If you have a landscape mode game or app, like us, you need to rotate the image to the portrait mode size, otherwise it won't be accepted.
The first time submitting an app to Apple's App Store can be both excitement and stress, even for experienced developers.
There's much data and metadata to fill out, so I'd recommend you thoroughly read the guidelines, and double-check every piece of information that needs attention.
However, finally publishing your app and potentially reaching millions of Apple users around the world can justify the time and nerves lost in the process.