Is your App Ready to Submit to the iTunes Store?

The list of "things to do" before your app officially debuts in the iTunes store can seem overwhelming at times.

With so many steps, it can be easy to forget one or two things. Below is a handy checklist to go by when finalizing your app and preparing for submission.

  • Accept all contracts in iTunes Connect. Apple has a set of agreements that must be completed before your app can be a part of its store. You'll also have to provide your tax information and banking information. This should be the first step of the process because it can take weeks for this part to be finalized.
  • Add your app information to iTunes Connect. If you're a new developer, you'll need to choose a company name. Only add this once you're absolutely sure because it's not easy to change. This company name will be attached to every app you upload from this point forward.
  • Test your app. While you're waiting for your contracts to be approved, do all final testing on your app. It's important to have all the kinks worked out before releasing your app on the market.
  • Name your app. Check the Appname-info.plist file and make sure it has the correct name of your app.
  • Create screenshots. You'll need these to promote your app in the iTunes Store, so make sure they show off the best of your app. Your screenshots will ideally be 640 X 960 for the iPhone and 1024 X 768 for the iPad.
  • Describe your app. You'll need a description of your app. This will be the deciding factor for buyers as they try to learn what your app is all about, so make it good. By looking at a few app descriptions, you can get a feel for the template and style.
  • Rate your app. You'll need to let Apple know if your app contains anything unsuitable for children.
  • Price your app. This can change, so don't feel like it's a major commitment, but be sure you're aware of the market for your app. Pricing your app too high could scare away users who would normally have given your new app a try. Pricing it too low could result in missing out on valuable profits in the early days of your app's release.
  • Build your app. Tools are available in the Apple Dev Center to help you create a release build for your app using XCode 4.
  • Submit your app. To do this, you simply validate it and submit it for approval. This is where patience comes in. You'll notice that the app stays in "Waiting for Review" status from this point until approval is finalized. This process can take days or weeks, depending on the submission load at the time. During this time, prepare your promotional campaign and design a website to provide information about the app.

You'll receive an e-mail once your app is approved and, at that point, you're ready to go. If you set a release date far into the future before submitting your app, be sure to change it to the current date. Now that your app has been unleashed on the public, the next phase of work begins... promoting your app.