Friday, September 23, 2011

App Store Submission

Last night I finally submitted my application to the App Store.  The process was very simple and streamlined.  The hardest part of the process was writing an adequate description for my app.  Although I am really trying to get things right with this app, I have kind of grown anxious and just wanted to get the app out there.  Here are a couple of my experiences and how I dealt with them:

Artwork: 

Artwork is not my strength when it comes to making apps.  I can get around okay in Gimp and Inkscape or Photoshop and Illustrator, but I don't proclaim to be a pro at any of those programs.  Creating the icon for ScoreApp was an adventure that I hope turned out okay, but only time will tell I guess.  I think it looks nice, so I guess that's all I can do.  To create the artwork for my app, I tried to do everything I could in Inkscape.  Inkscape is a free Illustrator alternative.  It creates and edits SVG files, with stands for scalable vector graphics.    I created the logo in that format so I could easily export it to any size that I wanted.  The artwork I had in my project included the following files:

  • icon.png - icon for iphone 3GS and earlier home screen
  • icon@2x.png - icon for iPhone 4 home screen
  • icon-settings.png - icon for iPhone spotlight
  • icon-settings@2x.png - icon for iPhone 4 spotlight
  • default.png - iPhone launch image
  • default@2x.png - iPhone 4 launch image
  • iTunesArtwork.png - icon for the iTunes version of App Store
  • screenshots.png - screenshots for the store, without the status bar included.
  • and the background, button, toolbar graphics - for in app graphics

It was the most artwork I've ever had to create in my programming career.  I usually just put in requests to real graphic designers at work when I need something.  But I think the resulting look and feel of the app is pretty good.  Hopefully, if there are some real designers out there, you can download my app when it comes out and send me some feedback so I can improve in the future!  Thanks in advance.

Logistics:

The logistics of getting my app submitted were very straight forward and simple.  After my app was complete, I logged on to itunesconnect.apple.com and requested my distribution certificate by following the easy instructions posted there.  Then I installed the certificate.  Then I created and downloaded my distribution provisioning profile, which was also a breeze.  At any time before or after all of these steps, you'll need to set up your App in the "Manage Your Applications" section of iTunes Connect.  This process is also very straight-forward.  Just set everything up according to the instructions on the page.  The SKU number is an internal identification number that you use for your product.  You can make up anything you want there.  I just put a base number in there and it accepted it just fine.  After getting your app to the point the it is "Ready to Upload Binary", switch back to Xcode.  In Xcode, you'll need to build your app in a different way than just running it in the simulator to get it ready to go.  First, you'll need to make sure that your targeting your iOS device and not the simulator.  That threw me for a loop and wasted about 15 minutes of me trying to figure that one out.  In the build settings, make sure that your distribution profile is selected in the code signing section.  Then from the Product menu choose Archive.  Archive will be greyed out unless you select iOS device instead of the simulator.  Once it finishes Archiving, the Organizer will pop up.  Select your newly created archive, click "Validate...", enter credentials, click "Submit...", enter credentials, sit back and watch and then your done!!  That's all there was to it for me.  Quite easy, quite slick.

Waiting:

Now begins the fun part.  The waiting game.  I came across a cool website that tries to gather statistics for how long the review process takes.  Check it out at http://reviewtimes.shinydevelopment.com/ if you'd like.  I've had my app submitted for about 12 hours now and counting.  I'm pretty anxious to see how it goes, but I guess patience is a virtue.  I'll keep you posted on what happens.  Until then, reach for the clouds!


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