A Step By Step Guide To Submit Your iOS App To App Store (The Simple Way) – Part 1

So, you’ve worked for weeks or months to successfully develop your first iOS application and you’re all set to submit app to app store.

But, wait! How will you do this? How do you know that your application is ready for submission? We know that these questions might have popped up into your head or you might have tried to submit your application to an app store, but failed or rejected.

We know that these questions might have popped up into your head or you might have tried to submit app to apple store, but failed or rejected.

It is actually normal because an app submission is usually an afterthought so there is no need to stress yourself. Therefore, in an attempt to help you with this issue, we’ve made this step-by-step guide for the app store submission process. It contains all the essential steps that you’re required to follow to submit and publish App on apple Store.

Also Read: How to Publish an Android App on Google Play Store

Now, before we get started, let me just point out that, this is a two-part tutorial. This tutorial will cover every step of creating an apple developer account to becoming an Apple iOS developer from the beginning.

First, you’ll need US $99, a valid credit card and a device (like PC, laptop or tablet) with internet connectivity. And, to develop an app, obviously, a Mac system with OS X installed.

Additionally, you’ll also need Xcode, the apple development software. You can download this Xcode from the Mac App store. Now, becoming a registered apple app developer and submitting your iOS application to the app store is a lengthy process, so make sure that you’ve freed up the next 30-60 minutes of your time.

Getting Started

The first step for submitting your app is to register as an Apple developer. And for that, you’ll first need the US 99$ for the fee. Once, you have mentioned resources, go to the Apple developer site and click on the Account tab in the upper right corner shown in below image.


On the next page, you can enter your apple credentials, but I suggest to create a new Apple account for this to keep your professional and personal stuff separate.

So, click on the create Apple ID.


Now, fill in your email ID, password, and security information, and always use an email address that you often check. The reason is Apple often sends updates on the development program and the status of the app that you’ve submitted.


Scroll down to the bottom and complete the given security questions and a captcha, then click on continue.


Now, check the email account that you had entered on the registration form. You will receive an email from apple containing a code. Now enter that code to the next page that will prompt to you. (as shown in this image)



You have now a developer Apple account. Now, use it for apple developer login to the developer website using your new Apple ID.


The next page that will pop-up is everybody’s favorite! “The Legal Agreement Page”. Now, I know all of you just click on Next button but still, just read it out for one time and then click on the Submit.


Now, you’re an Apple developer. It’s great. But, can you now submit your app? Well, not yet. But, now you’ve all the access to the libraries and tools.



Joining The Developer Program Before Submitting Your App

Being an Apple developer allows you to access a lot of information, but you still need to enroll in iOS developer program in order to submit and publish your apps to the App store.

In older days, there were three different programs (iOS program, OSX program, Safari program), but now there is only one program that covers all the platforms.

So, to continue, go to the Developer Member Center, log in with your new account credentials and you’ll be in sync.

Once, you log in, click Join the Apple Developer Program link on the bottom center of the page shown in the below image.


Now, Click on Enroll.

code to customer

In the next page, you’ll see that you can enroll as an individual or as a company/organization. For now, you’ll see how to enroll as an individual in this tutorial.

Now, click Start Your Enrollment.


The next page will ask you whether you want to enroll as an individual, as a company or as a government organization. But, we’re going to enroll as Individual as of now. Select Individual/Sole Proprietor/Single Person Business, and click on Continue.


Enter your billing information for verifying your identity, Apple will confirm your information with the credit card company that you mentioned. So make sure that you’ve entered it correctly.

Fill all the fields and on the bottom, you’ll again see everyone’s favorite “License Agreement”. So, again instead of just scrolling down and clicking on next or continue, just read it out once. Then, check the box and click on the Continue.



The page will show your information, review that information and when you’re done, click ‘Continue’.


After this, a page will be prompted on your screen with the cost and information for the purchase.

Here, you’ll see a checkbox with the message of automatic renewal every year that will help you to prevent chances of your app becoming unavailable on an app store if you’re on holiday.

So, Check the Automatic Renewal then click on Purchase.


After this step, you will require to log in again. So, Use your new apple ID.

The next page will require you to fill your payment information and again verifying your billing information for completing the purchase.


Once, when you’re done with the purchase process, you’ll be greeted by a thank you screen.

Now, It’s time to enter!

You’ll also get an email saying that thank you for joining the Apple Developer Program and a link to sign in to the Member Center.

At this point, you’ll be required to download the XCode, so go to the app store from your application dock and search for the Xcode and download it.

Now, go to the Developer Center and log in.

After providing your Apple credentials, you’ll be finally in! You’ll see a screen something like below.


As we said, the developer center has tons of information such as downloadable codes, programming guides, documentations, videos which can be really helpful if you’re just starting out as an individual.

So, spend some time and explore all this stuff and familiarize yourself with everything available.

Now, we’ll continue how to submit ios app for which, you’ll be focusing on two main areas: the Certificates, IDs & Profiles area, and iTunes Connect.

Now, before we go on, let’s just have a short introduction about both of them.

Certificates, IDs & Profiles

Most of you might already know that a non-jailbroken iOS device can only run the Apps that are approved by the Apple and installed it through the App Store.

This is achieved by requiring that particular app run by iOS signed Apple certificate. All the apps that you install from the App store are bundled with a certificate that the system verifies completely before it permits the app to run. So, if the signature or certificate is invalid, then your app won’t run.

This is where the Certificates, IDs & Profiles come in. it allows you create the profiles or also known as “code signing identities” and they are created by the Developer Center to allow your app to be identified as a valid.

Now, these profiles fall under two categories.

Development Profiles: these profiles are tied to the specific devices meaning your app can only be run on those devices. It is normally used for testing.

Distribution Profiles: these profiles contains no device specific information meaning they are used when you want to share your app on the public App store.

iTunes Connect

Now, this is the portal where you submit your app for the Apple’s approval. It is where you register your iOS app, write your app’s description, add screenshots, define your app price, and configure the in-app purchases.


Now, moving on. If you still have the Developer center page open then just click on Certificates, IDs & Profiles on the sidebar.


Now, in this, you’ll need to generate two certificates, one for your development profile and another for your distribution profile. In the next page, you can see request a certificate via Xcode or manually. But, it’s recommended that to understand the manual process so you’ll be required to upload a Certificate Signing Request from your Mac.

Now, first make sure that drop-down in the upper left says iOS, tvOS, and WatchOS and then click on the + in the upper right corner show in below image.



On the next page, choose iOS App Development as your certificate type and click on the continue.


Now, the Keychain Access part comes. So, you need to open Keychain Access on your Mac and if you can’t find it, search it with the help of Spotlight.


Once, you locate it, open the program and select Keychain Access/Certificate Assistant/Request a Certificate From a Certificate Authority.


When you click on it, a window will pop up saying Certificate Assistant, fill in your information and save on disk and click on the continue.


Save the file anywhere on the Mac, just make sure you remember the location. That’s your CSR created, now time to generate that certificate.

Now, go back to the Developer Centre and click on continue.

Click Choose File… select the CSR file that you just created and select it and click on the continue.



On the next page, you’ll see that your certificate is ready. Click download and double click the development certificate file and install it.


Once, you’ve your certificate for your development profiles, you need to create a certificate for your production profiles. Click add another button. Under distribution, choose App Store and Ad Hoc button, and click Continue.


Go through the same process as before to submit the certificate signing request. Once, it’s ready, click on download, and install the downloaded distribution certificate file.


After this, look in the Keychain Access and you’ll find certificates installed as follow.

iphone distribution
Once it’s done, you can close the Keychain Access.

Registering Devices

After the complete certificate generation, the next step is to register your device. So, on the left side menu, click devices/all and click on the +.


You need to get the UDID of the device that you want to use to test your app. There are many different ways to do that, but we’ll go through just a simple way.

Open iTunes and plug your device to the computer. Select the device from the menu bar and it will show your device name, capacity, version, and serial number. Now, click on the serial number and it will change to UDID code, and will show something like below picture.

After this, right-click on the number and copy the UDID to your clipboard.

Now, go back to your browser, enter the device name and paste the UDID code. When you’re done, click on the Continue.


When you click on continue, a screen will be prompted to confirm the registration, then click on the Register.



Once you hit the Register button, your device will be registered and it will appear on the list of devices.

Creating App IDs

After you register your device, you’ll be required to create an Apple ID. Every app that you develop needs its own App ID.

So, go to side menu and click on Identifiers/App IDs.



Here, you’ll see the list of App IDs that you created before or you’ll get a brief explanation of the App ID concept, So, if it’s your first time, then go through its concept for one time.

Once, you understand about App IDs, it’s time to create one. On the right side click on the +.

Fill out the information. The seed ID is generally your team ID. The important thing you need to keep in mind here is to select Explicit app ID is selected. And, fill the bundle number, remember to use a reverse of domain name style string for it including the name of your iOS app at the end. And click continue.


Once, you fill the values, click on the Register at the bottom, then you’ll be prompted a registration completion message.




Once, App ID is created, you’re now ready to create the provisioning and distribution profiles.

Provisioning Profiles

On the side menu, click Provisioning Profiles/All.


This is same as before, either you’ll see a list of provision profiles if you’ve created any in the past or you’ll see a brief explanation of the how to get started with iOS provisioning profiles.

Development provisioning profiles are used to build and install different versions of your iOS App during the development process. And, the Distribution profiles are used to submit the App to the App Store and beta testing.

So, on the right side of the screen click on the +.

On the next screen, select iOS App Development and then click Continue.

On the next screen, select the Apple ID that we recently generated, you’ll notice it in the dropdown. Select it and click on the Continue.

Next, you’ll be asked to select certificates for this profile. If you’ve members of your app development team, then they can be selected from here. Select your certificate checkbox and click on the continue.



The next screen will show the devices this profile is valid for, here you’ll see only the one device that we recently added so select your device and click Continue.


Now, write a name for this profile. Remember, the name you specify here will be used to identify it among all other profiles so try to make it descriptive as possible. And click on Continue.


Once, you hit the continue button, the final page will show your generated profiles and it will have a download button to allow you to download the profile. Now, go ahead and click download.

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Once it’s done, generate the distribution profile. It is not actually needed right now, but since you’re here, it’s better to do it right now. Click on add another button.


Under distribution, click on the App store button, then click on the Continue.

The next few steps are the same as for the development profile. Follow the screens along, name the distribution profile something descriptive and unique and download it as you did the development profile.

Now find the files you just downloaded on your computer and double-click each of them, in turn, causing Xcode to launch. Verify the profiles by opening a project or starting a new one for this test. Click on the Project in the left pane. Select Build settings, select all, scroll down to Code signing and click on the word automatic placed next to the entry for provisioning profile. Your profiles should be listed.


Ending Note

So, if you’ve followed the whole process from the start, and completed each step with success, then you’ve taken a huge step to becoming an iOS App Developer.

Also, if you had any doubts or failed at completing steps, then you can contact our iOS developers or hire iPhone app developer from Space-O Technologies for your next project.

In the 2nd part of this tutorial, we will cover how to submit your app and how to run it on your own device. Additionally, you’ll also see how you can get your apps running on your device quickly with Xcode’s Automatic Device Provisioning Feature.

Author Bio
Hitesh Trivedi
Hitesh Trivedi
Designation: iOS Team Lead

Hitesh Trivedi is an iOS Team Lead at Space-O Technologies. He has over 10 years of experience in iOS app development. He has guided to develop over 100 iPhone apps with unique features and functionalities. He has special expertise in Swift and Objective-C.