Step-by-Step Guide to Publishing in the Apple App Store Using a Mac

Once your app is completely finished and tested, it's time to publish it, so that your users can find it and use it on their mobile devices. For an iOS app, the most common way to publish an app is through the Apple App Store, though it is possible to publish enterprise apps and B2B apps that do not go through the App Store.

App Cloud streamlines this process for you. Using the App Cloud Studio, you provide the information and digital certificates that need to go in your app. Then App Cloud compiles your app. You download the compiled app and submit it to the Apple App Store. This document will provide a detailed step-by-step guide to obtaining the files you will need to upload into the App Cloud Studio on a Mac and submitting the files through the App Cloud Studio. If you are using a Windows machine, please follow the steps listed here.

Requirements

To publish an app through the Apple App Store, you need to have an Apple Developer account and be a member of the iOS Developer Program. Your app also needs to meet Apple's App Store guidelines.

Files Needed for iOS Publishing:

  1. Identity - a unique ID for an app  that maps to the Bundle Identifier in the Apple Developer Center
  2. Distribution Certificate & Private Key (generated in Apple Developer Center)
  3. Distribution Provisioning Profile 
  4. Optional: Push Notification Certificate
  5. Icons
  6. Loading Screen

Setting up an Identity

  1. To Set up an Identity, go to the Apple Developer center iOS Provisioning Portal, and click the App IDs tab. 
  2. Click the New App ID button (top right), give the app id a name, and give it a Bundle Identifier (by convention, these take the form com.domain.appname, so for example, com.brightcove.myfirstapp)
    note: copy and save the Bundle Identifier you created because you will need to enter it into the App Cloud Studio when publishing your app
  3. Click Submit within the Apple developer center and it will create an App ID

Creating a Distribution Certificate & Private Key (on a Mac)

  1. Now you need to set up a distribution certificate. To do this, you will first need to generate a certificate request from your computer. On a Mac, you should do this by opening the Keychain Access application found in the Utilities.
  2. Go to Keychain Access - Choose Keychain Access -> Certificate Assistant -> Request a Certificate from a Certificate Authority.
  3. Enter your email address and name, and select Request is Saved to disk to save the file CertificateSigningRequest.certSigningRequest to your desktop.
  4. Now go back to iOS Provisioning Portal and click the Request Certificate button on the Distribution tab.
  5. Click Choose File to select the certificate request file on your desktop, and then click Submit. You will see your certificate appear with the status Issued.
  6. Refresh the page, and additional information will appear: the Expiration Date, and Download and Revoke under Actions.
  7. Click the Download button, and save the certificate file.
  8. After the file downloads, locate the distribution_identity.cer file in your downloads directory, and double-click it to import it to Keychain Access.
  9. Now return to Keychain Access and locate the certificate with the name beginning iPhone Distribution.
  10. Expand it to reveal the attached private key, and select both the certificate and private key
    note: it is very important to select both files
  11. With both items selected, right click to export them to a .p12 file that you can save on your desktop or elsewhere. You will need to upload this file to App Cloud during the app submission process. 
  12. As you save the file, you will have the option of adding a password to protect the file - if you do, just be sure to remember what the password is. You will also be asked to enter your machine password, as you are for many Keychain Access actions.

Creating a Distribution Provisioning Profile

  1. In the Apple Developer Center, go to the Provisioning tab > Distribution and select new profile
  2. Leave the Distribution Method as App Store
  3. Give it a profile name
  4. Select the App ID that you created for this app and click submit
  5. Wait for the provisioning profile to be created (refresh the page)
  6. Click to download the file to your machine. You will need to upload this file into the App Cloud Studio.

Setting Up Push Notifications

  1. If you are going to use Push Notifications in your app, you will now need to set up another SSL certificate for push notifications. Unlike the distribution certificate, this one is specific to the app, so you will work from  the app id you created.
  2. Go to Keychain Access - Choose Keychain Access -> Certificate Assistant -> Request a Certificate from a Certificate Authority.
  3. Enter your email address and name, and select Request is Saved to disk to save the file CertificateSigningRequestPush.certSigningRequest to your desktop.
  4. Now return the iOS Provisioning Portal in the Apple Developer Center, go to the App IDs section, find the ID you created earlier, and click Configure.
  5. In the new page that opens, check the box beside Enable for Apple Push Notification service. Now you will be able to click the Configurebuttons, and since you are going to submit this app, you will need a Production Push SSL Certificate.
  6. Click configure, and a dialog will open up with instructions
  7. Click Continue to go to the next screen
  8. Click the Choose File button and select the CertSigningRequestPush.certSigningRequest file you just created, click Generate
  9. After the certificate is generated, click Continue.
  10. Click Download to download the file to your computer and click the show in folder option to navigate to where the file is located
  11. Copy the file and save it to your Desktop or some other location
  12. Find the downloaded certificate file, and double-click it to import it into Keychain Access.
  13. In Keychain Access, again expand the certificate to reveal the private key, select both items, and right click to export them to the desktop as a .p12 file
  14. Now you will need to convert the .p12 file to a PEM file using OpenSSL. OpenSSL is included in the Mac OS
  15. To start OpenSSL open Terminal and type OpenSSL at the command prompt and press return to get an OpenSSL command prompt.
  16. Now type: pkcs12 -in <your p12 with full path> -out <the PEM filename> -nodes
    note: Where it says <your p12 with full path> you can drag and drop your .p12 file into Terminal to easily enter the full path of the file
    note: Where is says <the PEM filename> you can use a file name such as PushCert.pem
  17. The PEM file that is generated is what you will need to upload into the App Cloud Studio

Icons

An iOS app uses icons to represent the app in the Apple App Store and to launch the app on the device itself after it's installed. You can upload an image file and App Cloud will create these icons for you. All images should have a square aspect ratio (equal width and height) and be in PNG format. Image files may be not more than 1 Mb in size.

Loading Screen

When a user launches your app, the iOS device displays a fullscreen graphic. Upload an image file that the app can use for this purpose. For an iPhone app, this file must be 640x960 exactly. For an iPad app, provide two loading screen image files, one with portrait orientation (768x1024 pixels) and the other with landscape orientation (1024x768 pixels)

Remember that you can resize images using the App Cloud image transcoding service.

Publishing in the App Cloud Studio

 To publish your app from the App Cloud Studio, follow these main steps:

General Information

  1. In the App Cloud Studio, click Apps, and select your app.
  2. Click Edit App and then click Publish App.
  3. The General Information page includes information about your app that is relevant to all publishing target platforms.
  4. Under Application Identity, select or create an App Cloud identity for the app. Read about App Cloud identities.
  5. Click Save and Continue to Step 2.

iOS Settings

Click iOS to provide the information specific to publishing your app in the Apple App Store.

Application Information

An iOS app requires an application name and an application version. The name is the iOS display name, the short name that users will see on their device after they download the app. It has a maximum of 12 characters. This name is displayed under the app's icon on the device's springboard:

The application version is a number in the format x.y.z, for example 1.0.1. When you first publish your app, you should generally use the default value, 1.0.0. The application version must be incremented by some amount in at least one of the digits each time you release a new version to the Apple App Store.

Certificates

An iOS app must be digitally signed. You will need to provide certificates associated with your Apple Developer account, so that App Cloud can compile the certificates into your app. Select and upload your:

  • Mobile profile. This is your iOS Distribution Provisioning Profile, with a .mobileprovision file extension. You can find and download it in the Apple iOS Provisioning Portal under Provisioning > Distribution.
  • Production certificate. This is a .p12 (Personal Information Exchange) format file you can create on a Mac by following the instructions under Creating a Distribution Certificate & Private Key
  • Production certificate password. The password you created when you exported your production certificate.
  • Push notification certificate. If your app uses push notification, Apple requires a separate certificate from your Apple Developer account. To create a Push Notification Certificate, follow the instructions here. You can enable your App ID for the Apple Push Notification Service in the Apple Developer site. Read more in Apple's documentation.

Note: When you configure your App ID in the Apple iOS Provisioning Portal, make sure you do not select Enable for iCloud, or you will not be able to submit your app to the Apple App Store.

Icons

To upload a single image file:

  1. Under iOS: Icons, select Make the icons for me.
  2. Click Choose File.
  3. Select an image file from which App Cloud will create your icons. You can click Browse Images to select an image that you've already uploaded to your App Cloud account, or click Upload File and either drag an image onto the Select an Image screen or choose a file from your file system.. 
  4. The image file must be exactly 512x512 pixels.
  5. Click Save and Close.

As an alternative, you can upload your own image files for each icon. To upload your own image files:

  1. Under iOS: Icons, select I'd like to upload individual images for each icon.
  2. Choose files for each of the following icons:
  • iTunes Store icon. Must be exactly 512x512 pixels.
  • Application Icon, Retina. Must be exactly 114x114 pixels.
  • Application Icon. Must be exactly 57x57 pixels. This is used for older iPhones.

Loading Screen

When a user launches your app, the iOS device displays a fullscreen graphic. Upload an image file that the app can use for this purpose. For an iPhone app, this file must be 640x960 exactly. For an iPad app, provide two loading screen image files, one with portrait orientation (768x1024 pixels) and the other with landscape orientation (1024x768 pixels)

Remember that you can resize images using the App Cloud image transcoding service.

Next Steps

Once you've finished entering the information about your iOS app, you can click Save and Continue to Step 3, or you can click Save and Continue Later. If your app also has an Android version, Step 3 means providing Android-specific information. If not, Step 3 means publishing your app in the Apple App Store. Read Compiling and Publishing Your App for the final steps you need to take to publish your app.

Related Documents

Publishing an app

Step-by-Step Guide to Publishing in the Apple App Store Using Windows

Step-by-Step Guide to Publishing in the Android Market on a Mac

Step-by-Step Guide to Publishing in the Android Market

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