Launching in the App Store: What Devs Wish They Had Known

Launching in the App Store means being at the mercy of Apple and Google, a nerve-racking prospect. Rejections can sometimes seem arbitrary, and unforeseen bumps in the road can delay a launch.

We asked experienced app developers what they wish they had known before releasing their first app. Here’s what they said:

Be conscientious with data

“Many times, we’ve seen our customers wanting to collect a wide array of user data for their analysis and marketing purposes,” said Mark Pedersen, app developer at Nodes Agency in London. “But if the app is not using these data for anything particular, odds are your app will be rejected due to collecting information not related to core functionality of the app.”

One suggestion: “Don’t ask users to subscribe to push notifications upon first opening the app without providing context for why you’re requesting permission,” adds Jonathan Levey, Digital Marketing Manager for Skyjet. “It’s better to prompt the user to opt in at some key experience point when they’re likely to be interested in receiving notifications.”

Why is this important? The next tip explains.

Make sure your app has staying power

“Ever download an app and try it out and realize it was a waste of your time and then immediately delete it? Well, in doing so, that negatively affects that app’s rankings in the store you got it from,” said Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal. Both the Apple App Store and Google Play measure how long an app stays on a user’s phone after it has been downloaded. “This is one of the best metrics for these platforms to understand if the app is quality enough to be solving the user’s problem, need, or desire. To move the needle on this metric, app developers simply must have a clean, concise, easy-to-understand user interface that satisfies the user’s intent.”

Add video

A great way to showcase your app is by adding video. “This will make it stand out from the other two million apps in the App Store and make consumers far more likely to engage and eventually download your app,” says Bob Bentz, president of ATS Mobile. “Many new apps simply don’t take advantage of it.” However, it’s important that your preview video focuses on functionality only.

Make sure it’s release-ready

“If you update your app straight away, the reviews you received from Day 1 users will move from Current Version to All Versions,” warns Ashley Burnett, 18-year-old creator of Type In Time and Motor Math. “You want as many Current Version reviews as possible, as you will get an average star rating under your app’s listing, which looks nice. Therefore, you should ensure 100% there are no bugs and give it a week or two before releasing any non-urgent updates.”

Remember the basics

One of the most common issues is forgetting meta-data. “The meta-data should always be double-checked for containing correct information and no broken links, since the moderators in the App Store are particularly keen on having correct meta-data,” says Pedersen. In addition, he warns, “the App Store moderators are intent on all apps having proper privacy policies in place. Apple takes this item very seriously, and even a few minor spelling errors in the privacy policy can result in rejections.”

More helpful hints

• Visit AppReviewTimes.com to get a crowdsourced idea of how long the review process will take.
• Email appstorepromotion@apple.com and appoftheweek@apple.com to increase your chances of being featured.
• Use PickFu to test app names, icons, descriptions, and more so that you have data before entering the review queue.

Got more advice for aspiring apps? Comment below!


Also published on Medium.

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  • Just launching your mobile app on Apple App Store and Google Play Store doesn’t mean your task is over. It’s just the beginning of your app journey. As a developer and marketer, you should know things to keep ahead of the competition. All info present here is nice, but I particularly like point 4 that was at the time of app updates and its release.