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let’s dev Blog | The app in the Apple App Store: what information is needed?
by Aileen
27. April 2018

The app in the Apple App Store: what information is needed?

This article collects information needed to successfully submit an app to the Apple App Store. It also contains information on how to optimize the presentation of an app on the product page. Apple offers various optional texts for this purpose, which can be used for specific purposes as needed.

App Name

30 characters - simple - easy to remember

Finding an app name that is as simple as possible, easy to remember, and suggests what an app can be used for is always a challenge. However, the effort pays off, as the name essentially contributes to how users find an app in the App Store.

The name of an app is displayed on the product page in the App Store on all devices. It is one of the features by which users can recognize an app. Therefore, when choosing a name, you should avoid using names that are too generic or similar to existing apps.

App Name

Subtitle (optional)

30 characters - iOS 11 only - one sentence

Below the name, the subtitle can be displayed on devices from iOS 11. Ideally, it summarizes the app in one sentence, highlights special features of the app, or describes the context of use of the app for potential buyers. The subtitle can be changed with each update of the app version.

Categories

Two categories – Primary & Secondary

An app can be assigned to two categories. Under these categories, an app can be found when browsing the App Store or filtering search results.

The main category affects whether the app is displayed under "Apps" or "Games". The category should be chosen according to the main functionalities of the app and reflect them. All possible categories, as well as additional information, can be found here: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/categories/

App Store categories

App Icon

Meaningful - Simple - no photos, text or details

First impressions count - This statement also applies to a product page in the App Store. Besides the name of the app, the app icon is one of the first pieces of information that the user gets about the app. Therefore, the app icon should make a positive and strong first impression, also to strengthen the recognition value of the app.

A meaningful app icon should communicate the benefit and purpose of the app without going into too much detail. The latter is essential because the app icon is displayed in different sizes on different devices. Too small graphic elements, photos or text are then usually difficult to recognize.

An inappropriate app icon can be a reason why an app fails Apple's App Store Review. An app can be rejected if, for example, an Android-like device is seen on the app icon.

Preview video (optional)

Maximum 30 seconds - Without sound - Up to three per language

A preview video of an app is displayed as the first element next to the screenshots. It should explain the app and its main functionality in 30 seconds or less. It is played directly on the App Store page, but without sound. Therefore, it should be as graphically appealing as possible. Up to three preview videos can be displayed on the product page. One to three preview videos can be uploaded per language of the app in the App Store.

Screenshots

Maximum five per device & language - Visual presentation of functions

Unless a preview video of the app is presented on the product page, screenshots are an essential element to visually present the user experience of the app to the user. Up to five screenshots per device and language can be uploaded.

The screenshots should visualize the functionality of the app. For this purpose, it can sometimes be helpful to present not only simple screenshots, but also prepared graphics. These graphics can then include screenshots in the device as well as text that underlines the content of the screenshots again. The total size and number of the graphics follow the same guidelines as the simple screenshots.

From experience, inappropriate screenshots are one of the most common reasons why Apple rejects an app in the App Store review. The following points should be paid attention to in order to avoid the rejection of the app:

App description

Description

Minimum 700, maximum 4000 characters - short & meaningful - no keywords or prices - update on app update

The description of an app should be short and meaningful. In terms of content, it should describe the special features and functionalities. This can be done, for example, by a short informative section, followed by a list of the main functionalities. For potential users, it should be emphasized again, what makes the app so unique. Avoid unnecessary clusters of keywords and especially the mention of prices should be avoided here, as this information can vary depending on the region and country.

The tonality and language of the description should be chosen according to one's own brand identity. At the same time, however, care should be taken to use a form of expression that is appropriate and understandable for the company's own target group.

The first sentence of the description is always displayed on the product page and can be read directly. Therefore, special attention should be paid to it in order to induce the user to read on as much as possible and to arouse his interest.

Advertising text (optional)

170 characters - Independent of the app update

For important information that should be shared with app users regardless of an app update, the ad text should be used. For example, news about the app, announcements of new features, content or events can be announced through the ad text.

The ad text is displayed above the description and can be up to 170 characters long.

Keywords

100 characters - separated by comma, without spaces

Keywords significantly determine how easy it is to find an app in search results. Therefore, the keywords should be selected consciously. Keywords should be as specific as possible, words that your target group could use to search for an app like your own in the App Store. Words should be avoided that do not contain relevant information, are formulated too openly or are not in the context of the app, as otherwise it is difficult to find your own app.

100 characters for keywords seem very little at first. The following tips can maximize the number of words within the given characters:

Inappropriate keywords are a common reason for App Store rejections. The following tips can help you avoid inappropriate keywords:

New app functions

What’s New (optional)

4000 characters - Improvements - New functions

After an update of the app version, this area can be used to communicate the changes and adjustments of an app to the users. For example, improvements resulting from user feedback can be mentioned here, or new features can be presented in order of importance.

In-App Purchases (optional)

Maximum 20 elements - Method: SKPaymentTransactionObserver enabled?

In addition to information about an app, the product page also displays in-app purchases that users can make here and in the app. These in-app purchases as well as subscriptions are displayed in different sections. A maximum of 20 elements, each consisting of a name, a product image, and a description, can be displayed. The sequence of the elements is freely selectable. This allows specific content to be highlighted in a targeted manner. In addition to the product page, the in-app purchases can also be found in the search results and featured on various pages in the App Store. In doing so, the app must support the following method, otherwise the in-app purchases will not be displayed in the App Store: SKPaymentTransactionObserver.

App Store App ratings

Ratings and reviews

Respond to questions/criticism - solicit user feedback for improvement

An app can be rated by any user who has downloaded or purchased the app. In addition to this, any user can write a review of the app. These reviews can be answered directly, for example, to respond directly to questions, criticisms, or other concerns. When responses are made directly through iTunes Connect, users receive notifications and can update their reviews.

Updating reviews and answers is generally possible at any time. However, only the latest reviews and answers of a user are displayed on the product page. Reviews that are displayed on the product page are specific per region/area. There is also an option in iTunes Connect to reset the Ratings. However, this is only possible when the app is updated. In some cases it may be useful to reset the ratings. However, a low number of reviews can also have a negative impact on users' purchasing and downloading behavior. Therefore, Apple recommends using this only very sparingly and consciously.

Image credits:

  • plainpicture: Valery Skurydin

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