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How to Publish On the App Storeby@wesleybaxterhuber
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How to Publish On the App Store

by Wes HuberMarch 28th, 2023
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With tools like ReactNative, Expo, NextJS, and of course, ChatGPT it’s easier than ever to bring your app idea to life and get it published on the app store. Here is what you need to upload to App Store Connect to get your app on the store.
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Nowadays with tools like ReactNative, Expo, NextJS, and of course, ChatGPT it’s easier than ever to bring your app idea to life and get it published on the app store.


I started working on my app In December 2022. It’s a MERNN app, so a React Native frontend, NodeJS / Express backend and MongoDB database.


I just got it published on the App store a few days ago, so overall it took me 3 months. I also work a full-time job, and have many hobbies that keep me busy. I probably worked on the app for 5 hours or less per week on average.


You can check out my app here: https://thetrickbook.com/ or https://apps.apple.com/us/app/the-trick-book/id6446022788


Step 1: Become an Apple Developer

Register to become an apple developer here

When I got to a stopping point in developing my app, using React Native and Expo, I thought exporting and publishing to the app store would be difficult. I had already paid the $100 fee to become an apple developer, luckily publishing the app with Expo’s EAS service was incredibly easy.

Step 2: Double Check Meta Data

EAS supplies an eas.json file to build your app for production. The information in your app.json is compiled into the info.plist meta file that IOS checks for these criteria.


It’s important to make sure that if your app is using anything like Location or Camera access, that you provide a reason for this usage, for example my app used the Camera for the user’s ‘profile picture’. This reason should be in the app.json as well as in the function for requesting permission from the user.


app.json

"ios": {
      "supportsTablet": true,
      "bundleIdentifier": "com.thetrickbook.trickbook",
      "buildNumber": "1.0.3",
      "infoPlist": {
        "NSCameraUsageDescription": "This app uses the camera to access photos for a profile image."
      }
    },


requestPermission function

const requestPermission = async () => {
        const {granted} = await ImagePicker.requestCameraPermissionsAsync();
        if(!granted) alert("We ask for camera permissions to enable access for you to choose a profile picture");
    }

Step 3: Upload to App Store Connect

When you build with EAS, it gives you a link to a .ipa file, this is your App’s ‘binary’ distribution file.


This is what you need to upload to App Store Connect. The way this is done, is by downloading an app called Transporter. Use this to upload your binary to your App store connect account. Then you will be able to select your build in App store connect under the TestFlight tab.

Step 4: Screenshots & Pricing

You will also want to create screenshots for your app to be displayed in the app store. Here you can make some fun branding and highlight the features of your app.

Refer here: https://developer.apple.com/help/app-store-connect/reference/screenshot-specifications/ for Apple’s specifications on screenshots.


You will also be able to choose your pricing plan, here you can select a price for your app, use in-app purchases or just distribute for free. I chose the $0 price or free for my first app.


There is other information like language, accessibility e.t.c. that you need to fill out.

Step 5: Website, Privacy Policy & Support.

After the screenshots you will see in App store connect that you need a website with a privacy policy link and a question & support page or form. For this step I created a NextJS project and use AWS Amplify to launch the project to my domain.


In my NextJS project I created a page for privacy policy which I used ChatGPT to help me generate. I also have a link there for Questions & Support with just a simple link to my email, no form or anything. I also utilized this website to build a simple landing page for my app.


Step 6: Submit your app

Once you’ve done all these steps you are ready to submit your build for App Review. Once you submit your app it will usually take App Review around 3 days to get your app reviewed and get back to you.

Step 7: Reiterate

Success! Or, there’s something you need to fix. App Store review will get back to you whether your app is ready to sell or if there is something that needs to be revised.


It took me 3 revisions to get my app approved. One of the bigger issues I had was my app required the user to create an account, the app store wanted a “use as a guest” option or an option to use a version of the app without an account.


Also, if your app uses Accounts, you have to have the option for a user to permanently delete their account.


That’s it! If you want to view the source code of my app, it’s on github here: https://github.com/wbaxterh/TrickBookFrontend


Drop any questions in the comments section, and good luck submitting your app to the App Store!


Also published here.