10 Mistakes to Avoid When Submitting your First iPhone App

If creating iPhone apps is part of your online business plans, or if you plan to create iPhone apps for the iPhone, iPad, or iTouch, then understanding how to submit your app will save you a lot of hassle and ensure that your app get into the marketplace as soon as possible.

If creating iPhone apps is part of your online business plans, or if you plan to create iPhone apps for the iPhone, iPad, or iTouch, then understanding how to submit your app will save you a lot of hassle and ensure that your app get into the marketplace as soon as possible.

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Submitting your First iPhone App

I’ve just been through the process of submitting an iPhone app to the iTunes store. It wasn’t that difficult but the next time it will be faster. Here are a few things I learnt.

  1. Release Date – understand how Apple reviews iPhone App and learn what the terminology means when you’re submitting an app. For example, when Apples you that the app is being reviewed, this usually means it will be approx 8-15 days for the review to be completed. Once this is completed, then it’s scheduled for release.
  1. Updates – when you want to update an app, for example, you’ve added new screenshots or changed the pricing structure, you need to submit an update. This process should not take very long, especially if you have a track record (i.e. are in good standing account wise with Apple) and allow you to get the revised app online. But… double-check that the app has been updated and that the new features, text or prices are updated correctly on the iTunes store.
  1. Resubmitting an App – let’s say you want to change or add a new feature. This means Apple will have to test the app again. It does this to ensure its customers are getting a quality, working product and the only way to check that it works it to test it.
  1. Quality – Apple usually tests the app for the first 5 minutes max. After all, it has 1000s of apps to test every day so it can’t test all aspects of your app. What it looks for most is whether your app will crash the iPhone or iPad. Every time your app needs to be retested it goes to the back of the waiting list. So, make sure it works the first time you submit or you will have to go through the whole process again.
  1. Tags – You can add tags (aka keywords) when submitting your app. Should you add a few or hundreds? What works best for me is to select five keywords (ie the same keywords you use in your SEO, marketing, PPC and advertising) rather than taking a ‘long tail’ approach.
  1. Description – Look at how the best-sellers write this text for their apps and adapt their copy. Don’t copy and paste what you have on your website or blog. Refine the description so that it works for the iTunes store. If necessary, hire a copywriter (see oDesk) and get them to do the text. Don’t be ‘penny wise and pound foolish’.
  1. Forms For Overseas Developers – Non-US Developers must submit a “Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding” form (W-8BEN).
  1. Forms for Australian Developers – Upload their ABN and GST certificates in iTunes Connect.
  1. Selling Apps for Japan – Developers living outside of Japan, must submit a Japanese tax treaty form if you want to sell your apps in Japan.
  1. Connecting with Marketing Plans – Until you know how the app submission process works, you need to be careful when committing to dates on your marketing plan. In other words, if you’re expecting the app to be live on March 1 – to link into a PPC or Adwords campaign – then work backwards and submit the app in early Feb.

How the iPhone App Submission Works

With this in mind, here are the steps you need to complete to develop, test, and submit your iPhone app.

  1. Learning how to program with Xcode. This is the software programming language for the iPhone, iPad, iTouch.
  2. Apply for the Standard Program $99. It takes 5 days approx to be approved. You have to pay this fee is you want to submit your app to the iTunes store.
  3. Develop your app or get it outsourced. I’d recommend to get it outsourced so you can concentrate on other marketing activities.
  4. Design the icon and write the descriptions text for the app store.
  5. Set up provisioning profile for Ad Hoc distribution and testing.
  6. Prepare files for submission. This includes screenshots, support website details etc. This took me the most time.
  7. Complete tax info, contact and bank details so you get paid.
  8. Submit the app and wait!

Next Steps

One of the mistakes most everyone makes with their first app is expecting it to be quicker or getting frustrated when Applerequest that you re-test the app. The more you understand the submission and review cycle, the more you can align with marketing activities and ensure that your campaigns kick in at the right time. It will also save you the hassle of explaining to your manager, partners, or customers why there is a delay.
One last suggestion is to note what errors or issues caused Apple to reject or query your app. Capture these points and refer to them the next time you submit your app.
Have you submitted an app to iTunes store? What happened?

Is Apple a kinda… cult?

I almost got napped by the Scientologist in LA many years back. They were creepy bigtime. So, when I say Apple is a Cult, don’t take it in the same way. Maybe the Cult of Apple is like the bacteria is Yogurt, y’know the good bacteria?
Actually, I was offered a job with Apple in Cupertino many years ago and turned it down. I went to Intel instead. Yes, I know. Apple at the time struck me as a bit odd with its Think Different campaigns. I just didn’t buy into black turtle necks. Later I realized that most successful companies in the Valley are cult-like to some degree or at least have a strong siege mentality.
The Cult of Apple in Japan, Why I Joined
Trying to find the Apple Store on the map…

Why I’ve Resisted Apple Until Now?

I’ve resisted Apple for most of my career and done fine. But, for my recent 44th birthday, I decided to treat myself to the best ‘toy’ I wanted. Whatever  I wanted… One thoughts was to get something that we could share with junior (the guy with the map above) so he’d grow up with the best. Kinda made sense…
We went to Japan for my birthday.
And while wondering around Tokyo bumped into the Apple Store. I entered. My first time ever in an Apple Store. It’s a very slick four story building with a busy atmosphere but not hectic.

First impressions of an Apple Store

A few things struck me.

  • The staff spoke near perfect English.
  • All the computers were web-enabled so you could read your email. Brilliant
  • Free water was available from the coolers. A nice touch as it was boiling.
  • The place was super clean. Well, all of Japan is spotless and this place was no exception.
  • The staff persuaded me NOT to buy the Macbook Pro laptop.

Yes, read that again. The staff persuaded me NOT to buy the laptop.
If you buy in Japan (or wherever) and it gets damaged, you must bring it back to that store to be fixed. We’re heading back to Ireland soon. He said wait. Get it in Ireland.
But maybe the price is better here, I thought? What’s the catch.
No, prices are fixed across all stores.

Lessons Learnt: Apple’s Customer Service

When a salesperson goes out of their way to explain why you should buy elsewhere and then goes online with you to show that the price is the exact same, you can’t help but be impressed.
The other point was the high quality of English. How many US or European retailers hire Japanese, Chinese, Arabic or other foreign language staff? It’s a small touch but it made a deep impression.
No stilted conversations, no broken dialogues and the computer settings were setup in English too. I felt as home.
Over to you.
So, is Apple a friendly Cult? Maybe I was too harsh on Apple. What do you think?
Oh yeah, they have this mouse that doesn’t need a double-click. Who’d have thought of that?
I ordered the Macbook Pro and an iMac.
What was your first experience of Apple?

12 MS Office features you can now get on your iPhone

Pricing & Availability
Documents To Go and Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments are available at $4.99 and $9. from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/

Yesterday we looked at a new Microsoft Office to iPhone app which lets iPhone & iPod touch customers edit Microsoft Word files, synchronize their files and send & receive attachments. So, since we’re here I thought it best to give a list of what else it can do. Continue reading “12 MS Office features you can now get on your iPhone”