How to Supply Information for Your iPad App to the App Store

Apple is very strict about the App Store. Actually uploading your iPad application to the App Store is pretty easy. The hard part is collecting all the little bits of information about your iPad app that you need to enter into all the text fields in the upload page.

iPad app metadata

Here's an overview of the kind of information you need (for more information, click the Prepare for App Submission link in the App Store Resource Center section of the iPhone Dev Center page, shown in this figure):

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  • Application Name: The name must conform to guidelines for using Apple trademarks and copyrights. Apple takes this very seriously.

  • Application Description: When you go through the process of uploading your data, the field you have to paste this into will say you're limited to 4,000 characters. Apple suggests no more than 700. Don't include HTML tags; they will be stripped out when the data is uploaded. Only line breaks are respected.

  • Device: Choose iPad.

  • Primary Category: A drop-down menu offers the primary category choices for your app — choose one.

  • Secondary Category: Optional. You're offered the same categories that you see for the Primary Category.

  • Rating Information: Set the rating for your app for the purpose of parental controls on the App Store. You may see content types such as Cartoon or Fantasy Violence, Simulated Gambling, Mature/Suggestive Themes, and so on. For each type of content, you need to describe the level of frequency for that content — None, Infrequent/Mild, Frequent/Intense.

    Apple has strict rules stating that an app must not contain any obscene, pornographic, or offensive content.

  • Copyright: Use a line such as © Copyright your name 2010. All rights reserved. You can type the copyright symbol by pressing Option-G.

    If you have any questions about copyright registration, talk to your lawyer or check out the U.S. Copyright Office Web site.

  • Version Number: People usually start with 1.0. Then, while you update the app to respond to suggestions and constructive criticism, you can move on to 1.1 and eventually version 2.0.

  • SKU Number: The Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) number is any alphanumeric sequence of letters and numbers that uniquely identifies your app in the system. (Be warned — you can't edit this number after you submit it.)

  • Keywords: Keywords describe your app and are matched to App Store searches. Spend some time on this one. Keywords can be changed only when you submit a new version of your app or if the app status is Rejected.

  • Support URL and Company URL: A support URL appears on the app product page at the App Store — this is the link users will click if they need technical support from you or have a question about your app. You also need a company URL, which also appears on the app product page and enables potential customers to find out more about you.

    After you've assigned these URLs, keep them unchanged for as long as possible, even if you change the Web site's contents, because people bookmark them.

  • Support E-Mail Address: This address, which only Apple uses, will likely be the one you used when you registered for the developer program.

  • Demo Account — Full Access: A test account that the App Store reviewers can use to test your app. Include usernames, passwords, access codes, demo data, and so on. You should include any messages to the Apple app reviewers, in case they might incorrectly reject something.

  • End User License Agreement: Optional. This legal document spells out to your app's users what they're agreeing to do in order to use your app. Fortunately, the iTunes Store has a standard agreement, which has been time-tested — but you should read it anyway before you use it.

  • Availability Date: When your app will be available for download (for free apps) or purchase-and-download.

  • Application Price: Free is easier, but you can get paid (what a concept) for all the work you did getting your app to the public.

  • Localization: Additional languages (besides English) for your metadata. You can have your text and images in Italian for Italian-speaking stores, for example.

  • App Store Availability: The territories in which you want to make your app available. (The default is all countries that iTunes supports.)

iPad app artwork

A picture is worth a thousand words, so the App Store gives you the opportunity to dazzle your app's potential users with some nice imagery:

  • iPad Home Screen Icon: Your built app must include an icon sized at 72 x 72 pixels, which is displayed on the iPad home screen. You also need to supply a smaller version of this icon, at 48 x 48 pixels, for display in Spotlight search results and in the Settings application (if you provide settings).

  • Large Application Icon: Used to display your app on your App Store page and other App Store pages. It needs to meet the following requirements, although the version you see in the App Store is resized by Apple:

    • 512 x 512 pixels (a square image)

    • 72 dots-per-inch (dpi)

    • JPEG or TIFF format (saved without separate layers)

  • Primary Screenshot: Used on your application product page in the App Store. Apple doesn't want you to include the iPad status bar in your screenshot.

  • Additional Artwork: Optional. If you're really lucky, you may be included on featured pages in the App Store. Apple will want "high-quality layered artwork with a title treatment for your application," which will then be used in small banners to feature your app in the App Store.

Banking information

If you're going to charge for your app, you have to provide some banking information. To change this information after you've entered it, you have to e-mail iTunes technical support (it behooves you to get it right the first time):

  • Bank name

  • Bank address

  • Account number

  • Branch/Branch ID

  • ABA/Routing Transit Number

  • Your bank SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) code

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