Submitting the App to App Review

After you provide app configuration information, as described in Creating an iTunes Connect Record for an App, and uploaded a binary, as described in Uploading a Binary for an App, you’re ready to choose a a build, validate your app information, and submit your app for review.

If you’re submitting a new version of an existing app, see Replacing Your App with a New Version instead of reading this chapter.

Before you submit your app, you also have the option of having users test prerelease versions of your app. This step is described in TestFlight Beta Testing (Optional).

Choosing a Build

You can upload any number of builds for your app, and they will remain in Prerelease on the App Details page. (See Viewing Builds.) When you submit the app for App Review, only one build can be associated with the App Store version of the app you want to submit. The build, called the current build, is the one that will be submitted for App Review.

To choose a build to be the current build, follow these steps:

  1. Open the App Details page for the app, as described in Creating an iTunes Connect Record for an App.

  2. On Versions, scroll down to the Build section.

  3. Click the plus sign to select a build. The plus sign appears only if you have uploaded builds and have not yet not selected a current build. If you have already selected a build, you can remove it if you want to select a new one. See Removing the Current Build.

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  4. A list pops up containing all of the uploaded builds. Select the one you want to choose as the current build.

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    If an earlier version of your app became Ready for Sale in the App Store, then the list of builds includes only builds you have uploaded since then. For more detail on which builds are available for you to choose, see When builds become unavailable.

  5. After you click Done, the build number appears in the Build section of Versions along with its upload date and time.

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  6. Click Save at the top of the page.

Removing the Current Build

You can choose to remove the current build for a version. Removing it does not delete the build from the list of prerelease builds; it just means the build is no longer the current build for that app version.

  1. Open the App Details page for the app, as described in Creating an iTunes Connect Record for an App.

  2. On Versions, scroll down to the Build section.

  3. Hover over the build and click the minus sign that appears to the right of the build number.

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Changing builds

You can set and change the current build as often as you want, until you have submitted the app for review, by repeating the steps above for choosing a build and removing the current build.

Verifying App properties

Make sure to configure and validate the following properties that can’t be changed after you submit the app:

Make sure to validate the following properties that will cause your app to be rejected if the iTunes Connect information doesn’t match what’s set in the app binary:

Reviewing Your Version Summary

The Version Summary page is a read-only summary of all the metadata and assets you’re about to submit to Apple. Remember that even though you can edit your metadata after you submit the app, not all metadata properties can be changed. To learn which properties are editable and when, see Version Information.

To open the version summary for an app

  1. Open the App Details page for the app, as described in Creating an iTunes Connect Record for an App.

  2. In Versions, click Version Summary at the bottom of the page.

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  3. On the Version Summary, choose a territory from the Territory menu to review the app information as it would appear in the store for a given territory.

  4. Click Done.

For additional ways to validate your app metadata, see Viewing App Information and Working with Catalog Reports.

Submitting the App for App Review

When you’re ready to submit the app for App Review, iTunes Connect walks you through a final set of questions.

To submit an app for review

  1. Make sure that you have completed all the configuration the app needs.

  2. Make sure you have uploaded at least one binary and selected one as the current build for the app. See Choosing a Build.

  3. For iOS apps, check that your app size fits within the App Store requirements.

    iOS App binary files can be as large as 4 GB, but each executable file (app_name.app/app_name) must not exceed 60 MB. Additionally, the total uncompressed size of the app must be less than 4 billion bytes. However, consider download times when determining your app’s size. Minimize the file’s size as much as possible, keeping in mind that there is a 100 MB limit for over-the-air downloads. Abnormally large binary files are usually the result of storing data, such as images, inside the compiled binary itself instead of as a resource inside your app bundle. If you are compiling an image or large dataset into your binary, it would be best to split this data out into a resource that is loaded dynamically by your app.

  4. Open the App Details page for the app, as described in Creating an iTunes Connect Record for an App.

  5. On Versions, click the Submit for Review button at the top-right of the page.

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  6. Answer questions about Export Compliance, and if needed, upload encryption authorization documents.

    Because all apps are loaded on Apple servers in the United States, all apps are subject to U.S. export laws. See Cryptography and U.S. Export Compliance for more details about this step.

  7. Answer questions about Content Rights.

    Indicate whether the app has added third-party content. If you answer yes, you are asked to confirm that you have permission to use the third-party content in each territory in which the app will be available. It’s your responsibility to determine and follow regulations that apply in each territory.

  8. Answer questions about the Advertising Identifier (IDFA). Indicate whether your app uses the Advertising Identifier, and if so, in what way. See The Advertising Identifier (IDFA) for more details about this step.

    If you submit the app for review again in the future, you will need to fill out the questions again.

  9. Click Submit.

    iTunes Connect returns to Versions on the App Details page.

When the submission is complete, the app version status changes to Waiting for Review. For information about what the status indicators mean and what actions are available for each status, see About App Statuses.

Cryptography and U.S. Export Compliance

U.S. export laws require that products containing encryption be properly authorized for export. When you’re ready to upload your first build for your app or upload a new build, iTunes Connect presents a series of questions regarding software encryption. The questions are designed to determine the level of encryption in the app according to U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) classifications. Based on your answers, you may be required to provide one or more of the following documents:

  • Encryption Registration approval from BIS

  • CCATS approval from BIS

  • French import declaration

For more information on BIS requirements for encryption, go to Bureau of Industry and Security Encryption webpage.

All apps distributed through the App Store or Mac App Store must go through the encryption review: All apps are uploaded to an Apple server in the United States, which means that your product is exported from the United States and is captured by U.S. export laws. This requirement applies even if you plan to distribute apps only within your own country.

The Advertising Identifier (IDFA)

Your app must comply with IDFA usage in order to be approved by App Review. When you’re ready to submit your app, you will be presented with a questionnaire about whether your app uses the Advertising Identifier.

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If you check Yes, you will need to supply further details about how your app uses IDFA.

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If you checked No but we determine your app does use IDFA, your app will be put into the Invalid Binary status, and you will be notified by email. Similarly, if you checked Yes but your app uses IDFA in ways that don’t match the statements you checked, your app will be rejected by App Review and put into the Rejected status.

In either case, when you resubmit the binary, you will be presented with the IDFA questions again and can provide the appropriate answers.

Next Steps: App Review Results

After you submit your binary, Apple reviews the app and the accompanying metadata.

If Apple rejects your binary or metadata, the app status changes to Rejected and iTunes Connect users are notified of the specific issues. In addition to the app status and messages posted at the top of the App Details page, iTunes Connect provides the Resolution Center for you to communicate directly with Apple regarding issues with the app. See Viewing Resolution Center Communications.

If Apple approves your app, the app status changes to Ready for Sale and iTunes Connect users are notified of the status change. You can track its download progress, as described in Viewing Sales and Trends. You can follow comments and issues that users have, as described in Improving Your Customers’ Experience.

If, instead, your app status changes to Pending Developer release, then you have previously indicated that you would like to manually release your app version. See Specifying When App Versions Are Released.