First Steps: Identifying Your App in iTunes Connect

The App Store is a highly competitive, vibrant, and constantly evolving digital marketplace where success requires a thoughtful strategy and a desire to delight users. iTunes Connect is your tool to manage, maintain, and market your apps on the App Store.


Design Your App Store Product Page

Some of the metadata you enter in iTunes Connect—such as the app name, icon, and screenshots—appears directly on the App Store product page. To prepare the following metadata about your app that appears on the product page, go to App Store Product Page first. Later, you’ll enter this information in iTunes Connect.


For additional app icon requirements, read General App Information. For additional app preview requirements, read App Preview (Optional). For additional screenshot requirements, read Screenshots: Pictures Tell the App’s Story. To choose an app rating, read Set App Ratings. For overall design assistance, refer to iOS Human Interface Guidelines or OS X Human Interface Guidelines.

Screenshots: Pictures Tell the App’s Story

When creating screenshots to be posted to the store, follow these guidelines:

The first screenshot appears as a search result on the device App Store on iPhone and iPad if no app preview is available, so place the best screenshot first. For details on screenshot requirements, read Screenshot Properties.

App Preview (Optional)

An app preview demonstrates the features, functionality, and user interface of your app in a short video that users can watch right on the App Store. For a detailed description, go to App Previews.

When creating an app preview, follow these guidelines:

Creating App Previews with iMovie and Final Cut Pro X

iMovie comes with every Mac and makes it easy to create great-looking app previews; with it, you can edit screen recording videos and customize your preview with titles, transitions, a soundtrack, and voiceover. Final Cut Pro X, available on the Mac App Store, combines power and flexibility to give you even more control when creating your preview. Eleven titles designed to showcase apps in action are included with iMovie, and are available here as a free download for Final Cut Pro X.

To learn more about creating app previews with iMovie and Final Cut Pro X, go to these webpages:

Editing the Poster Frame for Your App Preview

When displayed in the results of a user’s App Store search, your app is represented by its poster frame. By default, the poster frame is the frame 5 seconds after the beginning of your app preview video, but you can change this to substitute a frame from anywhere in the video.

To edit the poster frame for your app preview

  1. When your app is in an editable state (see About App Statuses), hover over the app preview from the App Details page.


    A dialog appears that lets you select your desired poster frame or restore the default frame.

  2. Use the playback controls to navigate to the frame of the video you want to use for your poster frame.

  3. Click Set Poster Frame to select the currently displayed frame of the video as your poster frame.

  4. Click Done to save your choice.

  5. Click Save on the version page.

Prepare Your WatchKit App Icon, Screenshots, and Description

If your app contains a WatchKit extension, make sure the metadata for your App Store product page includes your app’s functionality on Apple Watch. For details on how to prepare WatchKit app metadata, go to Preparing Your App Submission for Apple Watch and read the “App Store Metadata” section. For the icon and screenshot requirements, read Apple Watch Properties.

Set App Ratings

The App Store has a special category for apps targeted at children aged 11 and under. Even if your app isn’t specifically targeted at kids, you help your customers make good choices for children and adults by providing content ratings.

Ratings: Advice for Your Customers

The rating for your app informs parental controls on the store. All apps are required to have a rating. iTunes Connect provides a list of content descriptions for which you identify how frequently the content appears in your app. Your selections are converted to the App Store app rating as well as territory-specific app ratings, such as for the Brazil App Store.

Table 2-1 describes Apple’s ratings, and Table 2-2 provides the equivalent ESRB and PEGI ratings. For territory-specific ratings, such as those for Brazil, see Territory-Specific Ratings.

Table 2-1  Apple rating chart




Apps in this category contain no objectionable material.


Apps in this category may contain instances of the following content that may not be suitable for children under the age of 9:

  • Infrequent or mild occurrences of realistic violence

  • Infrequent or mild profanity

  • Infrequent or mild mature, suggestive, or horror-themed content

  • Frequent or intense cartoon or fantasy violence


Apps in this category may contain instances of the following content that may not be suitable for children under the age of 12:

  • Infrequent or mild medical or treatment-focused content

  • Infrequent or mild references to alcohol, tobacco, or drug use

  • Simulated gambling

  • Infrequent or mild sexual content or nudity

  • Frequent or intense profanity

  • Frequent or intense realistic violence

  • Frequent or intense horror-themed content


Apps in this category may contain instances of the following content that may not be suitable for children under the age of 17:

  • Unrestricted web access, such as with an embedded browser

  • Gambling or contests

  • Frequent or intense mature or suggestive content

  • Frequent or intense medical or treatment-focused content

  • Frequent or intense references to alcohol, tobacco, or drug use

  • Frequent or intense sexual content or nudity

Table 2-2  Apple rating, ESRB, and PEGI equivalency chart

Apple rating






Not applicable












No Rating

This content can’t be sold in Apple stores.

Adults Only


Territory-Specific Ratings

Some countries have more specific ratings requirements for app sales than others. When you describe your app’s content, iTunes Connect displays territory-specific ratings and restrictions to help you understand the consequences of including some types of content in your app. For example, apps with frequent references to simulated gambling can’t be sold in Korea if the category of the app is Entertainment or Games. The territory-specific information appears below the rating when you are setting the ratings for the app.


You can also click Additional Rating to show territory-specific ratings that differ from Apple’s ratings.


Made for Kids: Target Kid-Friendly Apps

If your app rates 9+ or lower in Apple’s ratings, you can include your app in the Kids category on the store. You target apps inside the Kids category by specifying the age range appropriate for your app. Apps are organized by age range inside the Kids category.

To make sure parents understand what information your app collects and how that information is used, when you identify your app as Made for Kids, provide a URL that links to the privacy policy governing the app.

Use the App Store to Your Advantage

Distribute your app to beta testers using TestFlight (optional). Increase the quality of your app by testing prerelease versions with a small audience before widespread distribution.

Control the release of your app using iTunes Connect. You can control when the app becomes available by setting the Version Release date. You can also set whether to release the app automatically once it is approved. Make sure that you provide plenty of time in your schedule for the Apple Review process.

Enjoy the benefits of quality. Apple chooses apps for promotion purely on the merits of the app. There’s no advertising or paid placement opportunities on the App Store. Apple takes care to present apps that provide a great user experience, are designed for the platform, and display beautifully on and off the store.

Evolve with the app market. Keep your finger on the pulse of the App Store by downloading and using apps every day. Read reviews to learn what users care about. Research your competition and consider the best strategy for your app. Because every app is unique, many business models are successful across the categories on the App Store, including Free, Premium (one-time payment), Freemium (free with In-App Purchase), and Paymium (paid with In-App Purchase). Price thoughtfully and offer a strong value proposition.

Iterate and innovate. Listen to your customers and respond with updates. Plan updates carefully so that your app evolves over time. Space updates appropriately for the most impact with users.

Think globally. The App Store is available in over 150 countries, so you want to localize your app and metadata to attract downloads. Customers prefer to browse and shop in their native languages; in your localized description be clear which languages your build supports. For a list of countries in which the App Store is available, see App Store Territories.

Localize properly. When providing translations for your app description, app name, and keywords, localize professionally or not at all. Don’t use online translators or translator widgets. Remember that bad translations, even though they may be funny, can do more harm than good. Be aware of cultural sensitivities, and present a professional and authentic tone in all communications. If you need assistance with translations, Apple recommends browsing the services of these third-party localization vendors.

Incorporate iTunes Connect into Your Marketing Strategy

iTunes Connect gives you powerful tools to help attract customers to your app.

Giving Your App Away (to Selected Customers)

You can request up to 100 promo codes per approved version of your app in iTunes Connect. Create a plan to use these promotions, including seeding appropriate press and editorial contacts prior to the app release. These codes can help you reach influencers who can create buzz and awareness for your app. To create actionable marketing, advise the press to publicize your app only when the app is actually available for customers to download. For more information, read Providing Promo Codes.

Scheduling Price Changes to Correspond with Marketing Campaigns

You can use iTunes Connect to implement price changes to correspond to marketing events. Perhaps schedule a price reduction to coincide with an external event: For example, drop the price for your golf game during the British Open and use that change to advertise your app. Future price increases can provide compelling reasons for customers to make their purchase decision sooner rather than later.

Using Incentives to Sell Subscriptions

When offering auto-renewable subscriptions for sale from inside your app, incentives can be good tools to help customers choose your app. Two kinds of incentives are available: free trials and opt-in incentives. Both incentives automatically enroll customers in the next standard subscription duration. With opt-in incentives, users agree to share their contact information with you, giving you another marketing tool to reach your customers.

Designing Vanity URLs

For offline communications such as print and TV, provide a simple way for users to find your app with an easy-to-remember App Store Short Link. The App Store automatically generates these URLs for all apps and companies.

You can make App Store Short Links for iOS apps in the following forms:

  • Single app.<appname>, such as

  • All apps for a company.<companyname>, such as

  • Single app with company name.<companyname>/<appname>, such as

For more information, see Creating easy-to-read short links to the App Store for your apps and company.

Leveraging Smart App Banners

The Safari Smart App Banner feature provides a standardized method of promoting apps on the App Store from a website viewed on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. These banners improve users’ browsing experience compared with other methods. Tapping the banner takes users directly to the app on the App Store. For more information, see Promoting Apps with Smart App Banners in Safari Web Content Guide.

Preparing for Your App to Be Featured on the App Store

Apple regularly features high-quality apps on the App Store and Mac App Store. You can be ready by having attractive, high-resolution artwork available. With the introduction of Retina display, high-resolution art is now required for promotional placement.

Set Up Payment for Your App

The agreement you accepted when you joined the Apple Developer Program is all you’ll need in order to distribute free apps on the store. If you want to sell an app, serve iAd rich media ads, or offer products for sale or download from inside the app, you need to agree to additional legal requirements and to provide information to receive payment for your earnings on the store. Table 2-3 summarizes the requirements. The Agreements, Tax, and Banking section in iTunes Connect organizes the contracts and the documents you provide and lets you know if changes are needed.

Table 2-3  Contracts and registrations for sale of apps



Free Applications

Granted as part of signing up for a developer program.

Paid Applications

Required to offer apps for sale on the App Store or the Mac App Store. These contracts require financial contact information, bank, and tax information.

iAd App Network (optional)

Required to have an app serve rich media ads from the iAd App Network. This contract requires financial contact information, bank, and tax information.

Banking Information

Required to receive payments from Apple or offer apps for sale on the App Store or Mac App Store. You’ll need to include information for a bank account that can receive electronic payments.

Tax Forms

Required to offer apps for sale on the App Store or the Mac App Store. Tax forms for the United States are required even if you aren’t selling apps in the U.S. Tax forms may be required to sell on App Stores for developers based in Canada and Australia. For the remaining territories, tax forms aren’t typically required.

Encryption Export Registration (optional)

Required to distribute apps that incorporate encryption in any form. Because apps are uploaded to the Apple server in the United States, all apps are subject to U.S. export laws. All apps that use, access, contain, implement, or incorporate encryption in any form must comply with U.S. export regulations, and if apps are distributed in France, to French import regulations. See the FAQ page for World Wide Trade Compliance for the store.

You provide this information when you submit an app build for review.

Next Steps: Create an iTunes Connect Record for Your App

Everything begins by developing a great app. Take your time to perfect the technology implementation, user experience, and presentation. Feature placement on the App Store is not a marketing strategy—it’s a reward for a great app. Invest in your success by creating a compelling presentation on the App Store and driving awareness and engagement through a thoughtful marketing and advertising strategy.

Now that you know what it takes, you’re ready to sign in to iTunes Connect and start building your catalog of apps. See Creating an iTunes Connect Record for an App. In parallel, you can review your contract requirements to make sure your legal requirements are in place when you’re ready to distribute apps. See Managing Agreements, Tax, and Banking.