After building your iOS Magento mobile app with SimiCart successfully, you need to submit the app to App Store so your customers can download it, use it and start purchasing. You can submit the app by yourself or ask SimiCart to submit the app for you. Many customers often meet difficulties with the process of app publishment. So this user guide shows you how to conduct app publishment process step-by-step.
Requirement: You will need an Apple developer account which costs you $99/year and a computer which runs MacOS.
There are 4 main steps you need to take:
1. Get Developer Certificate File
Step 1: Prepare on Apple developer center
- Go to website https://developer.apple.com and Sign In with your developer account.
- Choose Certificates, Identifiers, and Profiles
- On the left sidebar, choose Certificate/Production then click on Add (the plus icon on the right corner)
- Scroll down and tick on “App Store and Ad Hoc”
- Then click on Continue and you are now moved to “Generate your certificate” section.
Step 2: Prepare on your Mac (or computer running MacOS)
- Open Spotlight search and search “keychain”.
- Follow Keychain Access > Certificate Assistant > Request a Certificate from a Certificate Authority
When you are redirected to “Certificate Information”, please fill out all required information:
- Your Apple account email as “User Email Address”
- iOS certificate distribution as “Common Name”
Then you tick on “Saved to disk”. Next, you save this file as “iOS_Distribution” and now you get an iOS-Distribution file.
- Come back to your account on developer.apple.com, click on “Choose file” to upload the iOS_Distribution file you have just created. Then, click on Continue.
- After that, double click on the file you have just downloaded and open “Keychain Access”. Now you find “iPhone Distribution” and “iOS Certificate” and export these 2 items. Then, save this file as “iOS Distribution”. Please note that the file format is (.p12)
- The system will require you to set a password for the file you have just downloaded. This step is compulsory to set the file’s security.
- You also have to type password which is password of your Mac and click on “Always Allow”
When you complete these steps, you will get an iOS distribution file (or Developer’s Certificate or .P12 file).
2. Get Provision File
Step 1: Prepare on Apple Developer Center
- First, come back to Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles > Identifiers > App IDs and choose Add (the plus icon on the top right corner).
- Next, on “App ID Description”, fill out the Name for your app. Please note that you should not use special characters as Apple recommends. Scroll down and tick on “Explicit App ID” in the section of “App ID Suffix”.
Step 2: Get information on SimiCart App Management
- Login your account on SimiCart, then go to App Builder/Publish. You will find your Bundle Id.
Note: The ID in the box is just an example
Step 3: Get Provision file
- Get back to Apple Developer Center and go to App ID Suffix. Then you fill in the Bundle ID blank with the Bundle Id you got on SimiCart App Management.
- Scroll down and tick on “Associated Domain”, “Push Notifications” then “Continue”.
- On the left bar, choose “Provisioning Profiles”/ “Distribution” and tick on Add (the plus icon on the top right corner).
- You are now directed to Distribution section, please tick on “App Store” then “Continue”.
- Now you have entered the “Select App ID” section, choose the App ID you have created (automatically provided in the drop-down). Then click on “Continue”.
- Similarly, on “Select certificates” section, choose the one you have just created among options. Then you click on “Continue” again.
- When you are moved to the "Generate" part, fill the app name as your “Profile Name” and click “Continue”. Your Provision file is then created. You can now download it and get the Provision file with the format (.mobileprovision).
Now that you have finished getting your provision file, let's move to the next stage: Get IPA file.
3. Get .IPA File
After completing the 2 previous stages, you have accumulated a Provision file and a Developer’s Certificate file. Now, login to SimiCart's App Dashboard to get the release file.
Step 1: Go to SimiCart Dashboard > App Builder > Publish. Select the “Your Apple developer account”, and it will be auto-saved.
Step 2: Enter the version Name of your app
- If it is the first time you upload the app to Apple Store, version name is 1.0.0
- If you already had the app on Apple Store, the new Version Name must be bigger than the last one (Go to https://itunesconnect.apple.com -> Login your Apple Developer account -> Go to My Apps -> Select Your app -> Choose Activity menu -> Choose All Builds tab)
Step 3: Scroll down, upload the Provision file, Certificate file (.p12), enter password, and fill out all required information. Then click “Get release app”. Next, a new section with "Download iOS App" shows up and you are able to Get the IPA file.
After finishing all the above steps, you need to come back to iTunes Connect to submit your app.
4. Publish app on App Store
Step 1: Log in to iTunes Connect > My Apps. Then, click on Add (the plus icon on the menu bar) and choose “New iOS app”.
Step 2: Fill out all required information
- Select iOS Platforms
- Name: Your App name
- Primary Language: Your language
- SKU: Your App name in lowercase
- Bundle ID: your Identification Key
- Then, you click on “Create”.
Step 3: When moved to a new page, you can change more information there:
- App Name
- Category of your app: In “Primary” box, choose the option that’s related to your app content. Then, in “Secondary” box, choose the other field that your app content belongs to but this is optional.
Step 4: Select Pricing and Availability tab, update all required information. Then click Save.
Step 5: Select Prepare of Submission tab
- Upload screenshots (5.5-Inch, 12.9-Inch)
Step 6: Scroll down and fill out all required information
- Promotional Text: the Promotional text box lets you inform your App Store visitors of any current app features without requiring an updated submission. These texts will appear above your description in the App Store for customers with devices running iOS 11 or higher.
- Description: Describe your App in less than 4000 characters (you should not use content related to Apple’s competitors).
- Keywords: These keywords will help your customers search your App in Apple store.
- Support URL: URL of Contact page in your website.
- Marketing URL: URL of your website.
Step 7: Scroll down and get to “General App Information” section.
- Upload your App icon: The image size is 1024 px * 1024 px with JPEG format.
- Version: 1.0.0
- Rating: Choose “Edit” then tick on the option that is compatible with your app content.
- Trade Representative Contact Information
Step 8: Scroll down to enter “App Review Information” section.
- Contact information: Fill in your business contact information.
- Demo Account: Provide account to access your website so Apple can do needed tests.
Step 9: Scroll down and go to “Version Release” section.
Choose “Automatically release this version”.
Note: From Step 5 to Step 9, please remember to click “Save” on the upper right corner to save all the information that you have filled out.
Step 10: Open your Spotlight search and search for “Application Loader”. (If your Mac does not have this application, you can download then install it). Next, open Application Loader and Sign in with your Apple ID.
- In Template Chooser, click “Delivery Your App” and click “Choose”. Then you browse the IPA file you have downloaded from your SimiCart App Management, click Next. The process will take around 10 minutes.
Step 11: Go back on iTunes Connect > My Apps, choose the app that you have created, and click “Build”.
Step 12: Choose the app file you have uploaded and a pop-up will appear. Click “Done”. Then “Save” - on the right corner.
Step 13: Get back to My Apps and click “Submit for Review”.
There will be a drop-down with 3 options. Choose “No” and Send.
You now have completed the process of App submission to Apple Store. Normally, it might take 3-5 days to receive Apple approval. After your app gets accepted, your customers can download it directly from Apple Store.