iOS App Store Optimization

Following Apple's Guidelines for Your App Product Page

Apple is not only a tech company, they’re also content curators. Apple has several products and services in their portfolio, including TV+, News+, and App Store. All of these services offer products made by 3rd parties. Apple provides the marketplace or platform where other companies can connect with customers. In the case of App Store, app developers and publishers can make their apps available to mobile users around the world. Because Apple cares about associating themselves with high-quality products, they won’t just let anyone publish apps onto the App Store. You’ll have to follow App Store’s guidelines if you want your app to succeed there. 

Apple sets guidelines for almost every step of app development and distribution. Let’s start first with how to develop an iOS app that appeals to iOS users. 

Human Interface Guidelines for Developing iOS Apps

iOS users are used to a very specific UX/UI. That’s because every Apple product runs on iOS, MacOS, etc. This is how Apple keeps their entire product line cohesive. As a result, iOS users expect this cohesive design and functionality.  

For your app to be appealing to iOS users, you’ll have to follow Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines. 

iOS Navigation Bar

The bottom navigation bar is seen throughout many Apple apps. Consequently, Apple recommends implementing the same type of navigation in your apps. If you are designing in Sketch or developing in Xcode, you’ll have this pre-fab UI element already, making design and development a lot faster. People who are accustomed to Apple products will also be able to pick up your app faster, lowering their learning and adoption curve. In the end, this will increase retention. People uninstall apps that are confusing and unintuitive. 

Design in Sketch and develop in Xcode to keep iOS elements integrated in your app.
Design in Sketch and develop in Xcode to keep iOS elements integrated in your app
Source: Sketch

Signing in with FaceID and TouchID

When possible, you should integrate FaceID and TouchID. They decrease the friction of entry into your app. People will be more likely to enjoy their experience with your app when you implement these quick login options.

Apple’s FaceID allows users to more quickly enter your app. You can show off this feature in your app product page.
Apple’s FaceID allows users to more quickly enter your app 
Source: Apple

You also have to consider that some people may have biometrics turned off on their devices. In this case you must have a backup sign-in option, usually with an email/username and password. 

Apple emphasizes that you should never use the term “passcode” as this is reserved for unlocking iOS devices and Apple Pay. Instead, always go for password. 

Dark Mode

Apple favors apps that use their products. Dark Mode was introduced with iOS13 and Apple is pushing hard for developers to integrate this into their apps. 

With Dark Mode, you want to make sure that every UI element still looks great and understandable. This is extremely important. If users have Dark Mode turned on and they can’t find a certain function or feature in your app because it’s hidden or camouflaged with the dark background, they’ll become frustrated. 

iOS Dark Mode 
Source: Apple

When your app offers Dark Mode, you should promote it in your app screenshots and description. 

Clean UX/UI

Apple puts a large emphasis on great UX/UI. No surprise from this design-based company. They will reject apps that have messy or unintuitive UX/UI. It’s a good idea to hire a professional UX/UI designer to make sure your app is always looking its best. 

UX/UI that is acceptable by Apple App Store. Make sure to follow Apple's guidelines when designing your app product page.
UX/UI that is acceptable by Apple App Store
Source: Apple

These are only a few of the many guidelines and Apple features you can integrate into your app. Read up on every expectation that Apple has for iOS app development to ensure your app gets approved for App Store. 

Guidelines for Your App Product Page

Apple has guidelines for your app product page too. They publish these in order to keep the App Store looking clean and cohesive. Remember, Apple wants to curate high-quality products. An appealing app product page tells both users and Apple that your app is up to par. 

App Icon

Your app icon is one of the main elements of your App Store listing. It’s the first thing that people will look at. 

Apple recommends keeping to a clean design that limits text and excess colors. You should not include any type of photography or real-images in your app icon. Keep to easily digestible graphics and shapes. 

Transparent backgrounds should be avoided. You should also not round the corners of your icon. Apple will do this for you. 

Importantly, never use replicas of Apple’s products. Doing so will get your app rejected or banned from App Store. 

App Screenshots and Preview Video

App screenshots highly influence iOS users’ decision to download. Aside from designing compelling screenshots, you have to follow Apple’s guidelines. 

Apple wants screenshots that show actual screens from within your app. Having any other type of image will put your app at risk of rejection or removal. The same goes for your preview video. All footage has to be taken inside your app.  

iOS app screenshots on your app product page must show real screens from your app
iOS app screenshots must show real screens from your app 
Source: Apple

App Name, Subtitle, and Description

There’s not many guidelines that Apple sets for these text fields. However, character count will limit how much information you can put in each. 

In addition, there are a few things you should avoid. First, do not include any type of profanity or inappropriate language. Apple will flag this and remove your app from the App Store. You should also write all text in your app’s brand voice. But, do not use special characters in the app name or subtitle. You can include emojis in your description.

Apple requires that you disclose in-app purchases and subscriptions in your description if those are available in your app. Without this information, Apple will reject your submission. 

Other Aspects to Consider When Submitting to App Store

Some common reasons why apps get rejected by the App Store are: 

  • Broken links within the app 
  • Incorrect developer contact information 
  • Excessive bugs and crashes 
  • Forgetting to remove placeholder content 
  • Incorrect information when asking for user permissions
  • Advertising functions and features your app doesn’t have 
  • Too much web content  
  • Poor app performance 

There are a multitude of reasons that Apple may reject your app. Avoid having to go through this frustrating process by developing and designing a top notch app from the beginning. Not only will Apple appreciate it, your users will too.  

Looking For More?

App Radar's app growth expert team guarantees results

Contact Us Today
Genie is the Marketing Manager at App Radar. She drives exciting in-house campaigns and collaborations to get the word out about app marketing and growth strategies.