Publish to App Store (iOS)

Last updated 6 days ago

To publish your app to the App Store, we currently require users to turn off two-factor authentication. Apple recently made a change requiring new users and those that have upgraded to the latest iOS or MacOS to turn on two-factor authentication. If you have two-factor authentication turned on, you will currently* not be able to publish to the iOS App Store.

Please click here to see our recommendations on how to turn off two-factor authentication.

*We are working on a fix to enable publishing to iOS with two-factor authentication turned on.

Publishing your app to the App Store can be a rewarding process.

Apple requires a lot information for apps that are available in their App Store. As a result, the publishing process can feel long and will require at least 20 minutes to complete the necessary steps, which currently requires information from 4 different Apple websites.

Thunkable is continually looking for ways to streamline the publishing process and has made it possible for creators to publish from a non-Mac computer, which is normally required from the standard publishing process.

Minimum requirements

Apple holds a high standard for apps that are approved for distribution in the App Store so please review Apple's policies and guidelines to make sure your app is in compliance before you sign up for the Apple Developer Program

  • Apple Developer Program membership ($100/year). Don't have one? Sign up here.

Register your app

Go to the Apple Developer website (Certificates, Identifiers and Profiles)

After login, the first thing you want to do is navigate to the App IDs section and register a new App ID.

When you register an App ID, you'll have to pick an app Name. The app Name must be unique to the App Store and is what appears next to the app icon when it is downloaded on a user's phone.

Apple will automatically create a Team ID. The Team ID is your unique account identifier that is linked to your Apple Developer Program membership.

You will then create a Bundle ID which is unique to your app but not visible to your app users. If you plan on publishing multiple apps, we suggest you create a Wildcard App ID. Otherwise, a single Explicit App ID should work.

Apple recommends reversing your domain name to create your bundle ID i.e. com.{yourdomain}.{appname} to avoid conflicts with other apps.

Two-factor authentication

To publish your app to the App Store, we currently require users to turn off two-factor authentication. Apple recently made a change requiring new users and those that have upgraded to the latest iOS or MacOS to turn on two-factor authentication. If you have two-factor authentication turned on, you will currently* not be able to publish to the iOS App Store.

Please click here to see our recommendations on how to turn off two-factor authentication.

*We are working on a fix to enable publishing to iOS with two-factor authentication turned on.

Two-factor authentication helps to keep your account secure and Apple is making it mandatory for new developers to turn two-factor authentication on.

If you do have it turned on, you'll need to complete a few more steps to confirm your identity with Apple.

Generate and upload an account certificate

First download the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) file. You'l need this file to generate an account certificate.

Go to the Apple Developer website (Certificates, Identifiers and Profiles)

You may already have an account certificate in your account. You can only have two certificates per account so you may need to revoke a certificate before you can create a new one.

After login, navigate to the Certificates section and create a new certificate
Select 'Production: App Store and Ad Hoc'
Upload the CSR file you downloaded here
Download the account certificate here

Generate and upload an app provisioning profile

Go to the Apple Developer website (Certificates, Identifiers and Profiles)

Provisioning profiles are required by Apple to install an app on a device.

After login, navigate to the Provisioning Profiles section
Select the '+' button to create a new provisioning profile
Select 'Distribution: App Store'
Select the App ID you previously registered
Select the account certificate you just generated
Give a simple name for you provisioning profile
Download your app provisioning profile here

Generate an app-specific password

Apple requires app-specific passwords to sign-in securely from Thunkable.

Select 'Generate Password' under the App-Specific Passwords section

App Store Connect

Create a new app

App Store Connect is your portal for managing your submission to the App Store.

You will need to use the same app Name and Bundle ID you registered earlier.
You should see your new app in the My Apps section of the App Store Connect portal.

App info

You're almost there.

Upload an app icon

This app icon appears when a user downloads your app from the App Store. Our recommended size is 192 x 192 px.

Set a build and version number

The version number is visible to your users when they download a new version of your app. The build number needs to increase with each version and is only visible to you. You can opt to let Thunkable automatically increment your build and version numbers.

Permissions

Apple requires that you explain to users why you may need access to a sensitive services like a camera, photo library and microphone. You can add these explanations in the App Settings panel.

Send to App Store Connect

You should receive an email from Apple that says your app is ready in the App Store Connect website. This may take up to an hour.

If your app is submitted successfully, it should appear under the Testflight tab in your App Store Connect dashboard. Testflight is a tool from Apple that allows you to test your app before it is submitted for release in the App Store.

(If there are any issues, you’ll get an email from us telling you what you’ll need to fix.)

Troubleshooting

You do not see your app uploaded to App Store Connect

  • Download. One way to check if your app is build-able is to download it to your phone first. Two common download errors are:

    • You uploaded an icon that has the same name as an existing asset that you have uploaded

    • Your app icon is not an image file

  • Icons. Apple additionally does not allow you to have any icons with any transparent colors. We recommend app icons to be 192 x 192 px

  • Membership. To publish to the App Store, you'll need to sign up for Apple Developer Program Membership. This currently costs $99 / year.

  • App Store Connect. Make sure to follow this step on creating a new app on iTunes Connect

  • Certificates. If you have an existing Apple Developer Program account with 2 iOS certificates, you'll have to revoke one. Apple only allows developers to have 2 iOS certificates at a time and Thunkable creates one when it publishes to your account

  • Provisioning profile. After you revoke your certificate, it is possible that one or more of your provisioning profiles will become inactive. To publish successfully, you'll also need to delete any inactive provisioning profiles

  • Two-factor authentication. You must turn off two-factor authentication for your Apple Developer ID to publish with Thunkable. Please click here to see our recommendations for turning off two-factor authentication

  • Login. Apple ID or password were entered incorrectly. Since we don't store either one, there's no easy way for us to check so enter it slowly

  • Apple ID and privacy terms. You must accept Apple's new Apple ID and privacy terms.

Submit your app for review

Congrats. You're so close.

There are three main steps that are required before you can submit your app for review. To complete the steps, you will need:

  • Design assets

    • Icon (1024 x 1024 px)

    • iPhone and iPad screenshots

  • Privacy policy url for all apps

App information

The App Information section is straightforward but does include a privacy policy url, which is required for all apps

Pricing and availability

Design assets

The final section requires screenshots for both iPhone and iPad and a high resolution icon (1024 x 1024 px)

Thunkable automatically submits your app for both iPhone and iPad so you'll have to submit screenshots for both iPhone and iPad. There is currently no way to specify the device type. For generating screenshots, we recommend a tool like this

The high resolution icon will be featured in the App Store listing and must be 1024 x 1024 px with no transparency. To generate this icon, we recommend a tool like this

You'll also need to select the build version that you want to submit.

Export compliance

You may need to answer a question about export compliance. You can select 'no' when asked if you app uses encryption since apps made on Thunkable for iOS do not at the moment.

Advertising identifier

After submitting your app for review, you may asked, "Does this app use the Advertising Identifier (IDFA)?"

The app will still be able to be published but you will want to check the following three boxes:

  • Attribute this app installation to a previously served advertisement”

  • “Attribute an action taken within this app to a previously served advertisement”

  • “I, YOUR_NAME, confirm that this app, and any third party…”

Note, you should not check the box labeled “Serve advertisements within the app”.