Publish to App Store (iOS)
How to publish your Thunkable Project to the Apple App Store
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 on the Thunkable website, which currently requires information from 4 different Apple websites. We recommend completing the Prepare for Submission steps before starting the publishing process in Thunkable.
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 by the standard publishing process.
In this document, the version of your app that you submit to the App Store is referred to as a build.
If this is your first time sending this app to App Store Connect, you can set the version number to 1. You will need to increment your version number, or increase it by 1, every time you submit a build to App Store Connect.
Apple requires that you explain to users why you may need access to sensitive services like a camera, photo library and microphone. You can add these explanations in the App Settings panel under iOS Permissions.
User Tracking If your app shares trackable data with any third parties, you must tell your end user what data is being shared and why. This should be left blank if no trackable data is shared with third parties.
If you do not include this and your app engages in tracking, Apple will reject your submission and ask you to resubmit while including an appropriate tracking string.
If a developer uses a third-party platform like Thunkable to send an app build to App Store Connect, the developer needs to create an app-specific password.
You only need one app-specific password for Thunkable to send any build to App Store Connect on your behalf.
You do not need separate app-specific passwords for separate Thunkable projects.
You will need this password to send a new build to your App Store listing in the future, so make sure to record it securely.
Step 2: Enter the email address associated with your Apple ID
Step 3: If prompted, enter your 6 digit authentication code
Step 4: Once signed in, click on the App-specific passwords link, highlighted above.
Step 5: If this is your first time to create an app-specific password click on the button that says "Generate an app-specific password"
Step 6: Give your password a meaningful name so you will be able to recognise it later. Please note that you can use the same app-specific password for all your Thunkable projects. It's not necessary to create a new one every time your want to publish a new project.
Step 7: Your app-specific password consists of four 4-letter phrases. You will not be able to retrieve this password once you click Done so make sure you save it some place safe.
To change an app-specific password, you will need to revoke your old password and generate a new password using the steps above. To revoke an app-specific password:
- 2.In the Security section, click Edit
- 3.Go to the App-Specific Passwords section and click View History
- 4.Click the ⓧ next to an individual password to revoke it, or click 'Revoke All' to revoke all of your app-specific passwords
Every app published on the App Store must have a unique name. For example, there can only ever be one app called
Thunkable Sample App. You can Register your App ID to reserve the name you want!
Step 6 in the tabs below shows you where to find your App Name, Team ID, and Bundle ID.
- 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.
- Team ID: A unique account identifier that is linked to your Apple Developer Program membership. Apple will automatically create this for you, and it can be used for every app you publish.
- Bundle ID: Also unique to your app, but not visible to your app users. Otherwise, a single Explicit App ID should work. Apple recommends reversing your domain name to create your bundle ID i.e. com.yourDomainName.yourAppName to avoid conflicts with other apps.
- Note: Starting June 16, 2020, uploading apps to the App Store requires an explicit bundle ID. Wildcard bundle IDs are no longer available when creating app records.
Open your Apple Developer account page and choose the Certificates, IDs & Profiles option from the menu on the left hand side of the screen.
From the menu on the left, click on the Identifiers menu item
Click on the blue + icon to add a new ID to your account.
Choose App IDs from the list of options and then click on the blue Continue button to go to the next screen.
For the app Description enter the name you want to give your app and for the Bundle ID enter the bundle ID from your Thunkable project settings. Click Continue to review these details.
Once you are happy with these detail, click Register to confirm your app ID.
This new app ID is added to your list of app IDs.
Once you have registered an App ID, you can create an app listing on App Store Connect. This is where you will manage your submission to the App Store.
Click on the My Apps button to begin.
Use the blue + button to begin creating a New App
You will need to use the same App Name and Bundle ID you registered earlier. If you registered an 'Explicit App ID', you will enter it into the Bundle ID field above.
Now click on your app name to prepare your store listing
Thunkable enables you to send your build directly to the App Store without the need for any specialized software or hardware. To begin the process, click on the Download/Publish icon and choose Publish iOS from the drop-down menu.
A publishing dialog will pop up to guide you through the publication process. Please take a moment to read all the instructions.
Click the Get Started button to proceed.
Enter the Apple ID and password that are associated with your Apple Developer account. Since Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is now the default for Apple accounts, it is assumed that you have this enabled. The rest of this guide shows the steps for publishing with 2FA enabled. Click the Next button to proceed.
If you did not register an App ID before getting started, now is the time to do so.
Two-factor authentication helps to keep your account secure and Apple has made it mandatory for new developers to turn two-factor authentication on. If you do have 2FA turned on, you'll need to complete the following steps to confirm your identity with Apple.
In the publishing dialog, click the link that says Click to Download CSR. This is your Certificate Signing Request file and you will need it to generate an iOS Distribution Certificate.
Click on the blue + icon to create a new iOS distribution certificate.
Choose iOS Distribution (App Store and Ad Hoc) from the next list and click Continue.
Click the blue Download button to save a copy of this certificate to your computer.
Back in Thunkable, click the Upload Certificate button and choose the
.cerfile that you have just created.
Provisioning profiles are required by Apple to install an app on a device. You need to create a
.mobileprovisionfile in your Apple account and then return to Thunkable to upload this file.
Make sure you are creating a Distribution profile and that the App Store option (highlighted above) is selected. Click Continue to choose an App ID.
From the drop down menu, choose the ID for the app that you are trying to publish. Click Continue to go to the next page.
Choose a certificate and click Continue.
Finally, give your provisioning profile a meaningful name and hit the Generate button.
Once the provisioning profile has been generated you can then Download it to your computer.
The profile has a
.mobileprovisionfile type. You now need to go back to Thunkable and upload this file.
Back in Thunkable, upload your
.mobileprovisionfile and click the Next button to proceed.
If you did not create an app listing on App Store Connect before getting started, now is the time to do so.
You're almost there! Review your app icon and your Build Number and Version Number.
App icon: This app icon appears when a user downloads your app from the App Store. Our recommended size is 192 x 192 px. This icon must not have any transparent pixels.
Build and Version Numbers: 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.
You should shortly receive an email from Thunkable to let you know that your build is being sent to the App Store. There are still a number of steps that you need to complete on App Store Connect before your app can be published, but that's everything completed from the Thunkable side of things - congrats!
You will need to provide some information to Apple about your app before it can be reviewed and published.
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.
To view your build:
- Go to your App Store Connect dashboard
- Select the app listing of the build you have just uploaded
You will see the app listing homepage. This page contains the tabs App Store, Features and TestFlight.
If your build is submitted successfully, it should appear under the TestFlight tab in this app listing homepage. 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.)
Back in the App Store tab, scroll down to the section titled Build and click the button that says Select a build before you submit your app.
You will see a dialog that allows you to select a build to attach to this app listing. Select your chosen build and click Done.
Set a price point for your app. Apps can also be distributed for free.
The final section requires screenshots for both iPhone and iPad and a high resolution icon.
You may need to answer a question about export compliance. You can select No when asked if your app uses encryption since apps made on Thunkable for iOS do not at the moment.
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.
Now your app listing is ready for Apple to review!
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
- 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
- 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.
- You see a message saying "ITMS-90809: Deprecated API Usage - Apple will stop accepting submissions of apps that use UIWebView APIs". This is a warning, but you can still publish your app. See the Web Viewer documentation for more details.
To publish an app to the App Store that contains Push Notifications, you need to:
- send an app that does not contain Push Notifications to App Store Connect
- send the new version of your app to App Store Connect
Between sending these two versions of your app to App Store Connect, you will need to create a new .mobileprovision file. Here's a quick overview of what that process looks like.
Click on Provisioning Profiles > All to see your current iOS provisioning profiles. Notice that the app you just created is now invalid so we need to generate a new one.
Open the inactive profile and click on Edit to generate a new one.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Generate.
On the next screen, click the Download button and the .mobileprovision file will be saved to your downloads folder.
- 1.On the “App Store” tab, click on “Pricing and Availability”
- 2.Click the “Remove from Sale” radio button
- 3.Then click the “Save” button to unpublish your app
You can see these buttons in the screenshot below:
Please note that if your Apple Developer account expires, your apps will no longer be available for download in the App Store.
Removing your app from the Play Store will not delete it from devices which have previously downloaded the app.