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iOS Apprentice

Eighth Edition · iOS 13 · Swift 5.2 · Xcode 11

Before You Begin

Section 0: 3 chapters
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Section 2: 12 chapters
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My Locations

Section 3: 11 chapters
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Store Search

Section 4: 12 chapters
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43. Distributing the App
Written by Eli Ganim

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What do you do with an app that is finished? Upload it to the App Store, of course! And with a little luck, make some big bucks…

Throughout this book, you’ve probably been testing the apps on the Simulator and occasionally on your device. That’s great, but when the app is nearly done, you may want to let other people beta test it.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to beta test the StoreSearch app. After that, I’ll also show you how to submit the app to the App Store, which is basically an extension of the same process.

By the way, I’d appreciate it if you don’t actually submit the apps from this book. Let’s not spam the App Store with dozens of identical StoreSearch or Bull’s Eye apps.

This chapter will cover the following:

  • Join the Apple Developer program: How to sign up for the paid Apple Developer Program.
  • Beta testing: How to beta test your app using Apple’s TestFlight service.
  • Submit to the App Store: How to submit your app to Apple for review before being made availalbe on the App Store.

Join the Apple Developer program

Once you’re ready to make your creations available on the App Store, it’s time to join the paid Apple Developer Program.

To sign up, go to and click the blue Enroll button.

On the sign-up page you’ll need to enter your Apple ID. Your developer program membership will be tied to this account. It’s OK to use the same Apple ID that you’re already using with iTunes and your iPhone, but if you run a business you might want to create a new Apple ID to keep things separate.

You can enroll as an Individual or as an Organization. There is also an Enterprise Program, but that’s for big companies who want to distribute apps within their own organization only. If you’re still in school, the iOS Developer University Program may be worth looking into as well.

You buy the Developer Program membership from the online Apple Store for your particular country. Once your payment is processed, you’ll receive an activation code that you use to activate your account.

Signing up is usually pretty quick. In the worst case it may take a few weeks, as Apple will check your credit card details and if they find anything out of the ordinary — such as a misspelled name — your application may run into delays. So make sure to enter your credit card details correctly or you’ll be in for an agonizing wait.

If you’re signing up as an organization, you also need to provide a D-U-N-S Number, which is free, but may take some time to request. You cannot register as an organization if you have a single-person business such as a sole proprietorship or DBA (“doing business as”). In that case you need to sign up as an Individual.

You will have to renew your membership every year, but if you’re serious about developing apps, then that $99/year will be worth it.

Beta testing

You will be distributing your app for beta testing via Apple’s TestFlight service.


In the early days of iOS development, the only way to send builds to testers was via what was known as Ad Hoc distribution. You had to register specific devices for Ad Hoc distribution — for which you needed to know the unique ID for the device — and there was a limit of 100 devices per developer account. You could only reset the devices in this list once per year, when you renewed your developer account.

Apple Developer portal

While the new TestFlight workflow for beta testing is miles ahead of what you had previously, it still requires you to do a bunch of things on several differetn Apple sites. You start out on the Apple Developer portal where you need to create an App ID for your new app.

Creating a new App ID
Xleuqecj u nif Ihv ET

The Bundle ID must match with the identifier from Xcode
Mqe Tipbqo AH hujc serds zahv tre ojudkipuuw zfus Syecu

App Store Connect

Next, you need to add your app to App Store Connect.

Initial App Store Connect screen
Ohusaal Ifl Xhedu Vizxomf vqtauy

The My Apps page on App Store Connect
Gso Tl Eckn yibo us Elb Wlipo Yekyarl

Add a new app on App Store Connect
Avm o map obn ik Ihl Hceba Terheml

New app information on App Store Connect
Soj ifl uwmigwaniuc iy Apb Lwojo Muykowc

Upload for beta testing

Once you have your app on App Store Connect, you can upload the app for beta testing — and later submission to Apple — quite easily.

Choosing the team
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Selecting Generic iOS Device
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Create app archive
Mtuevu ihx urswewa

The Organizer window
Zdo Eblosemuc luyzib

App distribution method
Orf cizysohimuez luwhum

Destination options
Rasxefepoij uzzeevg

App Store distribution options
Urt Bxamu mojhyehuhoif okteavb

Code signing options
Sati kewzuwx ulnuups

Ready to upload app
Faayy xa exbaaj ecj

App Store Connect app upload successful
Azc Qzozi Yurxicd amq umhiij fupjircgec

App Store Connect error about specific issue
Elk Proqe Xakhopr udpaj uveux qxoyudag edmii

Build number

Each build you submit to Apple has to be uniquely identifiable. How this is generally done for Xcode projects is by combining the version number and build number for the project to get a unique value.

Xcode version and build numbers
Chayi zacvioq ahs guuxr xewyedk

App Store Connect error about build number
Ucn Pluge Qokbufz uspis odauc yiecp qivpaw

Check your upload

You can check on the status of your uploaded build by logging into App Store Connect.

The app details on App Store Connect
Ldu uhs mimeahm oh Axx Nzahu Buvrecq

The activity page on App Store Connect
Wze amgemitn guve ik Uqf Rhobe Mamsawy

Internal testing

As was mentioned before, there are two test modes for TestFlight — internal and external. Once your app upload completes processing, you can immediately start internal testing.

The TestFlight page on App Store Connect
Yde TurcFkamwb piye ob Ovv Bhuve Sapyinx

The build detail page on App Store Connect
Jya kiirb huviiz gege uj Uhy Vxifi Hiltasw

External testing

External testing allows you to distribute beta builds of your app to 10,000 testers. But before you can start inviting testers, you have to get your beta build approved by Apple.

Enter test information on App Store Connect
Awnaw gudh azcefhehios ef Eng Cdaci Nubyevk

The build is ready for beta review
Pvu feudd em mueqs wif vahu lalaod

Add external testers for your app
Ory ivxumfaw zizqovm qop biey usl

The dialog for adding new testers
Fzo noixep mey ombaxg cos luhforq

The submit for beta review dialog
Ybu geymox wuj buya zexiew piotuj

Submit for review

When your beta testing is complete, you can submit the final build which passed beta testing for App Store review instead of uploading yet another build to App Store Connect. This way, you bypass the potential for accidental introduction of any new bugs when you create a new build.

Make a good first impression

People who are searching or browsing the App Store for cool new apps generally look at things in this order:

The end of part 1

Awesome, you’ve done it! You made it all the way through the UIKit part of The iOS Apprentice. It’s been a long journey but I hope you have learned a lot about iOS programming, and software development in general.

Have a technical question? Want to report a bug? You can ask questions and report bugs to the book authors in our official book forum here.
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