From Notarized app to App Store

Hi Folks

I have recently returned to Xojo since using Real Basic back in 2013.

In the last 2 weeks I have

  1. Purchased Xojo, App Wrapper and paid to join the Apple Developer Program
  2. Ported my VB6 app, tested and compiled it for both 64-bit Mac and Windows
  3. Got my Mac app notarized by Apple
  4. Posted both apps (Mac and Win) on my website for people to download

It has occurred to me that investing in the tools to do this is around £300.
I make my software available for free - but it would be nice to try and get back some of my investment to try and ‘break-even’ and maybe pay for renewal of subscriptions etc. I have thought about selling them for a small price.

My question is, how much more effort is neded to get my App on the Apple App Store - now it has already been notarized?
Is there an ‘Idiot’s guide’ I can consult (wading through Apple’s documentation is tiresome) to setting it all up?.

Many thanks

You can certainly google for instructions.
Read documentation from Apple, go to App Connect and create the App Store entry, so you see what you need.
e.g. Description texts, screenshots, legal things like a contract signed with Apple.

How do you expect to get money for a free app?
Maybe first start to sell it from website?

There is no idiot’s guide - unfortunately. Why not have users pay for the version on your website? The effort there is likely to be much smaller. Get an account with Fastspring, do some sort of license. Finished.

The AppStore is terrible. There is no other word for it:

  • The apps need to be castrated. AppleScript doesn’t work in the AppStore. Reopening files may or may not work.
  • The review process is hit and miss. It may work or you may get an idiot. The best advice when getting rejected is just to try again to get a different idiot.

Beatrix, the main question is : is this terrible work to do worth it.
what kind of sells boost can you expect from being published on the appstore ?

@Jean-Yves Pochez : who knows that? For me the AppStore is more about visibility than sales. After the first version the effort is now not too bad. When doing a new version I make sure that the non-AppStore features aren’t available. But the AppReview process is majorly annoying.

That’s why I would recommend to do something out of the AppStore first. Is there a market? Do users buy?

Thanks Beatrix - I suspect you are right. Selling via my own site with a PayPal button might be better

Christian: “You can certainly google for instructions.
Read documentation from Apple, go to App Connect and create the App Store entry, so you see what you need.”

Absolutely. just wanted to check to see if there was already a simplified guide somewhere before doing that.

“How do you expect to get money for a free app?”

By no longer offering it for free !


You could go here and read the XDevMag Isuse 9.2:

I hope you have a subscription already.

That’s a million dollar question.

Unless Apple promote your application, it now goes straight into a black hole, where the only option you’ve got is either do marketing to promote your app outside of the App Store, directing traffic to the App Store, or you can pay Apple for search keywords, so that your application is guaranteed to come up when users search for it, because search is pretty much broken now.

All-in-all, for me at least, the App Store has been a complete waste of time these last few years, I do not have the resources to do effective marketing to get my app “noticed” in the sea of clones and copy cats, and quite frankly Apple’s attitude where I’ve been rejected repeatedly for things that my competitors are allowed to do, just sours my enthusiasm for Apple and their stores even more.

The main problem with this, is Apple change their design requirements as often as some people change their underwear. The App Store guidelines are published, but may be invalid tomorrow, and they’re written losely, which makes it wide open to interpretation. Apple also do not provide a means for you to contact them and request if certain things can be done in a certain way, or even what’s the best way to do task x so it doesn’t violate any rules. Apple management knows how much of a problem this is, but have stated that they will not do this, because the guidelines change so frequently.

Start by selling on your own site, if you still want to be in the App Store, be prepared for it to be a nightmare, that way when it is, you’re not too disappointed, and when it just goes through without a hitch or only requires minor changes, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I have a small niche app for the radio industry; I sell Windows and Mac OS versions. My main way is using FastSpring (so they can handle all the Sales Tax and VAT crap). I did also release the MacOS in the App Store and really was straight forward. I do use App Wrapper so that makes it easy (You don’t notarize that version AFAIR).

The App Store version is slightly different, you can’t show “Check for Upgrades” etc, so I use conditional compiles based on a constant and use a build script that throws out the Windows and two MacOS versions.

Truth is, I see maybe a couple of sales a month on the App Store if I’m lucky, and the FastSpring store gives me enough money for my Coffee K Cups every month and a bit more. :slight_smile: . I’m OK with that, keeps the LLC going for other stuff.

The way I see it is that App Store is just an extra sales channel and some customers prefer that way. Sometime I will get it into the Windows Store too…