Submitting to MAS guide

Hi. I feel like I’m behind the times with finally getting around to distributing through the MAS. Two questions:

  1. Are there any great step-by-step guides for MAS dist? I’ve been looking through the forums and found this article. Is this still a good place to start or are there more current ones? Last update was Jan 2011
  2. Looking into a packaging program to use with the submissions. I see App Wrapper and now an App Wrapper Mini. Is one preferred over the other? I see Mini is like $30 cheaper

Thank you!

AppWrapper is fantastic and has more functions. It will make preparing your app much easier.

I personally use it, and Sam is also very polite and helpful - I would definitely recommend going with the full version.
Hope that helps :slight_smile:

+1 to everything Richard said.

I’m still debating the future of Mini, because while it works great for simple projects, it’s very easy (especially with recent code signing changes) to make it fail.

It’s getting a little hard to contain… but App Wrapper 3 should be released next week…

Here’s what I said to someone else recently who asked me about a guide to submitting to MAS.

[quote]It’s like asking for a quick guide into rocket science… There’s a lot of information.

#1 ADC membership, so you get your code signatures.
#2 XCode, to install all the code signing libraries and to download your code signatures to your Mac.
#3 App Wrapper to make it easy to prepare your application for MAS.

Sandbox your application from as early on as possible.

Try to avoid using Apple Script & Terminal commands.

Don’t include an update engine or your own registration system.

Make sure your application is as bug free as possible.

Here is Apple’s Mac App Store Guidelines, read it, but you don’t need to understand everything.

They say try to conform to Apple’s HIG as much as possible, then they’ll go and promote a buggy and inconsistent application!

Also you need to think about how you want to sell/promote your application, you’re pretty much only going to get exposure on your application, for the first week or two that it’s on sale.

You’ll see a lot of people, crank out all new versions every couple of months and re-charge each time.

In App Purchase is not very common with Mac Apps and so far our own experience with it has been terrible. However that could be how we’re doing it - check out “Backup To Go” for our terrible example.

Getting promoted on the App Store requires either being at WWDC and meeting someone from the App Store team, or creating a product which an App Reviewer genuinely believes is awesome. I’ve failed on both attempts :frowning:

Don’t get discouraged when your application gets rejected, at some point you will have an application rejected. Sometimes the reviewer can be right arse, if you get stuck, use the Xojo forums, there’s a lot of collective knowledge there.

iTunes connect is a confusing pile of steaming flat poop, I really find it much harder to navigate than before, so take your time once you’re signed up. Don’t worry if you get lost or confused!

That’s all I can think of at the moment, having said all of the above, nearly everyone who’s slogged it out to get their app on the App Store has done much better than trying to sell their app on their own site. [/quote]

BTW, my ContactsSyncer-App uses both Applescript and InApp-purchases. Using Applescript doesn’t seem to be a problem as long as you can explain why it is needed (I script MS Outlook), and request a “temporary exception” to do so. As for InApp-purchases, I can only say that I think it is a very decent possibility to provide a way for the user to test your app. My experience is that users appreciate this and are less inclined to give you bad reviews, and my app is now one of the best selling social media apps in Germany (which still doesn’t make me rich, btw).

[quote=138344:@Sam Rowlands]I’m still debating the future of Mini, because while it works great for simple projects, it’s very easy (especially with recent code signing changes) to make it fail.

It’s getting a little hard to contain… but App Wrapper 3 should be released next week…[/quote]

I bought App Wrapper mini today. Please don’t say you discontinue it soon :frowning:

All of this is why I steered clear of publishing my last game on the Mac, honestly. Way too much wading through poorly-documented, murky and seemingly arbitrary (and constantly changing) nonsense, for a result that would really only last a week or so unless I was lucky.

I bought App Wrapper Mini last year and have submitted a dozen apps without any hassle. Note that I do not validate the receipt, but one can be paranoid and Christian provides an easy plugin for that.

For my last app I needed to sign a helper so I bought App Wrapper 2.5 and it has been a most easy of experiences as well.

With all the missed sales because you stayed with Apple obfuscated half baked documenstraction, you could have easily paid for App Wrapper and be content today.

I saw App Wrapper, but decided buying a $50 app just to not be hopelessly confused wasn’t worth the trouble (not to mention using a Mac emulator on my PC wasn’t really the way to develop something really) and buying a separate Mac would have been an option… if they weren’t so expensive. Would I have missed sales of my product? No way to tell, I guess. :slight_smile:

I have been selling Windows and Mac software for over a decade over my own web sites. When I went MAS, Mac sales went twice the amount of Windows business. I could have bought a Mac Mini in a couple months with only one app.

Today, I have 6 identical titles in the MAS, and in the Windows Store (made in VS because new API). The Windows Store sells about 1/20th of the MAS.

So, pardon me, but I consider $50 a very small investment in regards to the potential…

Agreed. For just one of my apps, the first month alone in the MAS probably made over 40 times the $50 asking price of app wrapper (maybe more, haven’t got the exact figures to hand). The time it saved me was enormous.

It’s the best $50 I ever spent and Sam is one of the nicest and most responsive developers you could ask to deal with.

If you don’t feel $50 is worth it, I don’t know what to tell ya! :wink:

Not in any way intended to put down the product App Wrapper, which does appear to really make the Mac submission process tons easier. If I ever do change my mind, it’ll be an app I consider strongly, for sure. :wink:

reminds me what life used to be like before App Wrapper :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Sasha,
I’m still contemplating it at the moment. So need to worry just yet.

I can completely understand your feelings, there are times when I absolutely HATE the App Store and what has become of software deployment. The thing that was easily forgotten is what it was like pre-app store. It was a challenge to promote and sell your applications online, unless you had a good reputation, people didn’t trust you and wouldn’t buy your stuff. I’ve worked with several publishers and agents in my time, and the costs range from 75% ~ 50%.

Then the App Store came along and for those of us who jumped straight away, it was an absolute killing field. We suddenly starting earning a years worth in a month (for some apps). Now the App Store is just another agent (they don’t publish your work). So it’s back to having to figure out ways of getting your applications noticed again. The great thing is, that for those first couple of weeks, Apple does really help and people trust Apple.

Even if you don’t pay for a tool like App Wrapper, you’d still have to pay Apple $99 to be able to sell your stuff in the App Store. While using VM software can make it easier to test for other platforms, there really isn’t anything like running on a real alternative platform. We’re a Mac house, but there is one really PC for testing stuff when I have to do Windows work.

I don’t consider you belittling App Wrapper, I see someone who’s not a Mac developer, a bit nervous about investing in a platform they don’t know.

There is a reason why the Mac OS is one of the most secure platforms to date, and it’s just because Apple only have 12% of the computer market, it’s because Apple control every aspect of the hardware and the software and they keep introducing security functions to protect consumers. Currently Apple have the following.

  • Built-in Antiviral software.
  • Code signing, which verifies that the application came from a registered developer and that the application hasn’t been tampered with since they signed it. If a developer does things that Apple don’t like, they can disable the developers account and then their apps can’t be installed anymore (this can be overridden by the user).
  • App Sandbox, a security mechanism that limits the amount of damage an infected application can cause on the system.

The last two cause us developers a headache for sure. In all my years, (I used to be a ACSE) I only ever once saw a virus on the Mac. In the first year of meeting my wife, I witnessed several viruses and malicious applications on Windows, all while she was paying for protection.

Thank you all for commenting in this post. I’m going to give AppWrapper a try. Maybe wait a bit as it was mentioned a new version should be available soon. Hopefully I don’t run into too many headaches submitting to the store. Wish me luck! :slight_smile:

Go to and download it. You will be able to try before you buy. It is night and day with Apple haphazard tribulations.