How to Launch an App: a Comprehensive Guide From HackerNoon

17 Jun 2024

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly guide on how to launch your first mobile app, you come to the right place.

The HackerNoon Mobile App was also our first jump into the world of app development and we recognize that at first, we were just as lost as you probably are right now. Let us help you get your app off the ground by sharing our own hard-won lessons.

Remember to refer to Apple's and Google's official documentation for detailed step-by-step instructions and guidelines to ensure a successful app submission process.

Understand the big picture

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is which app store you want to submit your app to. While Google and Apple share many requirements, each has specific app and submission guidelines you should be aware of. If you’re undecided about whether to submit to just one or both app stores, let's begin with a general overview. We’ll provide detailed specifics later.

Here’s what you need to consider before submitting your app:

  1. App Concept and Planning:
    • Define your app's purpose, target audience, and unique selling points.

    • Conduct market research and competitor analysis.

    • Plan the features, functionality, and design of your app.

  2. Platform-Specific Requirements:
    • Understand and comply with the guidelines and policies set by Apple and Google for app submissions.

    • Determine the compatibility of your app with different device types, screen sizes, and operating system versions.

  3. App Development:
    • Create a development roadmap and timeline.

    • Design and implement your app’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).

    • Develop the app using appropriate programming languages and frameworks.

    • Test your app thoroughly for functionality, performance, and compatibility across devices.

  4. App Store Developer Accounts:
    • Register for a developer account on the Apple Developer Program (Apple App Store) and the Google Play Console (Google Play Store).

    • Pay any applicable fees for developer account registration.

  5. App Store Assets:
    • Design an app icon that represents your brand and the app's purpose.

    • Create appealing screenshots and promotional graphics for your app's listing.

    • Prepare an engaging app description and keywords to optimize search visibility.

    • Develop a privacy policy that complies with data protection regulations.

  6. App Store Submission:
    • Package your app and create an archive for submission.

    • Complete the submission process, providing necessary details such as app name, description, screenshots, etc.

    • Adhere to the app store guidelines regarding content, metadata, and age ratings.

    • Submit the app for review and wait for approval.

  7. App Store Optimization (ASO):
    • Optimize your app's metadata, including the app title, keywords, and description, to improve its visibility in search results.

    • Encourage users to rate and review your app, as positive ratings can boost its ranking.

    • Continuously monitor and analyze your app's performance using app analytics tools.

  8. Post-Launch Marketing and Support:
    • Develop a marketing strategy to promote your app through various channels.
    • Leverage social media, online advertising, content marketing, and other methods to reach your target audience.
    • Provide ongoing customer support and promptly address user feedback and bug reports.

For Creatives In The App Store Listing

  • Create app creatives that show the functionality of your app;
  • Consider the differences between the App Store and Google Play Store - like autoplay of video, the number of screenshots allowed, and overall different user behavior patterns;
  • Demonstrate the key message in the first screenshot;
  • Localize your graphics;
  • Consider using app store videos that show a real user experience.
  • For video trailers: limit your app trailer to 30 seconds, feature app store icon and screenshots, show application interaction and identify if the app is available on iOS & Android.

Remember to refer to Apple's and Google's official documentation for detailed step-by-step instructions and guidelines to ensure a successful app submission process.