Category Archives: App Store

Testing iOS in-app purchases

I am working on Pic-a-POD for iOS and my plan is to have the basic app free, but with access to a single POD only. Unlocking the other PODs will be done via an in-app purchase.

For testing purposes, Apple asks you to create test user accounts inside your iTunes Connect account. You set them up for a specific regional app store and when you use them to buy, Apple’s servers respond correctly, but no money is involved.

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Pic-a-POD now available on the Mac App Store

My third icon was passed by Apple’s reviewers, and I am very pleased to be able to say that there were no other issues with Pic-a-POD, so the app is now ready for sale. I have a Mac App Store link that works, but it seems that Pic-a-POD is not yet completely incorporated into the App Store as searching for it returns no results. But clicking the image below will take you to the app’s link on the App Store where it sells for 99 cents.

Pic-a-POD on the Mac App StoreIf any beta testers would like a promo code, please email me and I will be happy to send one as long as they last. In return, I would appreciate a rating and review.

Setting up In-App Purchases

Today I am working on incorporating in-app purchases into the iOS version of Pic-a-POD. My plan is to have the basic app be free, but that will only allow access to the large pic from one of the available sources. An in-app purchase will unlock full access.

I was following all the steps detailed in Apple’s documentation, and the actual coding was not complex. But it wasn’t working. You have to send a product request to the App Store and every time, mine kept coming back as an invalid ID.

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Setting pricing & release date for the Mac app

One thing I forgot to mention when detailing how to set up the app data in iTunes Connect was the info about pricing & release date. This can be edited from iTunes Connect later anyway, but I assume that after the app goes live, it becomes more difficult to make changes.

To set a price, you have to choose a Price Tier. This means you cannot decide to make you app cost some weird price like $3.87 or $14.03 – it has to have one of Apple’s standard prices. When you select a price tier, a table appear that shows what this means in App Stores around the world – what price customers will pay and how much gets back to the developer.

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Submitting to the App Store

In my last post, I detailed the changes I made to the app itself to prepare it for the App Store and how to submit it’s data to iTunes Connect. The next stage is to submit the app’s binary for review.

Once the app data has been entered at iTunes Connect, a button appears saying “Ready to Upload Binary”. This button must be clicked before an upload can be done. Then you have to go through a page asking if the app includes any cryptographic routines that might be subject to export restrictions. Since Pic-a-POD uses no cryptography at all that was fine. I don’t know what happens next if you do use cryptography. Click “Continue” on the next page and the app status will change to “Waiting For Upload”.

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Getting the app ready for the App Store

Now that I have all the admin work completed, it’s time to get the app itself ready. The main change I have to make from the beta versions is removing the updating mechanism. Since the App Store handles all this, they don’t allow apps to have built-in updating. I had been using the Sparkle framework, but now I removed it, as well as the menu item for checking.

The icon file was another thing I had to fix. The App Store submission checklist states that the apps need a 512×512 icon and a 128×128 icon. Unlike for iOS apps, they do not specify the file names needed, so I just edited my icns file to make sure that it contained all the valid icon sizes. Previously I had only included a 512×512 image. I am hoping that the App Store will just use the icns file to display the icons they need. If not, I guess they will ask for the icons as separate image files.

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Code-signing the app

Before any app can be submitted to the App Store, it has to be code-signed using your developer credentials. This involves creating an app ID, creating certificates and then setting the build settings to use these.

The app ID uses an internal name for your app that cannot contain any special characters. Since this ruled out Pic-a-POD, I just used picapod to match the web site. The app ID also needs a bundle identifier which is like com.domainname.appname. In my case this became com.picapod.picapod

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Mac App Store – Part 2

When I last posted, I was stuck on the tax section on the iTunes Connect setup. Since then I have made great progress.

As I was unable to register for GST online, I rang the Australian Tax Office and the person I spoke to there was extremely helpful. I needed to confirm my identity by giving him my TFN and various other details, but once that was complete, he was able to set me up for GST.

Once I had registered for GST, I felt that I had completed the contractual obligations set down by Apple, so I was able to proceed to request a Paid Mac Apps contract. This moved the contract to the Pending section with 3 red buttons labelled “Set up”: Contact, Bank & Tax.

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