Your Guide to Launching an App (2021 Update)
Have you ever thought about launching an App? Find out the legal, marketing and development processes you need to follow here.
Mobile Applications (’Apps’) are popular with smartphone users everywhere. From managing your finances and shopping online to social media and transport, apps are the vehicle through which many of us get things done. For many businesses, launching an app is necessary to make your customers’ experience the best it can be. However the process of launching your App through Apple or the Google Play store isn’t as simple as you might think. Here we set out the necessary steps required to make your App dream a reality. Below you’ll find the legal and marketing guidelines you should take into account when you plan to launch an App.
- Successfully launching an App requires you to follow an intricate process
- Marketing your App involves using effective keywords and writing an effective App description
- Distributing your App involves testing and preparing your App for submission
1. Legal Guidelines
Australian Business Number (ABN)
Running an App is a business, meaning you should register an Australian Business Number (ABN) before launching an App. This will allow you to register for GST, avoid having payments withheld, and help other businesses to confirm your business details. You can register as a sole trader or as a company. However, keep in mind that only registering a company will shield you from legal liability.
End User License Agreement (EULA)
It’s vital to use a set of Terms and Conditions to allow you to control and minimise risks. Apple has a legal framework in place for developers publishing software through its App Store. When a developer releases software through the App Store, unless the developer specifies otherwise, the software will be subject to Apple’s standard Licensed Application End User Licence Agreement (EULA). If you’re an Australian developer, the Apple EULA does not take your interests into account. The most obvious problem is that the Apple EULA is governed by California law, which means that disputes under the agreement would be ruled by a foreign body of law. Apple offers the option for developers to release software with customised terms.
Protect your Intellectual Property
It’s important to protect your Intellectual Property, whether you’re simply a business owner or developing an App. You can do this by registering a Trademark for your brand assets, including your logo, App name and slogan. Applying for a Patent is also a good option if your App is eligible.
2. Marketing Guidelines
The marketing for your App should be comprehensive and include both pre and post-launch work. Here are some ways you can promote your App.
One of the most important moments of your App marketing plan is choosing your App’s keywords. Developers working on keyword optimisation always find themselves struggling with the final selection of keywords when launching an App. Since the App Store search engine doesn’t scan the App Description, all you have to work with is the 100-character Keyword field, the App Name and the IAP Display Names. Selecting strong keywords for your App is imperative to the success of your App.
Descriptions have a character limit. For the Windows Store, descriptions have a limit of 10,000 characters, whereas for iOS and Google Play it is 4,000 characters. A well-written mobile App description will give your App a marketing head start, because it will provide the users a quick way to see the value that your App delivers. Your App description can evolve over time taking into account App’s best customer feedback, online reviews and awards. Constantly refine and improve your App description to continue presenting the best image of your App to new users.
Supporting Web Page: The web is one of the top places people go to for information, advice, and products. If you don’t have a website for your App, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to increase your App’s exposure and downloads Having a supportive website will get your App in front of potential users who are using traditional search engines. It can create exposure and help journalists discover your App.
3. Distribution guidelines
You must be enrolled in an Apple Developer Program to Distribute Your App. Here’s a brief rundown of the guidelines you need to follow.
Prepare your App for submission
Before you distribute your App for testing or submit it to the store for Approval, complete the configuration of your Xcode project. Your final Xcode project should contain required App icons and launch images, contain additional entitlements for App services you enable, and specify which devices and operating systems your App supports.
Test your App across different devices
Test with not only iOS Simulator but on all the devices and releases that your App supports. Testing on more than one kind of device ensures that your App operates exactly as you thought it would, no matter which device it’s running on. You can register up to 100 devices per membership year for development and testing. After testing an App yourself, distribute a beta release of your App to testers. You can distribute a beta App yourself or use iTunes Connect to manage beta testing.
Analyse crash reports
While testing if an iOS App crashes, the system creates a crash report that’s very useful for understanding what caused the crash. Crash reports describe the conditions under which the App terminated, in most cases including a complete stack trace for each executing thread. After you distribute your App, routinely collect and analyse any crash reports.
Submit and release your App on the Store
Submitting your App
This distribution step is to submit your code signed and provisioned App to the App Store. This important step ensures that the submission comes directly from you and that only you grant permission for your App to use certain App services. If your App is rejected it is not a major issue – view Apple’s operational issues and review your product.
Releasing and updating your App
After your App is Approved, you release and maintain your App throughout the lifetime of the App on the App Store or Mac App Store. This involves viewing crash reports, responding to customer reviews, and fixing problems as needed.
Mobile App Bundle
Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.
Dominic is the CEO of Lawpath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.