ASO Academy

App Store Submissions & App Reviews

January 27th, 2022

App Store Submissions & App Reviews
David Quinn

by David Quinn

VP of Strategy & Partnerships at Gummicube, Inc.

Apple App Submission Experience

As of January 25th, Apple's new App Store Connect update that developers could opt into last year was automatically rolled out to all App Store Connect accounts. This means that every developer on the App Store now has access to Apple's new technologies: In-App Events, Product Page Optimization, and Custom Product Pages. Custom Product Pages have now replaced Creative Sets for Apple Search Ads creatives, so it is a good idea to get familiar with this new process as soon as possible to keep your ASO strategy relevant.

How App Store Connect Submission Works

You may have seen your first message from Apple in App Store Connect late last week regarding this update. In what Apple is calling the updated App Store submission experience, they rolled out the new iOS 15 App Store tools to all developers and made a few changes to the App Store submission and review process.

The message stated:

This update allows you to:

  • Include multiple items in one submission.
  • Submit In-App Events, Custom Product Pages, and Product Page Optimization tests without needing a new app version.
  • Manage your submissions and communicate with App Review on the new, persistent App Review page.
  • Edit items in your submission.
  • Remove items with issues from your submission and continue with items that were accepted by App Review.
  • View a history of submissions created using the updated experience, including messages from App Review.

As of yesterday, this new experience rolled out to all developer accounts in App Store Connect.

App Store Review Process

Apple's reviewers are the gatekeepers of the App Store, and it is their discretion as to whether your app is fit to launch or not. Unlike on the Google Play Store, each app update or submission must be manually reviewed by Apple's staff. This helps Apple ensure the quality and safety of apps on the App Store. Apple maintains a detailed App Store review guideline that lays out what reviewers are looking for and how you can keep your app in compliance. These guidelines are updated regularly to keep up with changing technology, rules, and regulations.

As part of this new update, Apple created a dedicated App Review tab in the App Store Connect dashboard. The App Review tab shows you All unresolved reviews, such as those that were rejected and not resubmitted, and the ten most recently completed reviews. These reviews include not only app builds but all submissions, including In-App Events, Custom Product Pages, and Product Page Optimizations. Having a dedicated tab to view all these new types of submissions makes tracking the factors that led to rejections or approvals more streamlined. This can make future submissions easier if you keep in mind what the reviewers have called out.

Apple Search Ads Creatives

If you are running Apple Search Ads then you have already seen changes in the console. Ad Variations is now the ads section in the Apple Search Ads console, replacing the Creative Set dashboard. Previous Creative Sets are still visible, but Apple has marked them as unsupported when starting a campaign.

It is crucial that you migrate your testing over to this new platform soon. Luckily, Custom Product Pages are simple to set up and offer more versatility than Creative Sets. With Custom Product Pages, you can create a unique Product Page to go with your ad. This includes variations to your app preview videos, screenshots, and promotional text. This should be added to the many ASO tools in your workflow, as Custom Product Pages can create engaging campaigns.

Like using Custom Product Pages in external advertisements, running your Apple Search Ads with customized store listings ensures a cohesive funnel. For users who follow ads from the App Store or Facebook, bounce is most likely to happen if there is significant discord between your ad and your actual Product Page. Having ad creative that matches your Custom Product Page creates a seamless experience for users.

In the Ads Group dashboard, you can create a new Ad Variation with different Custom Product Pages tied to different keyword themes and audiences. Capitalizing on this amount of ad customization not only expands the top of your funnel but can also improve conversion and click-through rates on your ads.

App Store Reviews & Submission Summary

As of January 25th, all iOS App Store developers have access to the new App Store Connect app submission experience. Included in this new experience are Apple's new App Store tools, a dedicated reviews tab, and exciting new ways to run Apple Search Ads utilizing new Custom Product Pages.

Want to learn more about App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we'll help get your strategy started.

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