When It's Necessary to Republish Your App
After your app goes live in the App Store and Google Play, there are some changes that require a full app update in order to take effect. When an app is updated and released, users will be prompted to install the new version on their devices. Once they do so, they'll see those changes reflected in the app.
If your change falls under one of these categories below, just republish your iOS app for a $50 fee, or update your Android app for free.
Note: Any changes you make within Steps 1-3 of the app builder will automatically reflect within your live app—just make sure to refresh the app to see those changes take effect. Exception: If you're adding features that aren't compatible with your source code, this will require an update. See the "Updating the Source Code" section below for more info.
Changes to Step 4 (Publish)
- App Information: The App Name, App Icon Name, App Keywords, App Category, Audio Background Play option, and App Rating (found when you click More) all require an update to change. All other elements can be updated at any point through iTunes Connect on the app listing page. See here for more info on what you can change.
- App Icon: The icon that appears in the App Store and the icon that appears on the device screen once installed require republishing in order to change. These are built into the app file that we send to Apple, and for that reason, can't be altered without building and uploading an entirely new version.
- Screenshots: Apple doesn't allow you to alter screenshots once an app is live. Like the app name, keywords, etc., the screenshot field in iTunes Connect becomes un-editable as soon as the app is released.
- Splash Loading Screen: Like the app icon, the splash loading screens are built into the app file, and thus require a new app version in order to change.
Adding an iPad Version/Optimizing for iPhone 5 or 6
If your app was uploaded as iPhone-only, it will need to be updated in order to add on an iPad version. The app must be rebuilt and resubmitted to include different device compatibility. When you republish your app, make sure to select both iPhone and iPad as your device options.
For very old apps that were released before the iPhone 5 or 6 was released, adding on iPhone 5 or 6 optimization will also require an update.
Updating the Source Code
When we release new source codes, they include new features and updates to existing features. If you'd like to take advantage of that, it's necessary to republish your app for the new source code so it can be rebuilt and resubmitted as such. It's important to resist adding the new features to your app until the app update is approved by Apple and released—otherwise, your existing, live app (operating on the older source code) won't function properly for users because of the incompatible features.
$50 Fee Explanation
We require the $50 update fee because it takes nearly an hour to complete a full update for each app. Additionally, the fee limits update requests to the essentials—detailed above—and prevents an unmanageable number of update requests for small changes or errors that should have been caught before the initial publish. If we didn't have any barrier in place, you could expect our typical iPhone submission time to go from 3-5 business days to 2-3 weeks, if not more.
That's why we always stress the importance of reviewing and confirming the information in Step 4 (Publish) with your clients before submitting for upload. In the long run, you'll save a great deal of time (and money) by going through Step 4 (Publish) at least twice to ensure everything is perfect!