After your app goes live in the App Store and Google Play, some changes require a full app update 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.
This article explains the situations when you will be required to republish your app.
If your change falls under one of these categories below, just republish your iOS app for a $25 fee, or update your Android app for free.
Any changes you make within the Design or Build tab of the app builder will automatically reflect within your live app—just make sure to refresh the app to see those changes take effect. However, if you're adding features that aren't compatible with your source code, this will require an update. This will be explained further in Updating the Source Code section below.
Changes that Require an Update
All the app information listed below require an update to change:
- App Name
- App Icon Name
- App Keywords
- App Category
- App Description
- What's New in This Version
- Support URL
- Marketing URL
- Audio Background Play option
- App Rating (found when you click More)
All other elements can be updated at any point through iTunes Connect on the app listing page. Refer to the article Changing App Store Content for Live Apps for more information on what you can change.
The icon that appears in the App Store and the icon that appears on the device screen once installed require republishing 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.
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, thus require a new app version to change.
Adding an iPad Version
If your app was uploaded as iPhone-only, it would need to be updated to add it 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.
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 Apple approves the app update and released—otherwise, your existing, live app (operating on the older source code) won't function properly for users because of the incompatible features.
$25 Fee Explanation
We require the $25 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 5-7 business days to 2-3 weeks, if not more.
That's why we always stress the importance of reviewing and confirming the information in the publishing stage with your clients before submitting for upload. In the long run, you'll save a great deal of time (and money) by going through Publish at least twice to ensure everything is perfect!