Apple is known for its strictness in … almost everything. The App Store is not an exception. Submitting an application to the App Store is far more problematic than rolling it out on Google Play, the only application market that can equal the App Store in numbers, diversity, and popularity. Submitting your first iOS application is even more troublesome. You must have your application approved by Apple. But no matter how restrictive Apple is, it provides incentives for developers to build for iOS, and tries to explain what your app should not be and look like. If you are the software owner, your development company should perform deployment for you. But anyway, it's just necessary to be prepared. This means, your iOS product must be prepared.
Testing is a critical stage of software development, and for a good reason. What saves time – Apple has a stable lineup of hardware and iOS versions. There is no Android multitude here. Your application gets tested twice – during the QA process, and at Apple. Apps can be returned due to crashes, slowdowns, memory leaks, questionable content, and numerous other factors (described in the App Store Review Guidelines).
There is a minimum iOS version that your app runs on; it is set beforehand, and is shown on the App Store. That is why future updates have to correspond to the OS versions of your users, the one you stated on the app's page. If you allow a contradiction, users with the oldest iOS versions will not be able to run the updated app; they can download the updated version via iTunes, and it will replace the previous one – and so there will be a disappointment that should not really ever be. But the good thing is, Apple is consistent in iOS updates, and users tend to quickly install them.
What's an icon for your application? Not everything, of course, but somewhere close. The icon artwork must be delivered in several fairly defined sizes. The icon is the very first impression a user gets, along with the app name. The name must be unique, and it may differ from the one that is shown on the homescreen of devices, below the icons. It's often good when these two names are the same. But, for example, if you submit a new calculator, it must have a unique name that's displayed on its page on the App Store, but for users it would be fine if entailed simply 'Calculator', as it is, on the homescreen.
What's the main showcase of your application on its App Store page? Correct, screenshots. Your app can have up 1 to 5 screenshots on the page. Surely, if your app is universal, supports both the iPad and iPhone / iPod touch, make sure to prepare separate screenshots for those. The elongated 4 '' screen of the iPhone 5 also makes the difference, in comparison with its 3.5 '' counter. But hey, there's one more useful thing you should know. Screenshots must have fixed sizes – those of the devices, that's a rule. But the images do not have to be actual app screenshots. You may use this rule in a creative way, if it's reasonable for your software product.
What else should your app have to ready for submission? That's metadata. This means the abovementioned name, app category (primary and secondary – for example, for games), version number, a short description, keywords and a support link. Apps with sign-ups require a demo account for the Apple team, so they would not have to sign up from scratch. When you will roll out updates (which is vital and not as painless as submitting a brand new app), you will inform your users with the help of 'What's new'.
After that you will set the price for the app. And of course, if, for example, you target the market of a jurisdiction country solely, you may set the corresponding availability. Both can be painfully changed. Then there is rating. It is set by answering questions about the app content, in order to determine age restrictions for potential users. As with almost everything, rating is thoroughly checked by Apple.
There is no set amount of time for Apple to review a new application. Usually it can take about two weeks for a brand new one, and about a week for an update. But the actual duration may vary. It's up to you to set the date, when your application must be launched on the App Store after it's approved. This is needed when you need to launch it on a specific date. Once your app is deployed, unfurl the flags of promotion and lead your software product to users, revenues, high ratings and positive reviews on the App Store.