You have finished your (hopefully awesome) smartphone game and don't know how to publish it in the different stores? Let us give you a little overview from our experiences with the release of or first game Fairy King for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

First of all, you need time and quite some nerves. If it's already 11 o'clock in the evening, don't start! Your sleep will thank you (this sleepless night I had on the publish day is not one of my favorite memories)!

We make our games with Unity. This game engine creates an apk for Android, an XCode project for iOS and a Solution for Windows Phone which is nice. For the following I assume that you have either of these (apk or project).

Google Play - Easy Mode

So, let's start with Android, because it's the most easiest thing to publish to. You need an Android Developer Account. This will cost you around 25$ (one time). With that you have access to the Android Developer Console where there's a nice wizard guiding you through the publishing when clicking on the button "Add new App". You need a signed apk to upload or else it won't work. If you first want to beta (or alpha) test your app you can do that in the tab APK (still need a signed apk). Just upload it there and a few hours later it will apear in the store for all invited testers. This is one of the best things, the app only takes some hours to appear in the store even for the first release and updates.
So all in all, what you need is:

  • - around 25$
  • - the signed apk
  • - an icon with 512x512
  • - The graphic which appears on top in the store with 1024x500
  • - Screenshots with at least 320 px in height and maximal 3840 px in lenght.
  • - Some hours until publication

iTunes - Hell Mode

First of all, you need a Mac. If you don't have a Mac or a friend with a Mac, forget it. You can't do it whithout because all commits to the iTunes store are made via XCode. If you have a Mac you need an Apple Developer Account. To set that up, have a look at this wonderful tutorial. The fee for this account is 99$ per year. Is it worth it? Think about that before making the account. For a hobbist this is quite expensive.
For the different devices you need different sizes for your screenshots. For landscape apps its 960 x 640, 1136 x 640, 1334 x 750, 2208 x 1242, 1024 x 768, 2048 x 1536 and vice versa for portraits. For the app icon in the App Store you need a 1024 x 1024 image.
The time it takes for your app to appear in the store ranges from one week to two, even for the updates. So take this into account if you want to release on Android and iOS on the same date.
So the details (again):

  • - around 100$ every year
  • - a Mac.
  • - an icon with 1024 x 1024
  • - Screenshots in 960 x 640, 1136 x 640, 1334 x 750, 2208 x 1242, 1024 x 768, 2048 x 1536
  • - 1-2 weeks until publication

I can't go into the detail for Windows Phone because they changed the publishing pipeline.

Hopefully this short overview gives you an impression what it takes to publish an app. If you have any question or feedback to this overview, contact me directly on Twitter @VoltarCH.