Since the introduction of “iMessage + App” in iOS10, many developers have tried to use this feature, especially for overseas products. Creating iMessage App can increase users’ deep understanding of product image and surrounding, and loving a product because of its image is also a kind of infusion. Therefore, developers need to pay more attention to it. The following is an explanation of iMessage-related operations.
Table of Content
iMessage App is divided into the following 4 categories.
Sticker Pack App. These are basic sticker packs made up of images or motion pictures that can be built without writing code. Developers can offer these apps in the “Stickers” category and related “Stickers” subcategories on the App Store for iMessage.
Sticker Pack Extensions. Developers can bundle sticker packs with their iOS apps. Sticker Packs will be available in the App Store for iMessage in the same categories and descriptions as the iOS App.
iMessage App. App can contain stickers, text, video and audio. Developers can write code to add features, such as Apple Pay and in-app purchases. Categories can be selected from the “Stickers” category or other relevant categories on the App Store for iMessage.
iMessage App extensions. iMessage extensions can include the same functionality as standalone iMessage Apps, giving users access to the iOS App’s features without leaving Messages.
Note: Developers must be using the latest version of Xcode and iOS to create an iMessage App.
Creating an iMessage App
Before creating an iMessage App, developers first need to understand Apple’s requirements for setting up the App name, description, screenshots, and keywords.
Developers will need to upload two icons: one for iMessage and one for iPhone and iPad. The icon for iMessage is a rectangular version in 1024×768 pixel format. The icon for iPhone and iPad is in 1024px x 1024px format.
Note: The icon for iMessage will be adjusted to add an oval mask to it. Therefore, developers do not need to upload oval icons and should take into account the fact that elements on the outer edge will be obscured by the oval mask. If the icon is designed with a white or light background, a thin line stroke will be added for a fresher display in the App Store.
App Name and Description
You can use “iMessage” and “Stickers” in the app name and description, but try to avoid using them repeatedly.
Keywords are limited to a total of 100 characters, with words separated by commas and no spaces. You can use “iMessage” and “Stickers” for keywords. However, it is best to avoid using special characters, such as # or @ -, as they are not conducive to product search.
For the iMessage App and iOS extensions, developers are required to provide separate screenshots of iMessage content for iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Pro, with a maximum of 5 screenshots per set. Developers can upload from “My Apps” in App Store Connect.
App Previews are short videos that engage users with iOS, macOS, or tvOS apps directly on the App Store. Because App Previews are autoplay on iOS 11 and macOS Mojave, they are key to helping users discover and learn about apps.
App previews can be created in threes and are useful for showing users more of the App’s features or specific content. However, only users with iOS 11 or later can see multiple app previews.
App previews are available to all audiences, so they must be appropriate for ages 4 and up. Avoid offensive content, violence, adult themes, and profanity. Do not photograph people interacting with the device (such as at an over-the-shoulder angle or tapping a finger on the screen) on app preview content, and do not use app previews to show behind-the-scenes footage of app development.
The App Store for iMessage has a new category called Stickers, which appears at the top of the list of categories in the App Store for iMessage. The Stickers category also includes a Stickers subcategory. The Stickers category is only available for standalone Sticker Pack apps and iMessage apps. Developers need to select the main sticker category and subcategory.
To choose the right App category, developers can consider the following aspects.
The App’s purpose. The App’s main category should be the one that best describes the App’s primary function or theme.
User intent. Understand the App’s audience and consider the categories through which users will find your product.
Reference similar products. Find your own similar products and see which categories these apps fall into that can be used as a category reference for your own app.
Create stickers for iMessage.
Developers can easily create sticker packs for the Messages App on iOS using only a Mac, an Apple ID, sticker images, and Xcode. Anyone with an Apple ID can download Xcode for free.
Sticker packs support image files in PNG, JPEG, or GIF format, and can also be animated images in APNG or GIF format. Dimensions can be found in the following image.
Developers will need to create sticker pack icons in a variety of sizes for use in the App Store for iMessage and iOS.
Apple provides a comprehensive Photoshop template for developers to download. Developers can create icons in their desired size from these. (Download link: https://developer.apple.com/design/resources/)
Building Sticker Packs
Developers can also turn their work into sticker packs for “messages” on iOS. Apple gives a detailed process for “building sticker packs”; search this link for a video (https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/tutorials/building-sticker-packs/)
Upgrading# sticker packs
upgrading sticker packs means adding features such as in-app purchases to sticker packs using code and APIs. From the user’s point of view, stickers in iMessage enrich the user’s expression and help improve the user’s favorability towards the App.
And developers can build stickers without writing code. It’s easy to do, and it’s a great way to make money, so why not?
Submit for review
All iMessage apps and sticker packs submitted to the App Store are reviewed based on a set of technical, content, and design criteria. To avoid product rejection, developers must ensure that their app meets the app review guidelines and that they have tested the iMessage app before submitting it for review.
Developers can set the release date to “Automatic” so that customers can download the app as soon as it is approved, or they can choose their own release date.
More related ASO blog: The Complete iOS 15 App Store Optimization (ASO) Guide