The ios Developer Program, iOS SDK, and many third-party tools are often mainly used by designers and developers who are responsible for the creative and technical aspects of developing an app. However, a number of extremely useful resources and tools are available for people who don’t fall into those categories, yet are daring enough to understand them. The good news is that you can be slightly less daring because I’m going to highlight just the parts that are relevant to you.
By being a registered Apple Developer and enrolling in the iOS Developer Program, you’ll get access to tools and information not available publicly. The iOS Developer Program itself is what will allow you to actually submit your app to Apple for review and will grant you access to a number of important areas, including the iOS Provisioning Portal and iTunes Connect, which are mentioned in the last four chapters of this book. The program will also enable you to get support through the private Apple Developer Forums and the Developer Support Center.
As I mentioned in the Preface, tackling iOS Developer Program enrollment when your app is almost completed or after your app is completed can delay your entrance into the App Store. So, you should begin registration and enrollment at the outset of this process. The first step is to register as an Apple Developer (http://developer.apple.com/programs/register/). This registration will create an Apple ID for you (if you don’t already have one), and collects only basic information. Completing this free registration will give you access to download the iOS SDK (discussed next) and documentation related to iOS.
Once you’ve completed the registration, activated your Apple ID, and logged in, you should navigate to the iOS Dev Center (http://developer.apple.com/iphone/). You will see some information in the righthand sidebar about joining the iOS Developer Program. Follow those links until you reach a page asking if you want to enroll as an Individual or Company. Choose the appropriate option. The second choice (Company) will have a more significant impact on how long your application process takes, as it will require additional supporting documentation as part of Apple’s identity verification process. Note that generally you should select Individual only if you will be releasing your app under your own name.
After you’ve completed the enrollment and submitted any required documentation, you’ll need to wait for Apple to process, verify, and approve you into the program. Upon receiving your approval into the program, return to the iOS Dev Center and you’ll be able to access four new options in the righthand sidebar: iOS Provisioning Portal, iTunes Connect, Apple Developer Forums, and the Developer Support Center. Right now, you’ll want to focus on iTunes Connect.
iTunes Connect is more fully explored in Chapter 7, as it’s the place where you’ll submit your application. Currently, however, you’ll want to select the Contracts, Tax & Banking Information link on the home screen. If you plan to distribute only free applications, you are already done and will see that Free Applications has a green checkmark for Contract in Effect (see Figure B-1). If you want to offer paid applications, you’ll need to request a contract for that and agree to its terms before you can distribute paid applications.
You’ll then need to complete the Contact Info, Bank Info, and Tax Info sections for this contract. These aren’t the worst forms in the world to complete, although no forms are really ever fun. You may need to look up some information related to your bank for the Bank Info section, or consult with an accountant or tax professional regarding the Tax Info section. Try to complete all of this information promptly because it can take up to several weeks for Apple to process your contract once you’ve submitted all your information. The implication is that you won’t be able to distribute paid applications until the paid contract is in effect.
Pay attention to the three bullets at the bottom of the Manage Your Contracts screen. The first two are relevant for developers in Canada or Australia. The last one is for all developers distributing paid apps in Japan. Unless you complete the additional paperwork, your earnings will be subject to an additional 20% withholding, as deemed by the Japanese government. Although it’s more tedious compared to other forms, not completing this paperwork can have a significant impact on revenue you receive from Japanese sales. If you don’t know yet, Apple takes 30% of the revenue from the sale of all apps, meaning that you may only receive 50% of the revenue for apps you sell in Japan.
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