How to update App Store screenshots without uploading a new build

Banner

Credit: Apple

Since 2008, when the App Store debutted, updating the screenshots that showcase your app in the App Store without submitting a new app binary wasn't possible. That has changed in early 2022 and might save you a good chunk of time.

In 2021 WWDC, Apple announced that they'd launch "Product Page Optimization" changes to help developers and marketers "compare different app icons, screenshots, and app previews on your App Store product page". Long story short, this is an "A/B testing" or "experiment" functionality for App Store metadata - something that has been available in the Google Play Store for several years now.

The catch here is that you can take advantage of that system to update your App Store screenshots and app previews without requiring you to go through the tedious and time consuming process of compiling a new build, submitting it to App Store Connect, waiting for it to be processed, and submit it for review all over again.

Cut to the chase!

Alright, so the short version is: you'll create an App Store experiment, then immediately apply it to your live page 💥

  1. Open the Product Page Optimization menu and create a new test
App Store Connect Product Page OptimizationApp Store Connect Create New Test
  1. Update your metadata

Currently you can only update screenshots and app preview.

App Store Connect Update Test
  1. Start the test

Once you're done with your changes, you gotta start the test by hitting "Start Test" on the top right of the page. Once it's active you'll see this:

App Store Connect Active Test
  1. Apply Treatment to original product page

To make the changes live, you gotta hit the "Apply Treatment to Original Product Page" button.

App Store Connect Apply Treatment Confirmation Screen
  1. That's it!
App Store Connect Success Message

Conclusion

It's a pretty straightforward process to update your screenshots without going through the process of uploading a new binary, nor sending your changes for Apple to review them. These changes happen instantly (on your side) and may take up to 24 hours to be applied and visible throughout the many App Stores around the world (as usual).

I hope Apple allows us for customize more metadata over time. Screenshots and app previews are great, but it's often super useful to be able to update all the metadata without requiring a new app update: keywords, description, copyright notice, etc.

If you liked this article, if you spotted mistakes in it, or if you just want to say hi, ping me @rogerluan_ 🤗

Tagged with: