Apple states all apps must be submitted by the provider of the app’s content using their own, unique Apple Developer Account, this also applies to existing, already published apps.
If you currently have one or more apps published on your developer account, the Apple review will now include this check when you submit a store update. In order to avoid any disruptions in the availability of your app in the iOS store, please make sure all your apps are published on a matching developer account. If the app and the developer account do not match, Apple will potentially reject the update. Your older version of the app will remain available.
Fortunately it is possible, and relatively simple, to transfer the ownership of an app to another developer without removing the app from the App Store. When an app is transferred it will keep its reviews and ratings and users will still have access to future updates. You can transfer multiple apps, without limit, but all apps have to be transferred individually.
Step 1: Verify that the app can be transferred
The app must meet specific criteria to be transferable.
App transfer criteria
Before an app can be transferred it has to meet the following criteria:
- Both accounts can’t be in a pending or changing state, and the latest version of the agreements in the Agreements, Tax, and Banking section must be accepted.
- No version of the app can use an iCloud entitlement.
- No version of the app can use a Passbook entitlement.
- The App must have had at least one version that has been released to the App Store.
- In-app purchase product IDs on the app can’t be the same as product IDs on any apps in the recipient’s account.
- TestFlight beta testing should be turned off for all beta versions of the app.
- Sandboxed Mac apps that share the Application Group Container Directory with other Mac apps cannot be transferred.
Step 2: Initiate the app transfer
The team agent in your organisation initiates the app transfer.
Step 3: Accept the app transfer
The team agent in the recipient organisation accepts the app transfer.
Initiate an app transfer
Required role: Team Agent / Account Holder.
- Log in to https://appstoreconnect.apple.com/ and click "My Apps" on the homepage. A list of all apps will display. Select the app you want to transfer and scroll to the 'Additional Information' section, click "Transfer App,' then click "Done."
- If your app meets all the criteria mentioned in the start of this article, click "Continue." If the app doesn't meet all criteria you should resolve the issues.
- Enter the Apple ID and Team ID for the recipient’s team agent, and click "Continue."
- Read the terms, select “I have read and agree to the agreement presented above,” and click "Request Transfer."
- Click "Done" to return to the App Information page.
After you initiate the transfer, the app stays in its previous status, with the Pending App Transfer status added, until the recipient accepts it.
Accept an app transfer
1. Sign in to https://appstoreconnect.apple.com/ as the Team Agent. A notice indicates that an app transfer is ready to be accepted.
2. Click "Agreements, Tax, and Banking."
3. Below "App Transfers" click "Review" next to the app.
4. Enter the new metadata.
- Support URL
- Atom feed URL (required if the app previously had an atom feed URL)
- Marketing URL (required if the app previously had a marketing URL)
- CCATS (a new CCATS form is required for apps that use export compliance)
- App Review contact information
- App Store contact information
5. Read the terms, select “I have read and agree to the agreement presented above,” and click "Accept."
It can take up to two business days for the app transfer to complete, during which the app status is "Processing App Transfer."
Frequently Asked Questions
- If a client adds me to their iOS Developer Account as an Admin would my ‘admin’ login information suffice for AppMachine’s requirement for iOS publication?
No, unfortunately this is not possible. This would mean your own developer account would have access to multiple developer teams. Our automated publishing process does not support this, as it will not be able to determine on which of the available accounts to publish the app. The client’s own developer account information is needed for a successful App Store submission.
- Would it be best if my client also purchased their own Google Play developers account?
Yes, we always advise to publish apps on their own accounts. This is to prevent apps from being removed from the store when an account gets terminated by Google for whatever reason. Spreading the apps on multiple accounts, also spreads the risk.