The release of the iPhone 12 brought several significant changes with it. Along with OLED displays, 5G connectivity and a return to the iPhone 4’s flat edged frame, multiple device sizes were announced. Apple’s emphasis on the capabilities of the new hardware might make one important question take a back seat in the minds of developers and marketers: what about App Store Screenshots for these devices?
It’s always important to be informed about Apple’s latest and greatest hardware, and just as important to know about their latest store guidelines, submission requirements and best practices. While you’re developing the next great app for iOS, remember to keep the below items in mind when designing your App Store Screenshots in 2020.
iOS App Store Screenshot Guidelines
It can be frustrating to think up an amazing design for your App Store Screenshots, only to have it be rejected by Apple’s review team. To avoid this, check out App Store Review Guidelines section 2.3, which contain most of the information regarding what you can and can’t do with your product page screenshots. The most pertinent guideline is section 2.3.3:
2.3.3 Screenshots should show the app in use, and not merely the title art, log-in page, or splash screen. They may also include text and image overlays (e.g. to demonstrate input mechanisms, such as an animated touch point or Apple Pencil) and show extended functionality on device, such as Touch Bar.
Be sure to read up on this section, the rest of section 2.3, and anywhere else screenshots are mentioned in the guidelines. Things the App Store Review team looks at to to keep in mind include:
- Reflect your core app experience
- Don’t make your screenshots entirely key art, splash screens, etc
- Indicate if an emphasized feature requires additional purchase
- Don’t state that your app is “for kids” or “for children” if your app is not in the Kids Category
- Make screenshots appropriate for a 4+ age group, even if your app is in an age group above that
- Use only materials you have the rights to, and anonymize account data (for example, don’t show a real user’s dating profile in your dating app)
While it is not explicitly stated in the Review guidelines, your screenshots can also be rejected if you do not display the appropriate hardware in the appropriate resolution. This means that you can’t put an iPhone 12 Pro Max in your 5.5” screenshot set; use that for your 6.5” set.
These rules have been fairly well established, and did not change with the release of iPhone 12. The required dimensions, however, did see a slight change.
iOS App Store Screenshot Dimensions
It used to be that the iPhones mostly came in a few different sizes of one ubiquitous aspect ratio. Developers would upload one set to iTunes Connect, and that was that. With the release of the iPhone X, however, a new aspect ratio was introduced, and two aspect ratios were required.
Both the new and old iPhone aspect ratios are required for submitting your app for App Store Review. The release of the iPhone 12, and its new screen dimensions, had developers wondering if yet another mandatory dimension would be required.
Fortunately, as of now Apple still only requires the largest dimensions of two sets: a 6.5” size and a 5.5” size, which can scale down to other sizes from there. That being said, the pixel dimensions of the 6.5” set has changed slightly to accommodate for the now-largest size available.
While you can be more granular with specific dimensions, here is the latest list of the required App Store Screenshot dimensions as of November 2020. The highest resolution sizes are cited, allowing lower resolution sizes to automatically be scaled down by App Store Connect:
For iPhone apps:
- 1284 x 2778 pixels (portrait)
- 2778 x 1284 pixels (landscape)
- 1242 x 2208 pixels (portrait)
- 2208 x 1242 pixels (landscape)
For apps that run on iPad:
12.9” iPad Pro (4th generation & 3rd generation)
- 2048 x 2732 pixels (portrait)
- 2732 x 2048 pixels (landscape)
12.9” iPad Pro (2nd generation)
- 2048 x 2732 pixels (portrait)
- 2732 x 2048 pixels (landscape)
If your iOS app is capable of running outside of iPhone or iPad:
For apps that run on Mac:
One of the following, with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
- 1280 x 800 pixels
- 1440 x 900 pixels
- 2560 x 1600 pixels
- 2880 x 1800 pixels
For apps that run on Apple TV:
- 1920 x 1080 pixels
- 3840 x 2160 pixels
For apps that run on Apple Watch (Series 6, 5, 4, 3 and SE):
- 368 x 448
Note that for iPhone 6.5”, there has been a slight change since the release of the iPhone 12. All other sizes remain the same as they have been since last year, including the dimensions needed for the new generation of iPad. While a 1242 x 2208 screenshot is still allowed for the 6.5” set, it’s best to start adopting the latest required dimensions ahead of time for when Apple decides to flip the switch.
App Store Screenshots should be more than just direct in-app images of the UI. These are your chance to tell a user about your app, which can have a huge impact on their decision to convert or pass you up for another app.
No matter what changes come to the required dimensions of screenshots, be sure to incorporate these elements in your screenshots, test how they impact your conversion rates, and continuously iterate based on how they perform:
- Include highly visible text to accompany your in-app images
- Use character art and other elements (within Apple’s compliance guidelines) to connect your app’s core theme with its core features
- Make sure important features are called out in the screenshots that are visible in search results, where most search users directly download from
- Where appropriate, provide value propositions or accolades to set your app apart
- Keep screenshots relevant based on the latest features, current seasonality, and the latest Apple hardware / software
The most important best practice for App Store Screenshots, or any element of your ASO strategy, is to measure performance and iterate. It’s one thing to make screenshots that “look good”, but it’s another thing to make an adjustment, deploy it, test how the adjustment impacted conversion and build from there. Iteration means your strategy is always developing based on data from previous releases and moving towards continued growth.
Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.