7 Replies
      Latest reply: Sep 2, 2016 5:29 PM by artmin RSS
      charlesmchen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        As of iOS 10, the messages app is going to have a separate, in-app App Store for Messages App Extensions.

         

        * How should app developers package and distribute their app extensions to appear in this app store?

        * Do we need to create a separate "app" in iTunes Connect?  If so, will these "app extension-only apps" also show up in the regular app store?

        * It's possible to bundle Messages app extensions within a "normal" iOS app. Will Messages app extensions bundled in this way show up in the "Messages" app store?

        * If we distribute our Messages app extension through both distribution mechanism (ie. bundled with a normal iOS app AND as a separate app for the Messages app store, should both copies of our Messages app extension use the same app bundle id?

        * If a user installs our Messages app extension through the Messages app store AND installs our normal app (which includes our Messages app extension in its bundle), will the app extension show up twice in Messages?  Will these two copies be upgraded separately?

         

        I can't find any documentation that answers these questions.

        • Re: How to distribute messages app extensions for the Messages App Store?
          pdm Apple Staff Apple Staff (1,720 points)

          There's some information available on developer.apple.com, although this particular page is more geared at Sticker Pack creators:  https://developer.apple.com/app-store/sticker-submissions/

           

          * Do we need to create a separate "app" in iTunes Connect?  If so, will these "app extension-only apps" also show up in the regular app store?

           

          For standalone iMessage apps (which I include Sticker Packs in this "iMessage app" designation), yes, you would create a separate app in iTC.  If your iMessage app is being bundled inside of an existing parent iOS app then you wouldn't do that (the iTC app would be for the parent app). 

           

          * It's possible to bundle Messages app extensions within a "normal" iOS app. Will Messages app extensions bundled in this way show up in the "Messages" app store?

           

          Yes. 

           

          * If we distribute our Messages app extension through both distribution mechanism (ie. bundled with a normal iOS app AND as a separate app for the Messages app store, should both copies of our Messages app extension use the same app bundle id?

           

          You should pick one or the other approach.  Either do it as a standalone iMessage app, or bundle it in an iOS app.  Don't do both. 

           

          * If a user installs our Messages app extension through the Messages app store AND installs our normal app (which includes our Messages app extension in its bundle), will the app extension show up twice in Messages?  Will these two copies be upgraded separately?

           

          Per the above point, you should only have one or the other.  If you already have an iOS app it probably makes most sense to add an iMessage extension to that existing app.  Installing either through the iMessages app store or the normal iOS app store, users will get both installed.