Building your Branded App in the Socio Platform is pretty simple, but fully completing the process requires an Apple Developer account. The enrollment process can take a couple weeks, so it's actually a great idea to start building your Branded App even if your Apple Developer account isn't set up yet!
Already enrolled in the program? Awesome! Read on, my friend. 📖
🤔 Not sure what a Branded App is? Check this out!
Before you get started...
It's really important that you read our article about avoiding app submission problems so your app can sail right through the Apple and Google approval processes. ⛵
Create and publish your event/community
You won't be able to submit your Branded App until you can link it to a published event or community. We also require that your event/community be configured with the following graphical elements:
Icon (this and the Cover Image are added during event/community creation)
Banner images (if you're using the Banners layout)
We require these because our app engineers take screenshots of your app for the App Store and Play Store listings before they submit the app. If your app doesn't look fairly close to the finished product, users might be put off or confused. Here's how a Branded App looks on the App Store:
Basic default feature icons or a missing banner would make the app look unfinished. 👎
If you haven't created and published your event/community yet, click here for instructions! 📖
If you've already done these things, AWESOME! Keep reading to learn how to create and publish your Branded App. 🌈
Create a new app
From any page in the Socio Platform, click the Event App drop-down, click My Apps, and then click the Create App button.
⭐️ Keep in mind, unlike your event settings, the app settings cannot be updated instantly after publishing your app. Updates will need to be sent to Apple for approval, so take a few extra minutes to double check things as you go. 🧐
First, you'll fill in this basic information about your app:
⭐️ Keep in mind, the previews on the right of the App Basics page update in real-time - use it to make sure you like how everything looks! You can toggle between the Apple and Android previews by clicking the icons at the top of the preview.
App Name - The App Name can be up to 30 characters long. We recommend that it be simple, memorable, easy to spell, and reflective of all events that will be contained in your app. This is the primary way attendees will find your app when searching in the app stores.
App Label - The App Label can be up to 30 characters long and appears below your app’s name throughout the app stores. Think of the App Label like a subtitle. This is a very short description of what the app is or has to offer.
Because Google doesn't allow the App Name and App Label to be exactly the same, you'll have to enter different information in these fields.
App Description - Provide an engaging App Description that lets potential users know why they'll love this event app and how it will help them get the most out of your events. The ideal description is a short, informative paragraph followed by a short list of main features. We also recommend including your company name, as this helps with Apple approval.
⭐️Keep in mind, the first sentence of your description is the most important.
⚠️ Warning! To prevent your App from being denied, we recommend you don't mention payment - paid services, paywalled content, raffles, sweepstakes, gambling, or direct links to ticket purchase websites in your description. You should also avoid mentioning COVID.
Home Screen Name - This name appears in two places: as the label below the app's icon on the user's device home screen, and on the app's login page. We recommend simply reusing the app or event name unless you feel it would be too long.
App Icon - This icon appears in the App Store and Play Store, and it's the icon attendees see on their device home screen. Check out our recommended image dimensions here!
⭐️ Keep in mind, in the Apple app store, the corners are rounded as shown in the Preview, so we recommend centering the content of your icon.
Click Save & Continue when you're done.
Appearance and Splash Screen
The App Branding section is where you pick the app highlight color and upload custom Splash Screens. Check out our Look Book for inspiration!
Theme Color - The Theme Color is used as an accent in your app. It affects the top and bottom navigation bars in the app and the feature page indicator. It's a great idea to match the Theme Color to your feature icons!
Splash Screens - The Splash Screen appears for a couple seconds whenever a user opens the app. These are a great place to display a welcome message or include a shoutout to your title sponsor!
You need two Splash Screens — one for iOS and one for Android. The size requirement for iOS is 1125px wide by 2436px tall. Android is 1080px wide by 1920 wide. Images can be .png or .jpeg.
Background Color - This color borders the Splash Screen on devices with uncommon screen sizes. Most devices won't use the Background Color. The default is white, but we recommend choosing a color that compliments the Splash Screen images.
Sign Up And Log In Options
These options let you choose how attendees can log into your app. We've included a brief summary of each option here. For an in-depth look that will help determine which one is right for you, check this out.
Email Only (default) - Use this option if the event/community that will be linked to this app is set to Invite Only, unless you're using SSO.
Email and Social - Attendees can choose from Facebook, Google/Apple, and LinkedIn in addition to logging in with an email address.
Social Only - Attendees can only log in with the platforms mentioned above, and not their email.
Single Sign-on (SSO) - This option lets you implement your company's SAML 2.0 single sign-on solution. This is an added-cost feature, and you should plan allow an additional 2 weeks for implementation and testing. SSO added-cost feature. For details on implementing SSO, check this out!
When you're done uploading photos, picking colors, and choosing your Sign Up and Log In options, click Save & Continue.
✋ Time out!
This is as far as you can go without your Apple Developer Account all set up. If you haven't enrolled your organization in the Apple Developer Program yet, follow the instructions in this article to get started. If you've been building your app while following along with this article so far, don't worry! Your app is saved, and you can come back and keep editing when you're ready to continue. 👍
At this point, you have your D-U-N-S number, you've enrolled in the Apple Developer Program, and you've invited Socio to your Apple Developer Account. It's time to finish and publish your Branded App! 🙌
01. Enroll in the Apple Developer Program
Once you've received confirmation from Apple that your organization is enrolled in the Apple Developer Program, click Next.
02. Developer Team Details
Now it's time to fill in all the information from your organization's Apple Developer Account. Follow the instructions on this page if you're not sure where to find the information.
03. Grant Socio Access
Once again, this process is completed outside of Socio. After you've granted Socio access to your Apple Developer account, click the refresh icon next to the Not Connected indicator to refresh. Remember that it can take up to 30 minutes for Socio's access to be reflected in the Platform. If the Status remains on NOT CONNECTED, please try our troubleshooting steps.
Once the status shows CONNECTED, click the Continue button.
Review, link, and publish!
On this step, you have one last chance to see how your app will look to attendees. Make sure you examine it carefully for errors, and make sure you like the way it looks. Make any necessary changes now before you submit! 🔍
When you're ready, click the Submit App button.
Linking an event or community
After you click Submit App, a modal appears asking you to link the App to an existing published Socio Event or Community.
Once you've selected your published event/community, click Next.
Publish your app
Finally, select the Team under which the App will be published, and click Publish App. If the Team you select doesn't have any Branded App credits, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager or live chat our support team.
Congratulations! ✨🎉 You've just submitted your app. Our engineers will review it, and let you know if anything else is needed from you throughout the process.
Your app will take 2-14 days to go through Apple's approval process. The App will show different statuses on the My Apps page as it moves through the process. To learn about each of the statuses, check this out.
⭐️ Keep in mind, after you click Submit App, you and your attendees won't be able to access the Web App for any linked event/community for 3-4 days while our team prepares it for final App Store approval. You can access the event/community again when the app's status has changed to "Waiting for App Store Approval".
As you wait for the app to be approved through the App Store, you can continue to work on your event! Once your Branded App is live on the app store, you can edit your event at any time and the updates will be reflected in the app immediately. 👍
If you need to make changes to your app after it's been published to the App Store and Play Store, check this out. Edits to the app itself will require the 2-14 day waiting period, but the Web App for any linked event or community will have 0 downtime.
Questions? Chat Us or Email [email protected]