Engage customers with a short video of your app in action, directly on your app product page on the App Store. By showing the experience of using your app, app previews can help customers better understand your app and encourage more downloads.
An app preview demonstrates the features, functionality, and user interface of your app in a short video that users can watch right on the App Store. Each preview is between 15 and 30 seconds long and is displayed as the first image on your App Store product page, followed by your app screenshots.
With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, you can capture real-time footage of your app directly from your iOS device. Simply connect your device to your Mac using the Lightning connector and it will be automatically available as a video camera. You can capture anything you’re doing on-screen directly to your Mac using QuickTime Player. Edit your captured footage in iMovie or your favorite video editing app and upload it to iTunes Connect for review along with your next app update.
Submitting App Previews
If you submit app previews they will appear in all countries where your app is available. However, you may only submit a single set of app previews designed for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad in one language localization.
Just like screenshots, each app preview is device-specific and requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with a 4-inch Retina display to view or submit. For detailed technical specs and step-by-step instructions on how to submit app previews, read the iTunes Connect Developer Guide.
Creating a Great App Preview
App previews are between 15 and 30 seconds long and it’s important to make the most of this time to help customers better understand your app’s content and features. These tips will help you create a great app preview that sparks interest and drives downloads of your app.
Planning Your App Preview
App previews use footage captured on device to show the experience of using your app. Users want to see an honest depiction of what to expect from your app, so resist the urge to overproduce your video. Consider these steps as you structure the content and flow of your preview.
- Develop an outline or storyboard highlighting the magic moments that make your app unique. A great place to start is your app product page—focus on the top 3–5 features you’ve identified in your app description and use these as your framework.
- Map out a list of scenes you’ll need, then plan the timing so you know how many seconds to devote to each feature.
- Aim to tell a cohesive story so that users get a sense of the journey they will experience when using your app. Craft messaging to explain transitions or features within the UI.
- Consider any demo content you may need to create to show your app. Create dummy accounts any time you need to display personal information.
Content and Format
App previews are for all audiences, so your preview must be 4+ appropriate. Avoid objectionable content, violence, adult themes, and profanity.
App previews are between 15 and 30 seconds in length. Make the most of this time to show what makes your app special.
Capture app footage from the device using QuickTime Player on OS X Yosemite. Don’t film people interacting with the device (such as over-the-shoulder angles or fingers tapping the screen). Stay within the app.
Show only material you have the legal right to display. If your app displays protected content such as music, film, trademarked characters, brands, or other intellectual property assets, ensure you have the appropriate licensing rights for your marketing use in all territories. If your app accesses the iTune Library, use only song that you’ve created or that you’ve specifically licensed for use in the preview.
Graphics and Transitions
Add graphic elements, such as touch hotspots, only when necessary to demonstrate how navigation or interaction work within the app. Don’t overlay animated hands simulating Multi-Touch gestures.
We recommend capturing the native resolution of the UI; avoid zooming in on the view. Ensure the transitions between scenes don’t imply functionality that your app doesn’t have. Use straightforward transitions like dissolves and fades.
For games, show a higher ratio of gameplay to cutscenes. Cutscenes may mislead your audience by giving a false impression of gameplay. Get your audience excited about the elements they will actively engage with once they download the app.
App Previews on App Store Product Pages
App previews are displayed as the first image on your app’s product page, followed by your app screenshots. This is one of the first elements a user will see on your product page, so ensure the preview poster frame is visually compelling.
Ideally, your preview poster frame should convey the essence of the app. If the default frame selected from your footage doesn’t convey this, you can select a new frame in iTunes Connect. Please note that changing the poster frame on previews that have already been approved will require a new binary version.
App previews are not localized, so we recommend limiting the use of copy to maximize engagement globally.
When copy is necessary to give context to the footage, use easily understandable terms and consider language choice in light of your target audience.
Ensure text is legible and remains on screen long enough for your audience to read it.
To keep your app preview timeless, we recommend avoiding references to specific events, seasons, or memes that will date it (such as “New for spring!”).
We recommend leaving out references to pricing in your app preview. Pricing is already shown on the App Store product page, and references within the preview won’t be accurate in all countries and territories.
If you display features that are only available through In-App Purchase you must disclose this, but it’s a good idea to show it even when the In-App Purchase is optional so that users know what to expect. Disclaimer copy can be included contextually within the footage or in the end frame.
If your app uses a subscription model or requires login, we recommend identifying this in your preview.
Consider overlaying the musical score of your app as the soundtrack to your app preview. Overlaying ensures that the audio isn’t disjointed when one scene cuts to the next.
We recommend capturing the sound effects of your UI in your footage to reinforce the functionality of your app. Work with high-quality audio equipment in locations without background noise when recording voiceovers so that all audio in your app preview delivers the best possible user experience.
Consider that your app preview is available in one language worldwide. Narration may not be appropriate in apps marketed globally. If you decide to use narration in your app preview, we recommend working with a professional voiceover actor. This is the voice of your app—make sure it resonates.
App Store Review
In addition to your app, we review all app previews to ensure they comply with our App Store Review Guidelines. Please observe these guidelines before submitting your App Preview with your app.
Create App Previews with iMovie and Final Cut Pro X
iMovie comes with every Mac and makes it easy to create app previews. Edit screen recording videos to get the timing just right, then customize your preview with titles, transitions, a soundtrack, and voiceover. To learn more, read the iMovie Guide for Creating App Previews.
Final Cut Pro X offers even more power for creating app previews, including advanced tools for audio and video editing. Download a complete set of titles designed to showcase your apps, or create your own custom motion graphics. To learn more, read the Final Cut Pro X Guide for Creating App Previews.