Mobile Applications

U-M Innovation Partnerships is the gateway for publishing mobile apps for the University of Michigan and is responsible for publishing apps developed by or sponsored by U-M faculty, staff and graduate students. Innovation Partnerships can provide value and assistance throughout the publishing process, including the following:

  • Determine if your application is university-owned
  • Provide best practices and other points to consider when developing your app
  • Review privacy policy elements and assist if needed
  • Determine potential need for IRB, FDA, or HIPAA regulatory compliance
  • Assist with licensing considerations and process
  • Provide guidance on requirements to submit your app to the Apple App Store and/or Google Play Store.
  • Share analytics as desired while your app is live.
  • Update apps as needed.
  • Determine a maintenance plan for your app.

For more information on mobile publishing, please call 734.764.0614.

Is Innovation Partnerships responsible for publishing your app?

If the developers or sponsors of your app include U-M faculty, staff, or graduate students, then Innovation Partnerships is likely responsible for publishing the app. If Innovation Partnerships is publishing your app, please complete and submit an invention disclosure form online or manually here. We cannot start the publishing process without a complete invention disclosure form.

Before Publishing

  • Involve Innovation Partnerships early in the process. When you have an idea, talk to Innovation Partnerships to walk through requirements and potential considerations.
  • Develop a privacy policy. Innovation Partnerships can provide a template if desired.
  • Determine if IRB, FDA, or HIPAA compliance applies. Mobile applications deemed likely to meet the definition of an FDA-regulated medical device can only be published under IRB or similar oversight.
  • Complete a U-M branding review if you play to use U-M branding in your app. Innovation Partnerships can provide you with contact information.
  • Consider accessibility as you develop your app. Some resources can be found at
  • End User Licensing Agreements (EULAs). Innovation Partnerships can assist in evaluating licensing considerations.
    • While U-M typically uses the standard Apple and Google EULA, you may want to consider using a custom agreement
    • Custom EULAs are typically required for medical apps, apps that involve HIPAA regulation or apps entailing FDA regulation

Royalty and Revenue Distributions

Both Apple and Google receive a 30% commission on the net sales for all applications. Royalty and revenue distributions are handled according to the standard Innovation Partnerships process on the remaining 70%.

Publishing Process Overview (iOS and Android)

U-M Information and Technology Services (ITS) and TechTransfer work together submit your source code and other required assets for publication to the App Store and Google Play Store.

Generally, three types of submissions can be made:

  • New app.  The primary elements required for publishing a new app are the app’s
    • Source code
    • Graphics assets (screenshots, icons, etc.)
    • Metadata
    • Privacy policy
  • App update. The primary elements required for updating an existing app are the app’s
    • Updated source code
    • Release notes (what’s new)
    • Graphics assets (screenshots, icons, etc.), if applicable
    • Updated metadata and privacy policy, if applicable
  • Beta testing. Both iOS and Android apps can be submitted for beta testing prior to release to the stores. The primary elements required for testing is similar to that for new apps and app updates
    • Source code
    • Information for testers on what to test
    • Graphics assets (screenshots, icons, etc.) – required for Android only
    • Metadata
    • Privacy policy
    • List of testers’ email addresses

Innovation Partnerships will provide you with a detailed app submission form so that you can provide us with the source code and assets necessary to submit your app to the stores for review and approval. After the app is submitted for review and approval, Innovation Partnerships will apprise you of the status throughout the process.

Apple and Google do not provide specific time frames for their app review, and review times may vary by app. Apple reports that on average, 50% of apps are reviewed within 24 hours and over 90% are reviewed in 48 hours.

PLEASE NOTE: Distribution of applications in China via Google Play Store is not supported. Because of government restrictions on content and the market deployment approaches in China, applications that require this market are not supported. Our office continues to evaluate options for this but currently no acceptable substitutes which provides consistent market coverage and approaches are available.