Creating a .ipa file in Xcode 3.x

December 6th, 2010

Having set myself up as the Team Agent on an enterprise account I was then tasked with creating .ipa files so our "in-progress" applications could be seen and played around with by the senior executives in the project. I followed the apple documentation and correctly set up the provisioning profile and created a new build configuration to use this profile.

By far the easiest approach was to use the Xcode UI:

  1. Select "Build and Archive" from the Build drop down menu
  2. Wait for your project to finish building
  3. Select "Organizer" from Window drop down menu
  4. Expand "Archived Applications" in left hand panel if not already expanded
  5. Select your application
  6. Select the build your interested in on the right hand panel
  7. Select Share
  8. Enter filename and set location
  9. Enjoy your new application

However at first I couldn't figure out how to create ipa file through the Xcode UI so I decided to search about for information on how to. I stumbled upon how to create ipa files manually which it turns out to be deceptively easy:

  1. Build your application for device using your "Distribution" configuration
  2. Create a folder and name it "Payload"
  3. Using "Revel in folder" open the location where the .app residues and copy it into the newly created "Payload" folder
  4. Along with your applications image, zip the "Payload" up (opening the zip should have the structure: Image, Payload->.app)
  5. Rename .zip file appropriately and change .zip extension to .ipa
  6. Drag .ipa file in iTunes
  7. Drag newly created iTunes app into iOS device
  8. Enjoy your new application

What do you think? Let me know by getting in touch on Twitter - @wibosco