7. How to create an IPA file without a Mac for testing purposes on an Apple Device
In this section of the tutorial, you are going to learn how to effectively build your app to retrieve the IPA file for testing purposes on physical apple devices.
An IPA file contains an iOS app. It is a file that can be installed on iOS devices and used as an application. It is comparable to an Android APK.
Adding your device to Apple Developer
IPA files can be used for testing purposes only if the physical devices on which you want to test them are added to the Apple Developer Devices.
To register a new device, visit https://developer.apple.com/account/resources/devices/list and add a new device.
You will need the UDID of the apple device on which you want to install your app. You can get the UDID by browsing to udid.tech with your apple device. Or you can get your UDID directly from itunes when your device is plugged in.
Once your device has been registered we can start building the IPA.
Building the IPA
You can use the command
appollo build start but this time the build type is going to be ad-hoc.
Your build is being created. Grab a coffee, it can take a few minutes.
The previously used build type
configuration for the XCode configuration does not generate an IPA file.
If you add
--help you will see all the different options you have to configure your build. For example,
you can choose the build version.
If you closed your terminal while your app was building you can always check the status with
appollo build detail
and selecting your last build in the list.
Builds do not stop if the
appollo build start command is killed.
Your build can have different status, here they are in order:
Created: Your build was created but the remote instance has not started yet
Starting instance: The Appollo-Remote instance is booting up
Preparing build: Loading the different certificates
Building: Your app is being created
Getting build result: The patch is created as well as the IPA file
Publishing: Sending app on the app store
When your build has succeeded, you can use the command
appollo build ipa
You will be given a URL. If you use it in a browser, it will download the file.
You can also send the URL to a registered device of your Apple developer account to download the app, for example by e-mail. When clicking this link directly from your Apple device a prompt will be shown to install the application on your device.
And that is how you can build your app for testing purposes on physical devices.
To register a new device, visit https://developer.apple.com/account/resources/devices/list.
For the device to be used, it must be registered before you make the build. Otherwise, you will not be able to install the app.