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How to do an Ad-hoc build

11-14-2009, 02:35 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 40
How to do an Ad-hoc build

Hey guys,

I have an app that is just about done that I hope to submit to the app store by Monday. It will probably take about 2 or 3 weeks to go through the review process. In the mean time, I would like to send my app in to reviewers so that by the time they review the game, the app should have just been approved. Obviously I am not going to give them the source code so i will have to make an adhoc build for them to use. I have never made one but I have had problems with trying to open an adhoc build that was given to me. Does anybody know the best way to go about doing this? Please let me know.

11-14-2009, 05:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 46
The first time I tried it the process kinda threw me too, but if you follow the steps in the iPhone Dev Center Program Portal, you should be ok. The tricky thing to remember is the Entitlements.plist file, as the build won't install properly if it isn't there.

I always include one of my own devices in an ad hoc build too. That way I can do a quick test install before distributing it.

Another trick is to distribute it as an .ipa file (like iTunes uses) instead of an app bundle. That can overcome some Mac/Windows issues, where the app bundle isn't properly extracted from a .zip in Windows, for example. To make one you just drag the app bundle into iTunes on your own machine, and then grab the .ipa file from /Music/iTunes/Mobile Applications on your computer.

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11-15-2009, 07:01 AM
Yeah, it is a little fiddly the first time but, as dawvee says, follow the steps in the program portal. You basically add the device UDID, create an Ad Hoc distribution profile, select the device(s) you want for the profile, download the mobileprovision file, and drag it into xcode. In xcode it's worth creating a new distribution target and associating the ad hoc profile with it. Anyway, this is all in Apple's instructions.

As dawvee says, creating an ipa file solves some cross-platform issues. I create a 'Payload' folder, put the .app file in there, then take a 512x512 PNG file, rename it iTunesArtwork (no extension) and put it at the same level as the Payload folder. Then ZIP up both the file and folder, and add .ipa on the end. This means that users see the large icon in their iTunes applications folder.
11-16-2009, 02:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 5
Apples website definitely has the steps to do it. It does seem excessively complicated really should not be as much of a hassle as it is.

I just wanted to note I have had no problem releasing Ad Hoc builds with just the compressed app folder between macs and windows machines. So maybe try that if you get stuck but its definitely not required.