Version First Edition
Platform iOS 14.4
Language Swift 5.3
Editor Xcode 12.4

Learn how to sign up for Apple Developer Program, generate the various certificates needed, configure your app and submit an app to the App Store for approval, both manually and through automated processes through automated pipelines. You’ll learn how to use Apple TestFlight to add internal and external testers and receive feedback and crash reports.

iOS App Distribution starts with explaining hurdles everyone faces, such as code signing, provisioning profiles, and how to do manual releases. It’ll then go into more advanced topics, including distribution through TestFlight, build customization, automation, and continuous integration.

Before You Begin

This section tells you a few things you need to know before you get started, such as what you’ll need for hardware and software, where to find the project files for this book, and more.

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iv

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Section I: iOS App Distribution & Best Practices

Begin your journey into learning the best practices of the Apple Developer Program, generating the various certificates needed, configuring your app and submitting an app to the App Store for approval, both manually and through automated processes through pipelines. Learn to use Apple TestFlight to add internal and external testers and receive feedback and crash reports. And finally, review some real-world scenarios and learn how this book’s lessons apply to them.

Getting started with the App Store release, here's a recap of what the App Store does, and the role it plays in the distribution of apps. Review the lifecycle of an app from inception to production, and how various topics in this book tie together to help you navigate Apple's release process.

1

Starting from a zero account to creating, building and archiving your first app! You'll wrap it up by code signing and uploading your first app to App Store Connect, all from within Xcode.

2

Learn the intricacy of App Store Connect and how to prepare your App Store page.

3

Deep dive into the intricacies of code signing, provisioning profiles and entitlements and learn how they work together.

4

Learn how to distribute builds within your organization, either manually or wirelessly, using your own solution or a third-party service.

5

TestFlight

Free

Use TestFlight to send your production-ready app to up to 10,000 testers by either sharing a link or sending an email, and receive feedback and crash reports in one central place. There's no need to collect device information and it requires no ongoing maintenance on your part.

6

Learn about the App Review process, the principles behind it, the various stages your app goes through before it becomes available to the public and how to troubleshoot any issues.

7

Learn about pre- and post-release checklists as well as the different ways you can monitor the performance of your app in production to be better prepared for upcoming maintenance.

8

Learn how to customize a build using targets, build settings and schemes. Understand how they work together, and the different levels of inheritance in build configurations.

9

Learn how to refactor build configurations out of the Xcode project to increase visibility and improve maintainability.

10

Learn how to store secrets, such as API tokens in build configurations, swap them for different build types and use them in the code.

11

Learn how to build, archive, export and upload your app to App Store Connect, all through the command line and automate this process using Xcode toolchain.

12

Learn how to use fastlane to build a fully automated pipeline that runs tests, creates certificates, provisioning profiles and push notification certificates, and goes as far as uploading builds to Test Flight and submitting to App Store review, along with screenshots and metadata.

13

Use continuous integration to automatically run builds when new changes are introduced and to catch failing tests early before they become a problem.

14

Review some real-world scenarios and learn how this book's lessons apply to them.

15

You've come a long way! Now, it's time to wrap up.

16

Section II: Appendices

This Appendix walks you through creating a distribution build and uploading it to App Store Connect.

A

Appendix B has a sample release page and a release checklist.

B

Meet the team

Contributors

Who is this book for

This book is for beginner to experienced developers who want to know the best and most common workflow to releasing an app to the App store, as well as limiting frustration by troubleshooting and debugging common issues and problems associated with distributing apps.

Concepts covered in this book

  • App Store quick start
  • Provisioning, code signing and entitlements
  • Distribution channels and TestFlight
  • App Store Connect
  • Build customizations
  • Build automation
  • Continuous integration

Version history

First Edition · iOS 14.4, Swift 5.3, Xcode 12.4

v1.0 · Apr 21 2021 · Pietro Rea & Keegan Rush

First Edition - Early Access 1 · iOS 14.2, Swift 5.3, Xcode 12.2

v1.0.ea1 · Dec 10 2020 · Keegan Rush & Pietro Rea
Pro

iOS App Distribution & Best Practices

By Pietro Rea & Keegan Rush

Learn the best practices of the Apple Developer Program, generating the various certificates needed, configuring your app and submitting an app to the App Store for approval, both manually and through automated processes through automated pipelines. Learn to use Apple TestFlight to add internal and external testers and receive feedback and crash reports.

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