App Store build beta testing available

Hello everyone,

The beta testing server for iOS builds, https://iosbuildservertest.appinventor.mit.edu/, has been updated to allow for sending builds to the App Store. You will need to set up an app-specific password and include an App Store compatible provisioning profile in your assets in order to deploy your App Inventor apps to App Store Connect. Use the "Upload to App Store" menu item under the Build menu to initiate an App Store build. If you encounter errors in the deployment process, please report them here so that we can continue to improve the service.

Cheers,
Evan W. Patton, Ph.D.
Lead Software Engineer, MIT App Inventor

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Great! I'll test it later when there's time. A question first before I get stuck there later. When and where does the “app-specific password” have to be set up?

There is a new settings menu item "App Store Settings" where you need to provide your Apple ID and app specific password. If you try to deploy to the App Store and don't have this set, the dialog will open and prompt you for it.

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Thank you!

I'm working on updating the documentation as well, so there will probably be another server update in the next day or two.

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grafik

ASC = ? → (Air Suspension Control ?)
Do I have to specify something here?

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No. This is only if your Apple ID is associated with multiple organizations to differentiate which one you're publishing to. App Inventor will otherwise try to guess it by querying your App Store profile and pick the first one that appears in the list.

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Finally AI2 build apps on App store possible🙏,

So we can create an app that can be uploaded to both Google Play and Apple App store.

@ewpatton As we know that extension doesn't work in iOS companion might be due to some restrictions,

My question is that if we use extensions and build IPA, will it be approved by App store?

Extensions are not accepted in Companion or with the compiled app (IPA). In addition, extensions would also have to be written in Swift.

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@Anke Thanks for confirmation

My suggestion is when iOS Production is gonna release,

Please release it as seperate Deployment,

And mainly please remove the non working components/blocks/ etc... as mentioned in http://doesappinventorrunonios.com/
It will be useful for developers to create apps easily and quickly.

The test server's documentation page on iOS app building has been updated to include a section on generating the App Specific Password as well as the new Developer Mode setting introduced in iOS 16 as an extra precaution introduced by Apple around installing of non-Apple approved software.

https://iosbuildservertest.appinventor.mit.edu/reference/other/build-ios-apps.html

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While I appreciate your candor, we only have a fixed amount of resources for running and maintaining production systems. The best course of action for our team is to release the iOS build functionality into the existing product.

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So to generate an ipa file we also need a developer account with Apple? Even if we don't want to publish the app in the Apple store? I thought it would be something like an APK file that we could generate without paying.

Yes.

Without an Apple Developer Account, you cannot have certificates, profiles, app-specific passwords, etc. assigned to you. See also here: Building Apps for iOS with MIT App Inventor

1 Like

I have now compiled a small audio test app and installed it on one of my iOS test devices (iPhone 6s, iOS 15.79) (Ad hoc).

  1. I used images as a spacer and specified the height/width in px or % values. This seems to work with Companion but not with compiled app (IPA). It only works when an empty (4px) png is assigned to the images. So that's not a problem if you know it.

  2. Images cannot be assigned to buttons with the IPA (these are not displayed with the IPA). Companion works. You have to use clickable images instead. If you know that, that's not a problem either.

  3. Material icons do not work with Companion or with the IPA, although they are displayed correctly in the designer (► / ■ play_arrow / stop).

  4. "invalid application. Irritants: (#!null)" after opening the IPA for the first time. Nevertheless, the app works just as well as with Companion). The problem does not occur with Companion.

  5. As soon as the app goes into the background, the sound stops completely (music & voice). After the app is back in the foreground the sound continues to play. Companion & IPA. (Of course PlayOnlyInForeground is not enabled.)

  6. MP3, M4A, AAC,... audio files cannot be looped gapelessly (as I discovered in my last test almost 2 years ago - at least with Companion). So it remains that only uncompressed audio formats such as WAV, AIFF, ... or so-called IMA4 files (compressed to about a quarter) work. I noticed the same thing almost 9 years ago when I took my first steps with Xcode and Swift 1.0. And that doesn't seem to have changed to this day .

If desired, I can forward the (test) aia & IPA to the MIT AI team. @ewpatton


PS: I will check it soon also on an iPad Pro (12.9, 4th gen - iOS 16.7 and 17.0.2).

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Addendum:

  1. Switching the screens doesn't work (at least not the way we know it from Android). Neither by not closing Screen1 when switching to another screen nor by not closing Screen1.
    After switching Screen1 and Screen2 4-5 times:


    ..............
    It seems that Screen1 cannot be closed with iOS:
    grafik
    When I play a sound on Screen1 and switch to Screen2 this way, the sound does not stop (so Screen1 is not closed).

  2. On Screen2 it is displayed with Companion (and in the Designer) and in the IPA like this (left: Companion, right: IPA):


    ..............

I have now registered and added the iPad Pro 12 (iOS 17.0.2). Unfortunately I receive the following message when I try to open the app:

grafik

The installation appears to be completed after the app icon has completed. However, the app cannot be opened.

Yes @Anke, please PM me the test project. Once I take a look I'll reply back with responses to your comments.