[IMPORTANT] How to Publish to the Apple Store

@ewpatton, thanks for your message back. Was able to follow the instructions here: https://ios-preview.appinventor.mit.edu/# and work though the documentation to put AI2 onto my iPhone 6. The documentation was long but well detailed and left little room for confusion. iOS AI2 Companion seems to run pretty good for me on Test Flight and on the Early Access Program but having taken the extra time to go through the Early Access Program configuration I’d probably use that Companion App because it is a little more snappy it seems like but both are good.

Now - I understand offering the beta testing but to extent of getting the the minimum required components working for iOS in order to invent and publish an app. Maybe UI stuff, maybe some labels, buttons, the nuts and bolts of AI2 guys! Probably could even make due without the senors and most everything else down. Why does MIT AI2 team think the most important aspect of iOS AI2 is having every component working coming out of beta? It’s not called MIT App Tester, it’s called MIT App Inventor so let us invent guys!

You guys can’t guarantee that any app built with App Inventor will necessarily make it Apple’s review process because it sounds like you guys have even tried yet. Has an any AI2 app been successfully published to Apple store (like ever to date)? And can you please share timetables for any and all future planned development?

Respectfully, I’m requesting that the MIT AI Team stop what they are working on starting tomorrow and give one hundred percent attention to making it possible (I was about to type ‘easier’ but it’s not even possible to publish to iOS at the moment) to publish to the Apple Store.

AI2 is a great product and the community is lucky and very appreciative for MIT taking care of it. Thank you @ewpatton and nothing but respect for you and Team on this end. Please let’s just work on this publishing. Thanks guys!

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Uhm... You know there's other people who doesn't really need or want or care to develop for IOS, right?
Respectfully I think you are a little impatient, that's all. I truly believe that the MIT App Inventor team is doing everything in their power already to balance everything (yes, even their personal lives, I guess) to be able to get things done. I wouldn't request them to "stop everything immediately" and do even more of what I want. Just an opinion. Don't be so simple of thinking IOS AI2 is not finished just because they are lazy, or they fear something, or any other thing that is not.
Not trying to start a dispute or anything, it's all cool.

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In my opinion and also in the opinion of many people, the IOS project is the most important, except that its departure time has always been postponed (for more than two years) and it is quite frustrating, in addition to this the project is invested in quite a lot of money

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Respectfully, you’re way off on this. But I’ll just say I get it. I just had shill out $100 on this Apple Developer program and the program apparently makes you have one of their devices. And I’ve never owned an Apple device in my life. Sister wouldn’t let me use hers so had to run in to Microcenter and let them rip me off like another couple hundred. And honestly man I really not trying to spend money right now. But when I got wind of iOS AI2 I saw it as an opportunity for my apps to help an even larger group of people.

Have been using App Inventor for around 7 years and have long dreamed of my App Inventor apps being used on not just iOS but on as many operating systems as possible. Whatever that new one getting popular in China we should rally for that one too guys but not even going to start on that rn. And to shoot straight with you, I am a little inpatient because I only have two weeks from my time of purchase to get a full refund on iPhone if I decide to bring it back.

My meaning of one hundred percent means don’t let the lights go out and keep the operations and all that but priority number one is to address the publishing for iOS. Like no more big updates on the components until then. I want to also just point out that I’m not trying to imply that if and and when the MIT AI2 team decided to ever add another mobile operating system after iOS there is certain best approach to this. I know nothing about this really and there are armies of people who are experts do. But as a long term user, I’ve felt it is the App Inventor way to allocate the focus and importance on design, test and publish. Then circle back with the deep refinement stuff. So when I see 100 pct I also kind of trying to say okay guys outstanding work but now move to complete the publishing stage then circle back to whatever. Without these 3 stages App Inventor can’t properly be an app inventor for people like me and @Point to utilize as a tool to make our technology so that we make the world a better place.

Well no you’re a hundred percent trying to get a reaction out of me and try and get me going. But I’m not going to give you one. All I do is tell @ewpatton and MIT AI2 team how excellent of a job they are doing and appreciative I am of everything they do. There is nothing personal and I’m sure they know that and I know that. I think really what I’m challenging the MIT AI2 team to consider is if they are still following the App Inventor mission in the work they are doing now. And I’ll close with this - This is right from the about page on the website and is the closest thing to a mission statement I could find:

The MIT App Inventor project seeks to democratize software development by empowering all people, especially young people, to move from technology consumption to technology creation.

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??? That is something you decided to do, no one forced you to do it and you should have researched more about the availability of the project if that money is an investment to you.

I would say the same I said in the previous reply up there.

No, you are a 100% wrong on that one. Sorry. I don’t look for any reaction on people. I’m just stating what I know. That’s all.

I will not discuss this any further to avoid any other “reactions”. Thanks.

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Hi @Italo, thanks for the message back. Think there is a misunderstanding here. Any friend of the AI2 community is a friend of mine so my sincerest apologies if you interpreted I was disrespectful in any way. Was not my intention. No one likes to spend money on things they don’t need and so if iOS AI2 isn’t ready yet then it’s no ones fault and I’ll just return the thing. That’s all I was trying to get across.
Kind regards,
Mike

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Yes, it’s all cool, I understand. I’m not really trying to be disrespectful either if that was the feeling. I know written words can be misinterpreted sometimes because you can’t see the other person’s face and emotions. Don’t worry, I didn’t feel offended. :+1:

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Happy to hear that :slight_smile:

@Italo would you have a suggestion on how to best go about publishing to Apple Store for time being? The app I’d like to publish is simple app and uses very little APIs. @SteveJG suggested trying to get access to the compilation test server which is still in early development but still waiting to hear back from @ewpatton about that. Another option, that was suggested to me looking into Thunkable. But I’m not trying to pay their 25 per mo. And my last option I’m thinking about is like going onto Craigslist of something and sourcing someone to like copy my Android version but feel like it might just end up being cheaper if just go with Thunkable IF I have to end up paying but not trying to pay. Wondering if you had any additional insight. Thanks man.

I’m sorry, I don’t have any advice on that because I’m currently one of the persons that is not interested in any Apple products or development. I may change that in the future but hardly think so.
Contrary to that, I’m not opposed at all in having the IOS version of App Inventor which will be very beneficial to everyone.

There’s always an initial investment in any business you want to start. Platform costs, developer account fee, advertising, and most of all: TIME. It all adds up. I don’t think there’s a lot of businesses you can start with $0 up front. And normally monetized apps is not one of those $0 businesses for sure.

So, if you can’t wait until IOS AI2 is finished, my advice would be to make a plan and see how much money you need to have your app published and advertised. And then go ahead and invest that money in it.
Check places like Fiverr where there’s a lot of people offering their app coding services for less money than you might pay somewhere else. I had good results with them in the past (it wasn’t apps though).

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https://www.fiverr.com/search/gigs?query=ios&source=top-bar&search_in=everywhere&search-autocomplete-original-term=ios

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@Italo thank you for sharing that’s great insight and I will definitely look into Fiverr. Looks like a safer more reliable bet then Craigslist haha.

Hi @Anke, noticed you are part of the expert group for AI2 and it looks like you are one of AI2’s success stories with your health and fitness app. So congratulations on all of your continued success! Was wondering if you could provide just a little insight into how you were able transition the success you had on Android over to iOS? Thank you very much and hope to hear back from you soon.

And just want to include a link to your app on iOS so others can see:

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Nice discussion my friends! I am very new to App Inventor and have been using it and following the iOS developments since last year. I built an App last year as a hobby, but wanted to make the App available to iOS users as well. I have been researching quite a bit on developing and distributing native apps for iOS and have come to know about the challenges there. I am very excited to see the progress of AI2 for iOS and looking forward to use it when it becomes available. However, in the meantime, I am looking for alternatives to build a native iOS app and found that one can make a web-app and then add JavaScript to make it a Progressive Web App (PWA). It is a lite-version of an Android or iOS native App using only web components. This will be platform independent and there are a few No-Code or Low-Code, Free-for-Hobby websites that can help you build a PWA. So @mike, is that something you have considered to cater to your iOS audience, while waiting for the complete AI2 iOS platform?

If yes, what do you see as the pros/cons of such an approach? I am asking because that would help my learning as well!

Thanks a lot!

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My boss helped me test AI2 app for viability a couple of years ago.
We decided to go all in and publish on the Play Store and Apple store.
It is costly. 1st you need an IDE. We choose WinDev as we could do all the code in one IDE and publish on both. It isn’t perfect. About $1100. Then you need MAC to run XCODE to compile. Not easy. Another $500+. Then the time is the costliest of all. We will never break even but maybe we are selling more of our hardware? Google and Apple are always changing, making it harder to publish. Then you need to upgrade the IDE, another $1100.

Jim

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Thanks, I’m not sure I understood the question correctly.
I published my first apps (AI2) on the Play Store. When I noticed that these were downloaded more and more, I decided to offer my apps for iOS in the App Store as well. For this I had to familiarize myself with Xode & Swift. Here is the link to the English version of the PMR in the App Store:

The number of downloads in the App Store corresponds to that in the Play Store.

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@Anke wow, that’s super impressive. Good for you!

So when you got the idea for your first app did you know anything about making apps?

That’s really cool, sounds like you were only interested in learning Xcode and Swift because you knew you’d see a return on your time and there would probably be no reason why your apps wouldn’t sell on iOS since you were able to sell them on Android. After learning AI2, was it hard to learn Xcode and Swift? Would you recommend that App Inventor users who want to move to iOS learn that same stack? I’m seeing Flutter by Google is getting popular.

Thank you very much for taking the time to share! It’s is very helpful :slightly_smiling_face:

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@mike I would definitely recommend that you look at Xcode in the meantime. The Interface Builder is quite good and depending on the complexity of your app (big if) I imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult to get a prototype up and running within a day, maybe a couple more if you’re going to be learning Swift at the same time.

I also want to emphasize that right now there is no iOS build server (other than the prototype that builds the companion app). Because our mission is focused on education, the companion app has been our priority so that teachers can use it in their classrooms alongside people using the companion app on Android. I do have an idea for a quick and dirty solution to the build problem, but it’ll take me a little time to put a proof of concept together.

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No, not at all, so I looked for something and came across Taifun’s website puravidaapps.com and he helped me a lot. Without Taifun my apps would never have been created or published. Later I looked for a solution for iOS and found someone who gave me an idea … after that I worked intensively on Xcode & Swift (really a challenge for a musician). So it always depends on your own intentions: what do you really want? Then there will always be a solution.

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@Anke seriously amazing job again. There are a lot of ultra talented app inventors in the forum, many with serious computer backgrounds, that are probably in absolutely shock reading right now. You deserve every bit of success, every dollar paid for those downloads, you are the App Inventor Queen. I sincerely hope that we continue you hear about your app inventions. Thank you for being inspirational and sharing your story here

Hi Evan, Did you try your idea for creating a build for iOS? I think that there are many AI2 users that are waiting to deploy their apps on iOS.

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@ewpatton @Dro @Anke @Italo @Point what's up people? :v: Hope everyone is holding up okay and staying healthy and safe.

Have been busy lately so have been away from AI2 for little bit. Got a notification other day that Evan and his team pushed out iOS 0.9.5. Wanted to check in and see what this was all about and if there was any guidance on being able to publish our apps for Android AND iOS. Please let me know, thanks.

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