When will the iOS build server be released?

I know this question has been asked many times, but at some point a decision has to be made.
And I think it's about time!

So is there a date when the (regular) build server will be available for iOS?
If I remember correctly, there was a vague announcement for the fall semester 2021 - see here.

It doesn't have to / can't be perfect, but every developer can and should check for himself whether his app (IPA) runs correctly on his iOS devices.

If you want to wait until no more issues and discrepancies are found at all, it probably will NEVER happen!


I agree with you. Over the months, a lot of users, new or experienced, have reported the same problem. We would really want a platform to be able to build apps for iOS. It would be a significant lessons for App Inventor.

It's not so much an issue about discrepancies between Android and iOS, but partly an issue of infrastructure, partly an issue of scalability, and partly one of relationship building with Apple.

The first two are somewhat coupled because a major limitation of the current build infrastructure we have for iOS is that it must run on macOS. This juxtaposes our Android build infrastructure which runs on Linux and can easily be scaled up and down to support changing loads in App Inventor. Currently, we are configured to be able to run 168 simultaneous builds of Android apps. If the numbers reported by our rendezvous server can serve as a good baseline as to the distribution of Android vs iOS users of App Inventor, we expect we'd probably need about 25% of that capacity available for iOS builds, so roughly 42 builds. Let's call it 48 to make the math work better. Currently, we have enough to support 1/6th of that. So either we need to make the existing infrastructure 5 times faster or we need to scale up the hardware significantly (and Apple hardware is not cheap).

The last item of the equation is the relationship with Apple. Recall that App Inventor is primarily educational in its goals and that means being able to engage students and teachers in a way that ideally won't require them to pay the development licensing fee to be able to install their own creations. Whether we can make any headway on this or not remains to be seen but we also don't want to overstep here and squash an opportunity to make this more broadly accessible to people.


For the Apple hardware cost may be we can open a cross-founding to help you in this issue. What do you think about it?

Well, as far as I understand it correctly, there are several bottlenecks. The hardware problem is understandable, but this should have been known for a long time. The Apple account "problem" doesn't convince me, because of course this is optional.

So if I may summarize this briefly in the result, after all the long waiting time it is now:
Please continue to wait.... (2, 3, ... 5... years :woman_shrugging:).

I'm not sure what you mean by this? As far as I know, there isn't a way to load an iOS app without having it signed by a valid certificate issued by Apple. If you have information to the contrary we'd be happy to consider it.

To be clear, we have indeed known about the hardware issue for a long time.

Optional how?

iOS does not permit side-loading the way that Android currently does. Apps must either be installed via the app store or via a mechanism like Testflight. Testflight requires and account and a fee.

We've floated a lot of possibilities internally on how to address these issues without requiring prohibitive fees from educators.

Rest assured, we're working on it.

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I didn't mean that it's possible to install an IPA without a certificate (Apple account) (although there should be ways), just that any developer is free to create an Apple account.

Yes, Apple should offer a (free) way to generate IPAs that are only used for testing or learning purposes, with no ability to publish them to the App Store (and of course without using an ad-hoc certificate).


This will probably not be fully helpfull.
But the EU will be forcing apple next year maybe 2024 to allow third party apps that are not installed from the app store.
See:iOS: Apple iPhone will soon copy the best feature of Android

This will hopefully make it easier for app inventor to add ios support for their build servers.


We will see. We don't know yet what Apple's compliance with the law will actually look like.

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Maybe this is changing? Apple to Allow Outside App Stores in Overhaul Spurred by EU Laws

Ok, I see this was already mentioned. Would this solve the certificate problem?

Again, we don't know what the exact solution will look like from Apple's end. They might still set it up in such a way that you as a developer have to pay $99 per year but iOS would allow side loading any validly signed app where the root certificate is one of Apple's.

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That would be great. As soon as it is possible to create a real app for iOS with App Inventor.

There is news about a date when the normal build server will be available for iOS to genetate IPA packages?. I think the most people can be developer for Apple without problem.

Sorry, No news. Still buggy, Apple and MIT can't agree whether ios builder is ready.

Is it possible to build the iOS project or run the build server locally on a Mac?

The iOS compiler is here: https://iosbuildservertest.appinventor.mit.edu
You can acces with a generals browser from Mac and Win. And test with and iPhone

I don't think you understood me correctly, the main problem is that compiling the application for iOS requires macOS on the server side and it's not cheap.
Therefore, if we can compile the application for iOS locally (on the user's Mac) there will not be an infrastructure problem, in general I would be happy if it was also possible to compile the project for Android locally because sometimes when there is a load on the server, the build times take a long time and sometimes you have to build several times until the application manages to compile (from my experience in Kodular)