OS X Installation and Certification

Has anyone done a complete released Windows app? I have my Xojo (yes, Xojo 2013 R1) app ready for deployment and I have an installation script (built with InnoSetup). I am posting a free, limited-feature release and a full-featured release. I know that OS X doesn’t like apps that aren’t “signed,” but I’m not sure how to go about it (without paying a fortune with some of the Certificate companies out there). I would like the free app to be available on all of the popular SW shareware sites and the full-featured app available on the Mac App store. I am an Apple Software Developer member.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Ken Whitaker

if you’re an apple member you can get a signing certificate for app store apps directly in your developer account from apple

and grab one of the app packaging tools to help you get things right for the app store
These are two I know of

Thank you, Norman. I have both. Just not sure how to use 'em.

Hi Howard,
I’m the developer of App Wrapper. The most complicated part of wrapping your application is getting your code signatures downloaded to your computer.

The easiest way should be using Xcode (which you may need to download from the Mac App Store). Once you have Xcode installed, select “Organizer” from the “Window” menu. Then in the Organizer, click on “Devices”, in the left hand column select the entry under “TEAMS”. For me it reads as Ohanaware Co., LTD. Now click the “Refresh” button in the bottom right hand corner. It may take a while but it should download all your certificates (you may be asked to provide your ADC username and password).

When it’s completed, open up “Keychain Access” (use Spotlight to find it), then click on “Certificates” in the left hand list and look for certificates starting with “Apple Developer ID” (Used for distribution outside of the Mac App Store) and “3rd Party Mac Developer” (used for the Mac App Store).

Apple’s documentation can be found at the following link.

Now that you have the certificates on your computer, open up App Wrapper and choose the preferences, then in the preferences, click on “Certificates”, at the bottom of the window is “+” button, when you click it you’ll be taken to the certificate editor. In the editor there is a little help button in the bottom left which will open the help document.

I’d recommend that you read some of the tutorials in the App Wrapper help, especially the guides for wrapping for the Mac App Store & wrapping for OS X Mountain Lion.

if you have any questions please feel free to ask here or use the e-mail support function within App Wrapper

thanks, Sam.

So, how does the graphic fit into the installation/wrapping process? Where you create an icon and the user can drag it into the Applications folder? Seems like every app has their own unique way of doing that.

Also, I have three folders that are used for my app:

Applications/: Where the app program is placed. Nothing else.
~/Documents//: Where the app’s data files are kept.
~/Application Support/: Where preferences, user guides, and resources (bitmaps, language text, …) are kept.

Ah I see…

First the simpler bits. Adding the icon to the application is done in App Wrapper, on the the first page within App Wrapper, there is a Icon field. Either drag in a Retina compatible (it doesn’t matter if your application is not Retina ready, you still need a Retina compatible icon file) icon file or a transparent image that is at least 1024 x 1024 in dimensions.

As for installing the application, when you submit to the Mac App Store, App Wrapper can make an OS X Installer Package for you (which will automatically install the app in the apps folder). If you sell via your own site or others, you can just use a zip file. Many Mac users are accustomed to simply moving it to the Applications folder, I wrote some code several years ago called “Install Easy” it’s not compatible with Sandboxed applications but it can ask the user if they want to move the application into the apps folder.

The Mac App Store; this is going to be the hardest.
You’ll need to make modifications to your application, for instance your application will need to be Sandboxed, which will prevent your application from writing to the users documents folder unless they explicitly choose to save the document there. Unless the user chooses, your app can’t even create an empty folder there.

App Wrapper will help you with the configuration of your application and the post production functions required to submit to Apple, such as adding plist entries, code signing and making the installer.

You are however going to have to sit down and read the following document. Mac App Store Review Guidelines

It’s a list of reasons that Apple can reject your application (there are others not listed). Basically when you submit your application to Apple, they’ll review it and either approve it or reject it.

I’ve been shipping apps on the Mac App Store since it’s inception and I still fall foul of these guidelines. Don’t expect Apple’s review team to help you when they find what they think is a reason for rejection either. Only a couple of times have we ever received clear and concise information, most of the time the reviewers just quote the guidelines and give a scant one liner, writing to them and asking for help… It’s easier to get blood from a stone.

I love the Mac App Store in terms of what it’s done for my small business, but getting an app on to the Mac App Store has become the hardest part of software development. However if you’re not on the Mac App Store, you’re missing out on millions of customers.

thanks for the response, Sam. You mentioned ~/Documents/ folder. does that also apply to the ~/Applications Support folder, too? I will digest the document you referenced. These folders/files would just be created at installation time.


The app support folder is fine.