So frustrated with iOS development

I’ve been a Xojo developer for 20 years and I decided to work on my first ever iOS app.

I have spent the last 3 hours trying to get the most basic app (literally a single button on the screen) on to my personal iPad.

The app launches in the simulator fine.

I have created a developer account, created the required certificates as outlined in two of Xojo’s blog posts.

I have connected my iPad via USB. I can get to the point where the app transferred to my iPad but it just launches to a white screen for about 30 seconds then fades to black and gives up.

The issue seems to be identical to this one: iOS app on real iPad can't connect to the debugger - #22 by Arnaud_N

Unlike that post, I don’t have airplane mode enabled.

I accepted all connections when prompted.

I have restarted the iPad and Mac multiple times.

For reasons I cannot understand I cannot get the debugger to connect - it is hopeless.

I’m running macOS 13.5, Xcode 14.31 and iPadOS 16.5.1.

I’m wondering if @Greg_O has any thoughts?

Check your build settings. You must have a team assigned and the build type should be set to App Store IIRC.

Also, what version of iOS is on your device and what version of Xcode are you using?

Edit:sorry, I see that in your post.


For reasons that are not understood at all, some combination of rebooting is allowing me to debug on device.

One weirdness that I can’t explain and is very un-Xojo like is that sometimes I have to delete the app from the iPad in order to get things working again. When that happens, you have to follow Greg’s advice from the post linked above and accept network connections and then immediately quit the app from within Xojo. Ignore any error messages on the iPad and then Cmd-R from the IDE again. This seems to allow the debugger to connect most of the time.

It’s worth stating that the IDE has hard crashed three times on me this morning whilst working on this app. For context, I cannot remember the last time the IDE crashed on me whilst developing macOS apps.

It’s such a flakey development setup and is very unpleasant.

I think I’m going to actually build a Mac app to get the underlying engine, etc for this iOS app working before moving to a new iOS project simply for speed and efficiency.

That’s interesting. I can’t remember the last time Xojo crashed for me.

Yeah, this stems from the fact that iOS requires permission to access the local network, even if it’s over USB. We never did figure out how Xcode gets away with it other than “because Apple can do whatever they want.” So you run the app and it prevents the debugger from connecting with that dialog. The easiest solution was to just run again.

In terms of having to manually delete the app, there are two scenarios I can think of off the top of my head:

  1. The app is still running and won’t quit for some reason
  2. iCloud is syncing the apps data

Now one thing I’m going to point out here is that Apple states pretty regularly in their docs that you should not use every day devices for development. It’s not cheap to do, but I have far fewer problems using dedicated devices.

I’ll be doing a webinar on 2023-08-10T18:00:00Z about iOS Constraints. If you’re interested in taking more control of your layouts, Sign Up!