App signing and certificates - a PITA

Posted on:February 08 2013

When creating apps or updates of existing apps for the Mac App Store, there is one thing which really is annoying: Signing your apps. The process itself isn't difficult, its basically automatic. But setting up your build environment to correctly work for this is honestly a pain in the ass: You need to generate certificate requests, generate the right certificates from them, install them correctly in your system, and set your XCode projects up correctly to use them. Additionally, you need to do this multiple times

  • if you have more than one app

  • if you have more than one development system

  • if you have more than one developer

  • and every time your certificate expires

Since I also do freelance work for other companies, I've done this so many times now, that every time I get a certificate related error message, I now have memorized what to do in case of which error. And you get a surprisingly high amount of different problems and errors from this part of your project.
Compare this to the simple signing process in the Google's Play Store, for Android apps: You only need to generate one key file, once. And it works for everything. It couldn't be easier. It's that easy that one of the product I am working on (yes, it's CopperCube) is now able to generate and sign android apps correctly, and users are loving the simplicity of that. Should I ever build in Mac App Store or iOS support into CopperCube, this will not only be a huge PITA for me, but also for the users, I guess. It would be nice if apple could simplify this process a bit in the future.


I really like all you're doing in CopperCube. The upgrade allowing us to export to Android is fantastic. I'm not an android user myself but I know some of my game users are.
I understand that building apps for ios is a pita but for me I know there are many more users in my market reach wanting my apps IF they were available on the ios.

I had an interview with a French ios app developer/company owner. He said that in general ios users are 70 or even 80% more likely to play games that cost money than android users. Android users are less likely to pay for apps, they generally go for free apps and there are fewer gamers. But there are more users on android.
If there is a good game an ios user would gladly buy it without worrying about the small cost of the app the simplicity of buying an app seems easier for ios users.

For the research that I've done in my game market I really don't mind too much about the small challenge of signing apps for ios.

I really hope you will have ios support for CopperCube soon.
Anyway thanks so much for your great software it really has opened so many doors for me.
2013-02-17 03:06:00

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