Application Loader

The Application Loader is an Apple tool to help you prepare your applications for sale in the App Store. You can use the Application Loader to create an Application Loader package containing the In-App Purchase metadata you want to add to your application and to submit your application binary files to the App Store. Application Loader offers fast uploading, stable connections, and early validation warnings. Make sure the status of your application in iTunes Connect is “Waiting for Upload” before you use Application Loader to submit your binary files to the App Store. You can also use Application Loader to create and send a package containing a new iOS hardware accessories prototype application you want to test.

The Application Loader is integrated with the Xcode developer tools package so you can also deliver binary files directly from Xcode. Application Loader supports ZIP files produced by Finder (passing a code sign check upon upload) for delivering your application binary and PKG package files for delivering your In-App Purchase. When you install the Xcode developer tools package, the installation package automatically installs the Application Manager files in your /Developer/Applications/Utilities folder. The Xcode developer tools package is part of the latest Software Development Kit (SDK) from Apple.

App signing

Signing an application allows users to verify that the application has not been modified since it was signed and to identify who signed the application. Signing is required to submit to the App Store. Both iOS and Mac OS X verify the signature of applications downloaded from the App Store to ensure that they were signed by an Apple source and haven’t been modified since they were signed, and to ensure that they do not run applications with invalid signatures.


Xcode uses your digital identity to sign your application during the build process. This digital identity consists of a public-private key pair and a certificate. The private key is used by cryptographic functions to generate the signature. The certificate is issued by Apple; it contains the public key and identifies you as the owner of the key pair.

You must have both parts of your digital identity installed to sign applications—use Xcode or Keychain Access to manage your digital identities. Depending on your role in your development team, you may have multiple digital identities for different contexts. For example, different identities are used for signing during development, and signing for distribution on the App Store. Different digital identities are also used for development on Mac OS X and on iOS.

An application’s signature is said to protect an application’s executable code, because the signature becomes invalid if any of the executable code in the application bundle is changed. Resources such as images and nib files are not signed; a change to these files does not invalidate the signature.

An application’s signature can be removed, and the application can be re-signed using another digital identity. For example, Apple re-signs applications for sale in the App Store. Also, a development build of your application that has been fully tested can be re-signed for submission to the App Store. Thus the signature is best understood not as indelible proof of the application’s origins but as a verifiable mark placed by the signer.

Delivering Your App Binary

Apple enables the “New In-App purchases” option on a developer-by-developer basis. You cannot use this option without prior authorization from Apple. You will also need an active contract with iTunes. You must complete the contract process before you can deliver packages to iTunes and submit application binary files to the App Store.

When you have finished uploading your assets and completed the application submission process in iTunes Connect, and your application is in the “Waiting for Upload” state, you can deliver your application binary files to the App Store. If you have uploaded your metadata and screenshots into iTunes Connect but have not yet uploaded your binary, or if your application has been rejected, you must click “Ready to Upload Binary” in iTunes Connect before you will have eligible applications to upload. Clicking “Ready to Upload Binary” changes your application’s status to “Waiting for Upload”. To submit your application binary files:

  • Click Deliver Your App in the “Choose an Activity” window. The “Choose an Activity” window appears automatically when you open Application Loader, or you can choose File > New to display the “Choose an Activity” window from within Application Loader
  • Choose the name of your application from the Choose pop-up menu
  • Click Next
  • Application Loader searches for all eligible applications which are ready to be added to the App Store, and then displays a Please Confirm window. Click Yes to indicate you have tested and qualified your application. Application Loader displays a window with your application details, including name, version number, SKU number, primary language, copyright, and type.
  • Click Choose, select your application file, and then click Open. Click the ellipsis button to replace the current file before submitting
  • Click Send. Application Loader begins submitting your application binary file to the App Store
  • Use the Manage Your Applications page in iTunes Connect to view the status of your application

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