Publish a .NET MAUI app for iOS
Once a .NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI) iOS app has been developed and tested, it can be packaged for distribution as an .ipa file. An .ipa file is an iOS app archive file that stores an iOS app. The following diagram shows the steps required to produce the app package for distribution:
Publishing a .NET MAUI app for iOS builds on top of Apple's provisioning process, which requires you to have:
- Created an Apple ID. For more information, see Create Your Apple ID.
- Enrolled your Apple ID in the Apple Developer Program, which you have to pay to join. Enrolling in the Apple Developer Program enables you to create a provisioning profile, which contains code signing information.
- A Mac on which you can build your app.
Apple offers two developer program options:
- Apple Developer Program. Regardless of whether you are an individual or represent an organization, the Apple Developer Program enables you to develop, test, and distribute apps.
- Apple Developer Enterprise Program, which is most suited to organizations that want to develop and distribute apps in-house only. Members of the Apple Developer Enterprise Program do not have access to App Store Connect, and apps can't be published to the App Store.
To register for either of these programs, you must first have an Apple ID. Then you can visit the Apple Developer Program to register for a program.
Apple provides multiple approaches for distributing an iOS app:
- App Store. This is the main approach for distributing iOS apps to users. Apps are submitted to the App Store through a portal called App Store Connect. Only developers who belong to the Apple Developer Program have access to this portal. Members of the Apple Developer Enterprise Program do not have access. All apps submitted to the App Store require approval from Apple. For more information, see Publish an iOS app for App Store distribution.
- In-house. This distribution mechanism is also known as enterprise distribution. It enables members of the Apple Developer Enterprise Program to distribute apps internally to other members of the same organization. This has the advantage of not requiring an App Store review, and has no limit on the number of devices on which an app can be installed. However, members of the Apple Developer Enterprise Program don't have access to App Store Connect, and therefore the licensee is responsible for distributing the app. For more information, see Publish an iOS app for in-house distribution.
- Ad-hoc. iOS apps can be user-tested via ad-hoc distribution, which is available for the Apple Developer Program and the Apple Developer Enterprise Program. It allows an app to be deployed on up to 100 devices, for testing. A use case for ad-hoc distribution is distribution within a company when App Store Connect is not an option. For more information, see Publish an iOS app for ad-hoc distribution.
- Custom apps for business. Apple allows custom distribution of apps to businesses and education. For more information, see Distributing Custom Apps on developer.apple.com and Apple Business Manager User Guide on support.apple.com.
All approaches require that apps are provisioned using an appropriate provisioning profile. Provisioning profiles contain code signing and app identity information, as well as the intended distribution mechanism. For non-App Store distribution, they also contain information about the devices the app can be deployed to.
When distributing a Blazor Hybrid app, the host platform must have a WebView. For more information, see Keep the Web View current in deployed Blazor Hybrid apps.
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