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Xojo Apps in the Mac App Store

Is it possible to put a Xojo-made application in the Mac App Store?

The answer is simple: Absolutely.

However, it can be a lot of work and you’ll have to pay heed to Apple’s rules regarding the Mac App Store and follow their very stringent requirements.

As Xojo developers, here are just a few of the things about the Mac App Store to keep in mind:

  • You’ll need an Apple Developer Account, which costs $99 per year. This account covers macOS and iOS apps.
  • You’ll need an actual Mac since you cannot run the other necessary tools or properly code sign your app with Apple’s certificates on Windows or Linux.
  • Your app must be 64-bit.
  • Do not save your preferences to SpecialFolder.Preferences as this will cause your app to be rejected. Instead save your preferences in Application Support (SpecialFolder.ApplicationData) in a folder named the same as your app or use the native Cocoa API for dealing with preferences.
  • You may have to manually update some settings in the Info.plist file in your app bundle.
  • You have to provide a 1024×1024 pixel icon.
  • If your app is not free, you will want to verify the DRM receipt so that the cannot be copied and used anywhere.
  • All apps submitted to the Mac App Store must be sandboxed. This means you have to set up the appropriate plist files that specify what entitlements you need.
  • You will have to create an installer using a tool such as Packages.
  • You will have to code sign your apps using the codesign command line app (included with Xcode).
  • You will need to use the Application Loader app (included with Xcode) to submit your app to Apple.

Xojo developer Sam Rowlands of Ohanaware has created software that can help make this process much simpler. The freeĀ Receipt Tester project can be used to verify the App Store receipt. And the App Wrapper utility can handle just about everything else.

Update: Check outĀ Jim McKay’s XDC 2019 video Distributing Your Xojo Apps Using Xcode.