One of the things I love about Icenium is the fact that you don't need a Mac in order to write iOS apps. Not only that, but you don't need a Mac to deploy those apps to an iOS device for testing. In fact, depending on your needs, you have a couple of options on how you get your app onto a device for testing.

Icenium Ion

Maybe you're already an iOS development veteran, and the headaches of provisioning profiles - while no longer confusing to you - are still a thorn in your side when all you want to do is quickly deploy and test your app. Or maybe you're just getting started with iOS development and this new world of needing developer certificates & app IDs, adding device IDs to your profile and associating all of them through a provisioning profile feels more like you've stumbled into Mordor just after realizing you're carrying a ring for some reason.

This is where Icenium Ion comes into play. You don't need a provisioning profile to test your hybrid mobile app if you use Icenium Ion. So how does it work?

Install Ion to Your iOS Device

The first thing you need to do is install Icenium Ion to the iOS device(s) on which you plan to test your app. You will also need to install a QR code reader. I personally use RedLaser.

Run Your iOS Build in Visual Studio

  • In Visual Studio, go the Icenium Menu and choose "Build {your project} in Cloud".
  • When the Build dialog pops up, choose iOS.
  • Under iOS, choose Icenium Ion & wait for the build to run.

Scan the QR Code

Using the QR Code scanner you downloaded, scan the QR code that appears after the build completes. You might see a prompt asking if you want to open the url embedded in the QR code:

That's it! Now you can use a "Hold 3 fingers" gesture on your device screen and Icenium Ion will pull the latest built version of your app down.

Caveats

If you are using custom Cordova Plugins in your app, then Icenium Ion won't work for you. (Apple doesn't allow us to compile the native plugins and the Cordova container app on the device.) Using plugins? No worries - the next scenario will work well for you.

Using an Ad Hoc Provision

So - you have custom plugins (or maybe you just want to use an actual provision) - no problem. We have a few posts that might be helpful if this is new to you:

If you want/need even more in depth information, check our documentation as well.

So - let's assume you already have a provisioning profile. Did you know that you can still install the app to your device via a QR code? Just following these steps:

  • In Visual Studio, go the Icenium Menu and choose "Build {your project} in Cloud".
  • When the Build dialog pops up, choose iOS.
  • Under iOS, choose "Build (with provision)".
  • Select the provisioning profile you want to use and then click "Build".
  • When the build completes, scan the QR code (the app will install, and then you can launch it).

Here's a series of screen captures showing these steps:

Going Old School: USB Cable + iTunes

If, for whatever reason, you want to manually install the application rather than scan the QR code, simply follow these steps:

  • In Visual Studio, go the Icenium Menu and choose "Build {your project} in Cloud".
  • When the Build dialog pops up, choose iOS.
  • Under iOS, choose "Build (with provision)".
  • Select the provisioning profile you want to use and then click "Build".
  • When the build completes, you can click the "Download" link at the bottom of the Build dialog. This opens Windows Explorer to your project's bin\Debug\iOS directory (or bin\Release\iOS, depending on what build configuration is active, etc.).
  • Double-click the .ipa file and iTunes should open and import it into your Library's Apps.
  • Connect your device via USB and copy the app to the device in iTunes.

Here's a series of screen shots taking these actions:

Choices

Regardless of which way you want to roll - getting your hybrid mobile app onto your iOS device isn't a problem. Icenium Ion makes it super easy if you aren't using custom Cordova plugins, otherwise use a provisioning profile and scan the QR code from the build. Worst case scenario (or if you just really love getting prompted to download new versions of iTunes, QuickTime & the iCloud Control Panel), install the .ipa manually from iTunes.

Jim Cowart

About the Author
is an architect, developer, open source author, and overall web/hybrid mobile development geek. He is an active speaker and writer, with a passion for elevating developer knowledge of patterns and helpful frameworks. Jim works for Telerik as a Developer Advocate and is @ifandelse on Twitter.


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