Create IPA from .app folder for the Iphone/Ipod touch to install through itunes.

An .ipa file can be opened by itunes and used to sync your iphone or ipod touch easily. The benifits of adding applications this way is to click once and have the application installed. Unlike making an iphone tunnel and using SCP to transfer the files over to the iphone or ipod touch.

I found this laying around the web and thought that it will probably useful in the future.
To build an .ipa file from a .app folder you will need to create a folder called Payload and place the .app folder inside of that.
Zip up the Payload folder, then rename the file with a .ipa extension. You can use any name you like so long as the extension is .ipa.

If you want the applications artwork to appear in iTunes (instead of a generic icon), you need to place a file called iTunesArtwork (with no extension) into the zip file on the same level as the Payload folder (not in it). This is actually a jpeg file of a 512×512 image and this will appear in iTunes for the app.

I haven’t had a chance to try this yet due to mostly developing web apps so far (No Mac OS Here) but I’ve seen many posts that it works. So any feedback would be great. Of course you need a jailbroken iphone or ipod touch for this to work along with having downloaded at least one legit free application from the apple app store.


10 Responses to “Create IPA from .app folder for the Iphone/Ipod touch to install through itunes.”

  • Ond Says:

    Dude thank you so much for this!!! Haha I have been trying to figure this out using other sites but this is a ton easier :)

  • Mahmood Says:

    Thanks, this really works. I wonder why anyone else never shared this simple solution? Thanks again.

  • PiPiL Says:

    Awwwsome… thanks so much I would of never thought of renaming the .compressed file and uploading.

    Best Regards

  • Rob Says:

    Hey man i think you will be able to help me.
    im pretty sure i need the opposite of what you are explaining. Sometimes i download an app of and the app is in a zip file and when i open it up there is a payload folder and itunes artwork. I have winscp and ssh, i install ipa’s all the time but have no clue what to so with this please help.

  • Cody Taylor Says:

    @Rob, you can just rename the zip file to an ipa file and it should work.

  • on3 Says:

    sorry for bumping this thread but i tried exactly what you said but itunes says its not a valid application everytime i try to drag and drop

  • Adam Says:

    Simply dragging the .app folder to iTunes works, too. iTunes creates its own .ipa file. That doesn’t give you the extra icon, though.

  • Benjamin Says:

    OMG!!! Yes thnx man

  • Amir Hossein Farsad Says:

    If you are iphone developer that you develop your apps to cydia you can drag your app to itunes in mac dock then search from your apps and find your app name in itunes library then right click on your app and click show in finder now you got ipa file easier than this guide please add this to your guide mr,taylor :D

  • shado Says:

    thanks man i digged hundreds of times till i got this threads really it helps