Exporting an iOS app can be a tedious process for the complex requirements and steps required by Apple. iOS is the operating system used by iPhone and iPad. In case you don't really need an independent app for your ebook, there are free alternatives available.

Free alternatives to have your ebook on iPad/iPhone

1) Export your ebook as an EPUB file, and send it to your users to open it through the free Kotobee Reader app available on the App Store.

2) Directly upload your ebook to the Kotobee Official Library through Kotobee Author. Your users will be able to access the library through the free Kotobee Reader app available on the App Store.

Requirements to create iOS apps 

Kotobee Author requires two files to export a mobile app: a provisioning profile and a certificate file (with a password). Those comes in the extensions .mobileprovision and .p12 respectively. Kotobee Author also requires an App ID; that is a unique string representing your app on the App Store. To get all those, you need to have an Apple Developer Account. You can sign up for one from http://developer.apple.com at the annual price of $99. Note that a Mac machine is required for some of the steps listed here. Edit: this video tutorial created by one of our users, shows how it's possible to create p12 certificate files on Windows, without needing a Mac machine.

Creating the p12 certificate file

1) Login to http://developer.apple.com

2) Click on Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles

3) You need to have a production certificate for the App Store first of all. So click on All under Certificates

4) To create a new certificate click on the + icon at the top right. Select App Store and Ad Hoc under Production and click on Continue

5) Follow the displayed instructions on your Mac to create a CSR file and hit Continue

6) Select the CSR file you just created and hit Continue

7) Click Download to download the certificate in .cer extension

8) On your Mac desktop double-click the certificate file you just downloaded. Open the Keychain Access app, and find your certificate. Make sure you are in the Certificates category (selected from the bottom left panel). Command-click on the certificate and select Export. Choose to export it as a p12 certificate. You will be asked to enter a password of your choice

The p12 certificate will need to be created just once. So keep it handy on your computer to use for other ebooks. The provisioning profile however is required for each app your export, unless you are using a wildcard App ID.

Creating an app ID

1) Click on App IDs under Identifiers

2) Click on the + sign at the top right to create a new App ID

3) Enter a name for your certificate

4) Enter a unique ID string under Explicity App ID to be used to identify your app. Make sure to read the instructions and recommendations. If you are planning to create several ebook apps then it may be better to create a Wildcard App ID, such that you do not have to repeat the process for each app

5) Click on Continue to go to the next page

6) Confirm the information displayed is correct and click on Register

Creating the provisioning profile

1) Click on All under Provisioning Profiles

2) Click on the + sign at the top right to create a new provisioning profile

3) Select App Store under Distribution and click Continue. Note that if you would rather distribute the app to specific devices and not for the public, then you should select Ad Hoc instead. In the Testing your app section below, the Development profile type will be mentioned, if you are interested in creating a test version of your app first.

4) Select the App ID you had just created from the list and hit Continue

5) Select the appropriate certificate from the list and hit Continue

6) Enter a profile name and hit Continue

7) Click on Download to download the provisioning profile to your computer

If you find yourself lost somewhere along these steps, you can refer to this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh2nnjttOwo

With the information you have, you can now apply them in Kotobee Author. Once you successfully download the IPA file, you can upload it to the App Store using the Application Loader app, and manage your app information through http://itunesconnect.apple.com

Testing your app

There are two options available for you to test your app.

1) If you have already uploaded your app to the App Store, but not yet published it, you can test your app using TestFlight. TestFlight allows you to test your app before approving it to the App Store, as well as invite other testers to test with you. This requires that you download the TestFlight App on your iPhone or iPad device. TestFlight settings in your itunesconnect account may be accessed from here:

2) If you have enough credits, you can create a Development provisioning profile instead of a Distribution profile, in your Apple Developer Account (in Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles). You will need to add your device to the list of devices allowed to use this Development profile. 

You will continue the steps normally to have your IPA exported with this new profile. You can transfer the app (IPA file) to your device using iTunes. For a more simpler interface, you may like to give iFunBox a try.

Some gotchas

If you are providing secure access to your ebooks with promo codes using Kotobee Cloud or Kotobee Library, it is possible that Apple will reject your app, with the reason that apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality. In this case, it is important to mention in the demo instructions while you're submitting the app on iTunesConnect that the promo code is the term we use for access code. It is merely an alternative for email/password login, and not used to unlock features and functionality. You may provide a sample promo code for them to test with as well.