Installing a PhoneGap App On an iOS Device Using iTunes

Preliminary Steps

To produce an iOS build using the PhoneGap Build web site, one must have created a signing certificate and provisioning list for the devices that the app is allowed to run on. These notes assume that this has been done, and there is a successful build on the PhoneGap Build web site.

Loading into iTunes

The first step, and the first potential roadblock, is loading the app into iTunes.

  1. Plug in the iOS device into the computer and select the device.
  2. Download the .ipa file from the PhoneGap Build site.
  3. Drag and drop the .ipa file onto iTune.

This is where the first “gotcha” may turn up. The .ipa file does not have Apple’s blessing. By default OS X will refuse to load any un-blessed apps.


This can, however be changed in the Security preferences.


Use the lock symbol to allow for changes to the security settings, then choose “Anywhere” in the “Allow apps downloaded from:” section.


OS X will give a final warning about the dangers of doing this, and that the setting will revert to after a certain amount of time.



Now the app should show up in the list of apps to load onto the iOS device, and will be loaded when you sync the device.

Hydration Hanging

Hydration is a wonderful development tool that will automatically fetch the latest version of the app from the PhoneGap Build web site. (It must be removed before submitting the app to Apple for review.) However, when one starts the app,  it will sometimes hang.

To kill the hung app, the Apple support web site has an excellent tip.

This entry was posted in Computer, Mac and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply