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The iTunesMetadata.plist File

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This article covers the iTunesMetadata.plist file used to provide information to iTunes about an iOS application using Ad Hoc distribution for either testing or Enterprise deployment.

Contents

This article covers the following topics in detail:

Overview

When an iOS application is created in iTune Connect (either for sale or free release from the iTunes App Store), the developer can specify information such as the application's genre, sub genre, copyright notice, supported iOS devices and required device capabilities. For iOS applications that are delivered either to testers or Enterprise user via ad hoc distribution, this information is missing.

To supply the missing information to an Ad Hoc distribution, an optional iTunesMetadata.plist file can be created and included in the applications IPA file. This plist file is a specially formatted XML file (see Apple's Propert List Programming Guide for more information) that contains key/value pairs defining information about a given iOS application.

The iTunesMetadata.plist Contents

The following is an example of of typical iTunesMetadata.plist file used to define the iTunes information for an Ad Hoc distribution:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
    <key>UIRequiredDeviceCapabilities</key>
    <dict>
        <key>armv7</key>
        <true/>
        <key>front-facing-camera</key>
        <true/>
    </dict>
    <key>artistName</key>
    <string>Company, Inc.</string>
    <key>bundleDisplayName</key>
    <string>App Name</string>
    <key>bundleShortVersionString</key>
    <string>1.5.1</string>
    <key>bundleVersion</key>
    <string>1.5.1</string>
    <key>copyright</key>
    <string>© 2015 Company, Inc.</string>
    <key>drmVersionNumber</key>
    <integer>0</integer>
    <key>fileExtension</key>
    <string>.app</string>
    <key>gameCenterEnabled</key>
    <false/>
    <key>gameCenterEverEnabled</key>
    <false/>
    <key>genre</key>
    <string>Games</string>
    <key>genreId</key>
    <integer>6014</integer>
    <key>itemName</key>
    <string>App Name</string>
    <key>kind</key>
    <string>software</string>
    <key>playlistArtistName</key>
    <string>Company, Inc.</string>
    <key>playlistName</key>
    <string>App Name</string>
    <key>releaseDate</key>
    <string>2015-11-18T03:23:10Z</string>
    <key>s</key>
    <integer>143441</integer>
    <key>softwareIconNeedsShine</key>
    <false/>
    <key>softwareSupportedDeviceIds</key>
    <array>
        <integer>9</integer>
    </array>
    <key>softwareVersionBundleId</key>
    <string>com.company.appid</string>
    <key>subgenres</key>
    <array>
        <dict>
            <key>genre</key>
            <string>Puzzle</string>
            <key>genreId</key>
            <integer>7012</integer>
        </dict>
        <dict>
            <key>genre</key>
            <string>Word</string>
            <key>genreId</key>
            <integer>7019</integer>
        </dict>
    </array>
    <key>versionRestrictions</key>
    <integer>16843008</integer>
</dict>
</plist>

The values for the individual keys will be covered in detail below.

UIRequiredDeviceCapabilities

The UIRequiredDeviceCapabilities key lets iTunes know which device specific features an iOS application requires before it can be installed on a given iOS device. It is provided as a dictionary (<dict>...</dict>) of features (<key>...</key>) and a boolean value for each feature. If the value of a feature is true, then that feature must be present. If it is false the feature must not be present on the device. For example:

<key>UIRequiredDeviceCapabilities</key>
<dict>
    <key>armv7</key>
    <true/>
    <key>front-facing-camera</key>
    <true/>
</dict>

Specifies that the iOS device must support the ARM7 instruction set and have a front-facing camera before this application can be installed on the device. For a complete list of allowed values, please see Apple's UIRequiredDeviceCapabilities documentation.

artistName and playlistArtistName

Use the artistName and playlistArtistName keys to define the name of the company that created the iOS application that will be displayed in iTunes. Example:

<key>artistName</key>
<string>Company, Inc.</string>
...
<key>playlistArtistName</key>
<string>Company, Inc.</string>

bundleDisplayName, itemName and playlistName

Use the bundleDisplayName, itemName and playlistName keys to define the name of the iOS application that will be displayed inside of iTunes. Example:

<key>bundleDisplayName</key>
<string>App Name</string>
...
<key>itemName</key>
<string>App Name</string>
...
<key>playlistName</key>
<string>App Name</string>

bundleShortVersionString and bundleVersion

Use the bundleShortVersionString and bundleVersion keys to define the iOS application version number that will be displayed in iTunes. Example:

<key>bundleShortVersionString</key>
<string>1.5.1</string>
<key>bundleVersion</key>
<string>1.5.1</string>

softwareVersionBundleId

Use the softwareVersionBundleId key to specify the Bundle ID for the iOS application. Example:

<key>softwareVersionBundleId</key>
<string>com.company.appid</string>

copyright

Use the copyright key to define the copyright notice that is displayed in iTunes. Example:

<key>copyright</key>
<string>© 2015 Company, Inc.</string>

releaseDate

Use the releaseDate key to provide a release date for the iOS application that will be displayed in iTunes. Example:

<key>releaseDate</key>
<string>2015-11-18T03:23:10Z</string>

softwareIconNeedsShine

Use the softwareIconNeedsShine key to tell iTunes if the iOS Application's icon requires a shine highlight for iOS 6 (and prior). Example:

<key>softwareIconNeedsShine</key>
<false/>

gameCenterEnabled and gameCenterEverEnabled

Use the gameCenterEnabled and gameCenterEverEnabled keys to tell iTunes is this iOS application supports Apple's Game Center. Example:

<key>gameCenterEnabled</key>
<false/>
<key>gameCenterEverEnabled</key>
<false/>

genre, genreId and subgenres

Use the genre and genreId keys to tell iTunes what genre the iOS application belongs to. Example:

<key>genre</key>
<string>Games</string>
<key>genreId</key>
<integer>6014</integer>

Optionally the subgenres key can be used to further define up to two sub genres for the iOS application. Example:

<key>subgenres</key>
<array>
    <dict>
        <key>genre</key>
        <string>Puzzle</string>
        <key>genreId</key>
        <integer>7012</integer>
    </dict>
    <dict>
        <key>genre</key>
        <string>Word</string>
        <key>genreId</key>
        <integer>7019</integer>
    </dict>
</array>

For iOS applications, Apple currently defines the following genres and genre IDs:

Genre ID Genre Name
6000 Business
6001 Weather
6002 Utilities
6003 Travel
6004 Sports
6005 Social Networking
6006 Reference
6007 Productivity
6008 Photo & Video
6009 News
6010 Navigation
6011 Music
6012 Lifestyle
6013 Health & Fitness
6014 Games
6015 Finance
6016 Entertainment
6017 Education
6018 Books
6020 Medical
6021 Newsstand
6022 Catalogs

And the following sub-genre genre names and IDs for iOS applications:

For Games (6014)
Genre ID Genre Name
7001 Action
7002 Adventure
7003 Arcade
7004 Board
7005 Card
7006 Casino
7007 Dice
7008 Educational
7009 Family
7010 Kids
7011 Music
7012 Puzzle
7013 Racing
7014 Role Playing
7015 Simulation
7016 Sports
7017 Strategy
7018 Trivia
7019 Word
For Newsstand (6021)
Genre ID Genre Name
13001 News & Politics
13002 Fashion & Style
13003 Home & Garden
13004 Outdoors & Nature
13005 Sports & Leisure
13006 Automotive
13007 Arts & Photography
13008 Brides & Weddings
13009 Business & Investing
13010 Children’s Magazines
13011 Computers & Internet
13012 Cooking, Food & Drink
13013 Crafts & Hobbies
13014 Electronics & Audio
13015 Entertainment
13017 Health, Mind & Body
13018 History
13019 Literary Magazines & Journals
13020 Men’s Interest
13021 Movies & Music
13023 Parenting & Family
13024 Pets
13025 Professional & Trade
13026 Regional News
13027 Science
13028 Teens
13029 Travel & Regional
13030 Women’s Interest

For more information, please see Apple's Genre IDs Appendix documentation.

softwareSupportedDeviceIds

Use the softwareSupportedDeviceIds key to tell iTunes what iOS devices this iOS application supports. Example:

<key>softwareSupportedDeviceIds</key>
<array>
    <integer>9</integer>
</array>

Where the following values are available:

  • 1 – Classic iPhones
  • 2 – iPod Touch
  • 4 – iPad
  • 9 – Modern iPhones

Standard Keys

The following keys are included in all iTunesMetadata.plist files for iOS applications and always have the same values:

<key>drmVersionNumber</key>
<integer>0</integer>
<key>fileExtension</key>
<string>.app</string>
...
<key>kind</key>
<string>software</string>
...
<key>s</key>
<integer>143441</integer>
...
<key>versionRestrictions</key>
<integer>16843008</integer>

Creating an iTunesMetadata.plist File

When working with an iTunesMetadata.plist file in Xamarin Studio, you have two options:
  • Create and maintain the file using Xamarin Studio's visual plist editor.
  • Create and maintain the file in a plain text editor.

    Both options will be covered in detail below.

Using the Visual Plist Editor

Do the following:

  1. In the Solution Explorer, right-click the Xamarin.iOS project file and select Add > New File...
  2. From the New File Dialog, select iOS > Property List:
  3. Enter iTunesMetadata for the Name and click the New button.
  4. Double-click the iTunesMetadata.plist file in the Solution Explorer to open it for editing:
  5. Click the green + to create a new entry and enter UIRequiredDeviceCapabilities as the key name:
  6. Click on the String value type and select Dictionary from the popup list:
  7. Click the turndown at the left of the Property's name to reveal the dictionary's entries:
  8. Click on the Add new entry text, then click the green + to add an entry to the dictionary:
  9. Enter armv7 for the key name, select a type of Boolean and enter Yes as the value:
  10. Repeate the steps above until you have filled out the iTunesMetadata.plist file with all of the key/value pairs required (see the The iTunesMetadata.plist Contents section above for more details).
  11. Save the changes to the plist file.

Using a Plain Text Editor

Do the following:

  1. In a plain text editor, create a new text file and name it iTunesMetadata.plist.
  2. Copy the example contents from the The iTunesMetadata.plist Contents section above.
  3. Paste the contents in the file and edit them as required.
  4. Save the file and return to Xamarin Studio.
  5. In the Solution Explorer, right-click on the Xamarin.iOS project file and select Add > Existing Files....
  6. In the Open File Dialog, select the iTunesMetadata.plist file that was created above and click the OK button.
  7. Leave the Build Action of this file set to None.
Because the Xamarin plugin for Visual Studio only supports a visual editor for Info.plist and Entitlement.plist files, you'll need to create your iTunesMetadata.plist file in a standard text editor and manually include it in your Xamarin.iOS project.

Do the following:

  1. In a plain text editor, create a new text file and name it iTunesMetadata.plist.
  2. Copy the example contents from the The iTunesMetadata.plist Contents section above.
  3. Paste the contents in the file and edit them as required.
  4. Save the file and return to Visual Studio.
  5. In the Solution Explorer, right-click on the Xamarin.iOS project file and select Add > Existing Files....
  6. In the Open File Dialog, select the iTunesMetadata.plist file that you created above and click the Open button.
  7. Leave the Build Action of this file set to None.

Later, select this iTunesMetadata.plist file when you prepare to build your IPA in the IDE.

Summary

This article has covered the iTunesMetadata.plist file that can be used to tell iTunes about an ad hoc delivered iOS application. It has discussed the standard key in the plist file and how to create and maintain the file in Visual Studio and Xamarin Studio.

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