iPhone applications are shipped as application bundles. These are directories
with the extension
.app that contain your code, data, configuration
files and a manifest that the iPhone uses to learn about your application.
The process of turning a .NET executable into an application is mostly driven
mtouch command, a tool that integrates many of the steps
required to turn the application into a bundle. This tool is also used to launch
your application in the simulator and to deploy the software to an actual iPhone
or iPod Touch device.
Check our mtouch(1) manual page with all of the possible uses of the mtouch tool.
mtouch command can compile your code in three different
- Compile for simulator testing.
- Compile for device deployment.
- Deploy your executable to the device.
Building for the Simulator
When you get started, the most common used scenario will be for you to try
out the application in the Simulator, so you will be using the
mtouch -sim to compile the code into a simulator package. This is done like
$ mtouch -sim Hello.app hello.exe
Building for the Device
To build software for the device you will build your application using the
mtouch -dev option, additionally you need to provide the name of
the certificate used to sign your application. The following shows how the
application is built for the device:
$ mtouch -dev -c "iPhone Developer: Miguel de Icaza" foo.exe
In this particular case, we are using the "iPhone Developer: Miguel de Icaza" certificate to sign the application. This step is very important, or the physical device will refuse to load the application.
Running your Application
Launching on the Simulator
Launching on the simulator is very simple once you have an application bundle:
$ mtouch -launchsim Hello.app
You will see some output like this:
Launching application Application launched PID: 98460 Press enter to terminate the application
It is strongly recommended that you also keep a log of the standard output and standard error files to assist in your debugging. The output of Console.WriteLine goes to stdout, and the output from Console.Error.WriteLine and any other runtime error messages goes to stderr.
To do this, use the
../../tools/mtouch/mtouch --launchsim=Hello.app --stdout=output --stderr=error
If your application fails, you can see the output and error to diagnose the problem.
Deploying to a Device
To deploy to your device you need to provision your device as described in Apple's Managing Devices document. Once your device has been properly provisioned, you can use the mtouch command to deploy a compiled ".app" into your device. You do this using this command:
$ mtouch -installdev=MyApp.app
These steps are typically performed by Xamarin Studio.
See the mtouch(1) manual page for details on the other command line options.