Payload folder to .ipa file... is this still a good option to build ipa?

Hello guys,

I’m trying hard to build ipa file without a mac developer account.

I found this old tutorial from 2016 and figured it will not work on XCode v9…

and then I discovered much older tutorial which shows you how to convert .app file into .ipa file.

I could create this .app file on a mac machine by uisng
ionic cordova build ios --release

and I put the .app file into Payload folder and zipped it, changed its extension into .ipa. The .app file indeed became an ipa file out of box.
But does this work on all apple devices? including iPhone X and iPad?
and is this still a valid way to make an ipa file without mac developer account?
I wonder if this is good enough for just testing ipa before enrolling into Apple developer program.


Developer accounts are only $99/year, which is $8.25/month.

Just go ahead and pay for the dev account and make it easy on yourself. Even if you spend 3 months before publishing you’re only out $25, and spending hours looking for and fighting with workarounds means that you value your time at less than minimum wage!

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That’s right. I realized it’s impossible to fight this system.


Yep. If you cant beat em, ignore em and develop for Android. That’s my philosophy at least. Bad for the bank account good for the soul


I have two iPhones which I bought for real low price on ebay. I thought It would be nice to try them out.

Eventually I paid for developer program but I’m amused how restrictive this is. They don’t even update developer page after you make a payment. It still says “please complete your purchase” … and some guys say they had to wait over five to seven days to get their developer accounts become active.

It means Apple don’t have any respect for developers. All these steps feel extremely restrictive when compared to android development environment. APK file can be tested on any device for free.