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What does the .ipa file extension (used for iOS app bundles) stand for? I'm guessing that it has something to do with iPhone app, but I'm not sure.

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Duplicate of: stackoverflow.com/questions/4955970/… –  Kudu Oct 2 '11 at 19:48
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@Kudu Not useful since this question was asked here because it was off topic there. :) –  ghoppe Oct 2 '11 at 19:49
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5 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Your guess was correct.

.ipa stands for iOS App Store Package

Each .ipa file is compressed with a binary for the ARM architecture that can only be installed on iOS devices. If you change the extension to .zip you will be able to unzip it and view the contents.

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IPA stands for "iOS App Store Package", according to Apple them self - read the iOS Developer Library - section "Tools Workflow Guide for iOS->Distributing Apps".

Sending Your App to Testers

To send your app to testers:

  1. If you don’t have access to the project that generates the app, obtain an iOS App Store Package (IPA) file for your app from the appropriate teammate. Otherwise, generate the IPA file yourself:

    a. Open the project in Xcode.

    b. Archive your app.

    c. Generate an IPA file for your app.

  2. Download the user testing provisioning profile for your app from the iOS Provisioning Portal to your file system. (You don’t have to install this profile in Xcode.)

  3. Email the user testing provisioning profile and the IPA file to your testers.

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+1 for the link to it being used by Apple –  bmike Feb 18 '13 at 4:00
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.ipa stands for iOS Application Archive.

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Its simple... IPA means IPhone Application...

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Might you have a reference for the phone portion of this acronym? –  bmike Feb 18 '13 at 3:57
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It means Internet Protocol Address

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Please read the question carefully. Context is important! –  Matt Aug 8 '12 at 10:02
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