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I would like to publish an IOS mobile app on the AppStore that includes a binary file as part of the bundle. The app's purpose would be to manage an iot device and that binary file would contain an OS image that can be sent to the iot device in order to upgrade it. Ideally the binary would be part of the bundled app instead of being downloaded in background by the app from a remote location.

I was wondering if that could be an issue from the point of view of the AppStore guidelines.

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  • How large is the binary file, how often does the it change (requiring a new app version to deploy it)?
    – nohillside
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 15:11
  • @nohillside Less than 100MB.
    – Jesuspc
    Commented Oct 21, 2021 at 11:34

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I’m not seeing any red flags in the published guidelines.

However, you have to make an app and submit it to TestFlight and then for sale to find out if your view of the app matches Apple staff view of it.

If your app size is large, you may get rejected though for a variety of reasons (static analyzer flagging the app, app only downloads on WiFi, etc…).

If I were to read between the lines, it appears Apple wants to be the iOS code shipper and not take the place of providing your backend services for content distribution + code distribution. Unless you use in-app purchase to provision these binaries, your app should probably download these assets to local storage sandbox or use the files app to store the binaries. Shipping a new build just to change an embedded asset ties your hands more than it does Apple's hands. For a small enough app, it might not matter.

I would use S3 buckets or another backend personally with on demand downloads so my app was cleaner to ship and review, but maybe your design is better for your needs. If the file is small and changes seldom, it won’t matter much initially.

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  • I would add that zipping up or otherwise packaging the file may help if they don't like it being a binary directly
    – Ezekiel
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 15:01
  • Great point @Ezekiel - and Apple Compression is quite amazing - they provide several options if you want to be efficient with decompression time, decompression energy or minimize size.
    – bmike
    Commented Oct 21, 2021 at 11:47

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