Trouble installing builds on iOS

Many different kinds of problems can interfere or prevent installing an iOS application onto a device. This page describes a process for determining where the problem likely lies, and provides solutions for the most common issues.

  1. Try to install a build. Installation failure could be due to one of these issues:

  2. Collect the device logs

  3. Inspect the logs for errors. If any are found, they should help you determine what the problem is, and hopefully help you figure out a solution.

No build available to download

Installing an iOS app on a particular device requires that the app is properly signed. If you have not yet uploaded a code signing certificate, buddybuild cannot properly sign your application.

This means that a successful build cannot be installed on a device, and so buddybuild does not make the build artifact available for download.

This situation does not prevent your tests from running; instead of performing a device build, buddybuild performs a simulator build that your tests can use.

Note

When you upload your certificates to buddybuild, your app transitions from using simulator builds to using device builds. Device builds typically take longer than simulator builds, for several reasons:

  • Code signing

  • Provisioning profile management

  • dSYM management

  • Deployment (not possible for simulator builds)

  • Archive builds (multiple architectures, bitcode, plus additional iTunes Connect requirements).

If you need faster builds while working on new features or bug fixes, you can disable Build for archive in your app’s build settings. You need to re-enable this setting when you are preparing to deploy to iTunes Connect.

You could also use a branch override setting, so that Build for archive is only enabled for your master branch; development branches would use simulator builds, and only your master branch would use a device build.

Build will not install on a device

Almost every case of an app not installing on a device is caused by an existing version of the app already installed conflicting with buddybuild’s attempt to install it.

In particular, buddybuild cannot install on top of an App Store version. Please delete any App Store versions before attempting to install an app through buddybuild.

Also, when there are pending (or active) iOS updates, it appears that app installs are blocked. Make sure that your device is fully updated before attempting an app install.

"Unable to Download App" message

This error is quite generic and could be caused by the following reasons, but not limited to:

  • The device’s UDID is not included in the provisioning profile.

  • The build was incorrectly signed or has broken entitlements.

  • The device or iOS version is incompatible with the build.

  • The device’s storage is full.

  • You’ve reached your device provisioning limit in your Apple Developer Account (See your "Remaining devices" in your App Settings > Integrations > Apple Developer Portal, in the buddybuild dashboard).

Sometimes a "Rebuild without cache" might get you going, but if you are still experiencing this, we recommend that you get the device logs and reach out to us on Intercom.

Private browsing

Installation of an app build from buddybuild does not work when Private browsing mode is enabled in Safari.

Private browsing mode protects your privacy by not collecting or storing certain kinds of personal information, and blocks certain kinds of tracking. Buddybuild’s app installation process requires some of the tracking that Private browsing mode blocks.

Here’s how to turn off Private browsing:

  1. Tap the tabs button (the right-most button in the bottom toolbar below)

    Buddybuild’s Private Browsing error page, as displayed on an iPhone

  2. Tap on Private to deselect it.

    The iOS Safari Tabs display

  3. Quit Safari, then click on the install link again.

If you still see this error message, make sure cookies are not disabled on your device:

For iOS 9 and 10 For iOS 11

The Safari settings screen   in iOS 9

The Safari cookies   settings screen in iOS 9

The Safari settings screen in iOS 11

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap Safari.

  3. Tap Block Cookies.

  4. Make sure that Always Block is not set.

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap Safari.

  3. Make sure that Block All Cookies is not set.

Nothing happens when trying to register the device or to install the app

This issue is caused when opening the link in a SFSafariViewController (a stripped down version of Safari in third party apps) and not Safari, the main app itself.

The issue can be fixed by forcing the link to open in Safari. Then to install from Safari:

Buddybuild’s Register Your Device screen as displayed on an iPhone, with the 'Install Profile' popup displayed

Profile installation Failed: Couldn’t communicate with a helper application

When you get this error while trying to install the buddybuild profile, try the following:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap General.

  3. Tap Profile.

  4. Tap buddybuild.com Config.

  5. Tap Remove Profile.

  6. Enter your passcode.

  7. Tap Remove.

  8. Visit https://dashboard.buddybuild.com/reset

  9. Try to reinstall the build, buddybuild should ask you to install the profile again.

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