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Like this article? We recommend What You Should Have to Build an App

What You Should Have to Build an App

Before you begin to build the folio in InDesign, there are a few things you should have set up to make your life easier.

Here is a list of suggested things to have:

  • Adobe InDesign CS5 or later (CS5, CS5.5, CS6, CC). Okay, this is a must—no go without it.
  • Go to Help > Updates in InDesign CS6 or CC and install the latest version of DPS Tools. If you have InDesign CS5 or CS5.5, visit the Adobe downloads site (or you can also visit this help page).
  • For InDesign CS5 users, on the right sidebar of that web page, you’ll need to download and install the following:

    • Folio Builder panel for InDesign CS5.0
    • Folio Producer tools for InDesign CS5.0

    For InDesign CS5.5 users, on the right sidebar, you’ll see:

    • Folio Builder panel for InDesign CS5.5
    • Folio Producer tools for InDesign CS5.5
  • Download this PDF that breaks down the creation process into a series of steps.
  • Download the guide for single edition (this is REQUIRED). The Getting Started guide is most useful when you are ready to build your app, and not necessary when you are building the folio in InDesign.
  • Get an iPad for testing (optional, but strongly recommended). You can test on any generation iPad, but there will be visual differences between the iPad 1, iPad 2 (non-retina) versus iPad 3, iPad mini (retina).
  • Install the Adobe Content Viewer app on your iPad (if you have one, obviously).
  • You need to have a free Adobe ID if you want to share the folio with others.

When you are ready to bite the bullet and build the app, you will also need a few more things. I always tell people that you can make the InDesign content, build the folio, share, and test without paying for anything (of course, except for the software). When you are ready to build the actual app file you hand off to the Apple App Store is when you need to be a Creative Cloud subscriber or have purchased the one-off single edition.

Here is a list of what is necessary to create the app file:

  1. If you want to publish the app and sell in on the Apple store, you need to be a Creative Cloud subscriber or purchase the Single Edition on the Adobe website. Here’s where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.
  2. Get the PDF companion guide for those with Single Edition accounts (Creative Cloud subscribers).
  3. This awesome 65+ page guide is required reading for when you are ready to make that app. You have to create a series of certificates and provisioning files (Apple requirements), and this guide steps you through the process, making it almost a no-brainer.
  4. You must register to be an Apple iOS Developer.
  5. This is a sneaky one. Sure, the right to create and update as many apps as you can comes with a Creative Cloud subscription, but you also need to pay $99 a year to be an Apple developer. Why? Being an Apple developer allows you to download Xcode (which you’ll do next). Xcode is what actually creates the app behind the scenes.

  6. Download Xcode after signing up as an Apple Developer.
  7. You can create the folio content on Mac OS or Windows, but you MUST create the actual app on a Mac.
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