Surprise!

Like others before it, this week’s final release of iOS 7.1 brought the rush to grab the latest and greatest. Time to upgrade Xcode (5.1) and the SDK (7.1). Time to load the final iOS 7.1 on devices. Time to repackage and test.

Also like recent updates, this one carried an unwelcome surprise: for over-the-air (OTA) distribution, the plist must now be served over https with a valid (and CA-signed) SSL certificate. I discovered this one the hard way, when ad-hoc OTA installs of my apps failed with “Cannot install applications because the certificate for … is not valid.” ┬áThis change was in the 7.1 betas, but I didn’t use OTA distribution for betas.

While I’m sure Apple meant well, this change has real impacts on those of us in the real world who use test servers for deployment, and yet don’t want the security risks that come with proliferating SSL certs. Fortunately, the work-around is easy: serve the plist (and only the plist) via SSL and serve the link and IPA over vanilla http.

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