My name is Beverly Vinson and I run the white listing program at Zebra. I also assist our partners with application development questions, integration cases and Zebra’s Early Adopter Program (where we provide pre-release product to partners and ISV’s for testing and feedback before a product launches). If you are currently developing or planning to develop an iOS app to connect to a Zebra MFi product, you will most likely speak with me at some point during your development cycle. Zebra has some great resources to assist you along your way and help you be aware of a “gotcha” that you might not know about. Read on to find out more!
If you are developing an app that connects an iOS device to a Zebra MFi product via Bluetooth and you plan to distribute your app via Apple’s Business-to-Business (B2B) or standard App Store, then you must register your app with Zebra in a process known as white listing, which is a requirement from Apple.
During white listing, Zebra works to test your application with the Zebra products that you support. We advise you of any changes that need to be made in your app in order to support the products. Once the app passes our testing, Zebra then submits a request to Apple to white list or register your app with our device(s).
Only Zebra can make this request as the manufacturer of the device(s). Once Apple approves this request, we send you the Product Plan ID’s (PPID’s) for the supported devices, which you will use when you submit your app to Apple. Without going through this process, your app will be rejected by Apple.
I recently updated Zebra’s White Listing FAQ that outlines what white listing means, the process and how to get started working with our team on your white list request. It also details the criteria for determining if you need to go through the white listing process.
You might not be aware of this Apple requirement and so you submit your app to Apple and then Apple rejects your app submission. This can be confusing as you were not aware of this need prior to seeing the rejection email from Apple. Sometimes, you are in a bind because there is a customer waiting on this app, so you need to get the white listing done as soon as possible. We hope that the updated FAQs, along with this blog will help to make our developer community more aware of this Apple requirement ahead of time so that you are not faced with a tight time line when submitting an app to Apple.
Along with the updated White Listing FAQ, Zebra has recently published a presentation outlining Best Practices in Creating a Printing Application for Zebra Printers. This slide deck walks you through ways to improve the quality of your printing applications. It discusses basic concepts of printing app development, best practices for Zebra app development, Zebra’s validation program and white listing programs. You will learn basic Zebra Printer terminology and printer status checks to perform, to name a few topics.
If you have questions on white listing, please let us know!