Accelerate Video Game Development

Publishing a Sticker Pack App for iMessage

Leszek Król

From iOS 10, Apple has come up to meet the non-programmers to create a tool that helps to release sticker packs for iMessage. Thanks to this, each of you who has an idea, an Apple Developer account, Xcode, and some patience can release your own sticker packet for Apple devices.

The process of making an iMessage sticker pack is simple:

  • make a bunch of images that you want to become stickers
  • put the images into an iMessage extension in Xcode
  • submit to the App Store.

Step 1: Make a bunch of images that you want to become stickers

Before you start working on your own stickers, you need to be aware of a few details in mind:

Formats acceptable for stickers: .png, .apng, .jpeg, .gif

Sizes acceptable for stickers: small (300px by 300px), medium (408px by 408px) and large (618px by 618px)

Naming is important: the names of the stickers cannot have any special characters or underscores. (i.e. instead of super_sweet_lion.png supersweetlion.png)

Transparent backgrounds:  make sure your images have a transparent background when exporting, unless you want the image to take up the full artboard.

App icon: your application needs an icon. Below I've put all the required icons that need to be prepared for the project

iPhone-settings-29pt@2x — 58 x 58 pt
iPhone-Settings-29pt@3x — 87 x 87 pt
Messages-iPhone-60x45pt@2x — 120 x 90 pt
Messages-iPhone-60x45pt@3x — 180 x 135 pt
Messages-iPad-67x50pt@2x — 134 x 100 pt
Messages-iPad-Pro-74x55pt@2x — 148 x 110 pt
iPad-Settings-29pt@2x — 58 x 58 pt
Messages27x20pt@2x — 54 x 40 pt
Messages27x20pt@3x — 81 x 60 pt
Messages32x24pt@2x — 64 x 48 pt
Messages32x24pt@3x — 96 x 72 pt
Messages-App-Store-1024x768pt— 1024 x 768 pt
App store — 1024 x 1024 px (to be used later in iTunes Connect)

Step 2: Put the images into an iMessage extension in Xcode

To illustrate these steps, I made an example sticker pack. In Xcode 8.o+, open up a new project and select “Sticker Pack Application.”

After you’ve given your project a name, click on the blue Stickers.xcstickers folder in the navigation area and drag in your sticker images into the editor area.

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Leszek Król