The Easy Way to Create iMessage Sticker Packs!

A few months ago, I wrote an article about how to implement iMessage Sticker packs complete with fetching remote images and setting up analytics to see how each individual sticker performs.

Since then, a few friends and family members have expressed interest in creating their own sticker packs. Though you’d expect it to be a fairly straightforward process, it quickly becomes complicated: setting up Xcode, creating an Apple Developer Account ($100), managing App Store submission and code signing, promo codes, etc.

To solve this problem, I spent the last few weeks building StickerSpot. It’s a platform that helps non-technical designers create custom iMessage/Telegram/WhatsApp sticker packs simply by uploading their designs.

The platform on the backend manages all of the programming and publication process to the Apple App Store. Creatives can now create and profit from their custom iMessage Sticker Packs with no coding knowledge at all!

For those individuals that are comfortable going down the more technical route, here are the steps necessary to create your own iOS iMessage Sticker Pack.

You’ll still need to create an Apple Developer Account and manage all of the certification required to upload to Apple, but this tutorial should help you get the sticker pack set up and deployed to your phone.

First, create a new Xcode project and make sure to select “Sticker Pack App”:

Then, click on Stickers.xcassets from the left side navigation panel — this is where we’ll add all of our graphics. If you’re unsure of the sticker dimensions, check out Apple’s documentation.

Your project should look this this once you’ve added the graphics. If you like the stickers, check out the sticker pack on the App Store:

Next, let’s add our App Icon. I suggest creating a 1024 x 1024 resolution image and then using this free tool to automatically generate all of the size variations Apple requires. Simple upload your image to MakeAppIcon and they’ll generate all of the icon resolutions for you.

Take the .zip file MakeAppIcon generates and drag the images in the “imessenger” folder into Xcode.

Next, run your project to make sure everything works. You should see a iOS simulator launch into an iMessage conversation and your stickers should be visible front and center.

Now, you’d be able to plug in your device and assuming you set up your Apple Developer account correctly, you’d be able to test your stickers on your device directly! Congrats!

Now, all that’s left to do is upload your app to Apple which is a fairly complicated procedure. So, I think it’s best to follow along with a video.

If you wanted to side step this entire process, I strongly encourage you to check out Sticker Spot. You’ll be able to sidestep all of this technical complexity and create your own sticker pack in minutes.

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Senior iOS Engineer @ Turo. Previously, Scoop Technologies & Porsche Digital

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