Unresolved Mac App Notarization Issue

How to *not* spend your Friday: Bashing my head against the wall that is Xcode, trying to figure out why it just flat-out refuses to upload a binary for notarisation and gets stuck. What kind of piece of $%%##@! software even is this 🤦🏻‍♀️

TL;DR: If you’re with an cable ISP that has issues with supporting Apple’s preferred way of uploading apps to Apple Services, you’re SOL when it comes to notarizing your Mac Apps. There simply is no way to get them to Apple Developer-ID for you (yet, I hope).

For everyone with an attention-span longer than that TL;DR, here’s how I got to that conclusion:

Earlier this week I was having some issues with Apple Developer ID services. I was trying to upload an early build of a new macOS app I’m working on to Apple for notarization, a “feature” which will become practically mandatory for most Mac Apps soon-ish and is already de-facto mandatory for my app, because I had just signed up for a Developer-ID account.

Whenever I upload a Mac app to Developer-ID notarization or the Mac App Store through App Store Connect, the upload gets stuck at the “Uploading Package to Apple Services…” part. Every. Single. Time.

Having now re-installed Xcode, checked all my developer tools & nuked my entire macOS installation twice, I think I have finally figured out what is causing this issue. It’s the most daunting, devilish origin of all computer problems: The network.

Let me explain: When you upload your app to Apple (regardless of whether it’s App Store Connect or Developer-ID notarization), Xcode uses one of three available transfer protocols for the upload: Signiant, Aspera, or DAV. Which of these methods is used is up to Xcode, you get no say in the matter.

This is problematic when your network acts up when it encounters one of these methods & Xcode then confidently decides to use that exact method.

So what’s happening in my case is that Xcode tries to upload my binaries using the “Aspera” protocol, my network has some undefined issue with that and I’m left with a broken upload. Great.

At this point, there’s good news and then there’s bad news. The good news is that, for App Store uploads, Stackoverflow has a solution:
Export your binaries (iOS and macOS) as signed AppStore binaries (.ipa for iOS, .pkg for macOS). Then use Apple’s Application Loader from Xcode’s Developer Tools to upload these packages. Application loader gives you the option (under Preferences, Advanced) to disable all transport protocols that are not supported by your network. This way, your uploads to App Store Connect should succeed.

Go to the "Advaned" tab in "Preferences" and disable all upload methods that are giving you issues in Application Loader

Now the bad news: If you want to upload your app for notarization with Apple Developer-ID, you’re shit out of luck. Application Loader only supports uploads to App Store Connect and Xcode does not have options for you to disable problematic upload methods. So for the time being if your network / ISP are giving you problems in uploading to Apple Services, you’re stuck.

I have reported this problem through Apple Developer Technical Support and I’m still waiting to hear back from them.

In the meantime, if any of you know of a potential fix: Let me know via Twitter or eMail.