When submitting an App to Apple’s App Store, one must include a full sized 512×512 pixel version of the App icon to be shown inside iTunes. For Ad Hoc distributions, there is no place to upload such an icon. Instead, testers will usually just get to see a nondescript default icon when they drag your IPA file into iTunes. That is, unless you include an iTunes artwork icon directly inside your application bundle.
Unfortunately, Apple’s documentation on how to include iTunes artwork with Ad Hoc distributed Apps, is a little thin. Searching the Web brings up plenty of tutorials, but many of them turn out to be useless for legit Ad Hoc distributions. The reason is, that many of these tutorials explain how to add an icon file to your application bundle after it is already built. For example, they may recommend, that you first unzip your built IPA file, then add a PNG named iTunesArtwork to its content, and finally zip it all up again. Well, this might have worked at some time past, not sure, although even then probably only for installs on jailbroken devices. Today, iTunes will reject any modified IPA file, since such a modification after code signing makes the App appear as if it has been tampered. So, unless you want to go through the pain of re-signing the modified IPA file, for legit Ad Hoc distributions this approach simply does not work.
What must be done instead, is to already include the iTunes artwork icon while building. Judging from the tone of other tutorials, this might have been a problem in older versions of XCode. With today’s XCode, all one needs to do, is to drag and drop the icon file into the project’s root directory and name it iTunesArtwork. If you try this, simply make sure, that the file represents an image of 512×512 pixels, which can be stored either in JPEG (not recommended) or PNG format. No property list needs to be edited, no target settings need to be changed. Just “Build and Archive”, export the result as an IPA file to your disk using the “Share…” button in the Organizer, and you are done.
There is only one caveat to watch out for: The filename must match iTunesArtwork exactly, without any file extension! When saving a JPEG or PNG file on the Mac, most graphics programs will automatically add a file extension, which may not always be displayed in folder views. So, if after building following these instructions, iTunes still only shows its default icon, the first thing you should check for is, whether you might have accidentally saved iTunesArtwork with a file extension.