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In an earlier tutorial ("How to make a Java Swing application look (more) like a native Mac application") I demonstrated a number of things you can do to make your Java/Swing application look and feel more like a native Mac application. While that tutorial showed how to modify your application so it would feel more like a native Mac application while it was running, it didn't deal with the very first things your customer sees regarding your application.

So, in this tutorial I'm going to take those next steps, configuring a Java application to install like a Mac application, and look right in the Finder, the Dock, and the Get Info window. Along the way I'll use the Jar Bundler application that comes with Apple's free Xcode development environment to show how to truly bundle your Java application as a Mac application.

Tutorial goals

Specifically, my goals in this tutorial are to:

  1. Provide customers with a simple application icon (instead of a jar file or shell script) so they can install my Java application just like a native Mac application.
  2. Let me choose my own image and name for that icon.
  3. Verify that the icon and name appear correct in the Finder and the Dock.
  4. Make sure the Get Info window for my Java application also looks like a native application.

Then, after I've shown how the Jar Bundler works, we'll take another step and look at how you can use Ant tasks to automate the bundling of your Java application into a Mac application.

For reference purposes, I'm writing this tutorial and testing my code on a MacBook Pro running Mac OS X 10.4.10, with a JVM version of 1.5.0_07, and Xcode 2.4.1, which includes Jar Bundler version 11.4.0.