Joy In the App Store - You Can Test Your iOS App For Free
Written by Lucy Black   
Tuesday, 09 June 2015

Developers no longer need to shell out $99 to test their iOS apps on their own devices; all you need is XCode 7 and an Apple ID. Devs who have signed up to either of the separate OSX or iOS Apple accounts now have access to both for a single fee of $99 per year.

Up until now devs who wanted to create an app for any Apple platform, even for private consumption on their own devices, needed to join the relevant Apple Developer Program for OSX and/or iOS, each with a $99 annual charge. As we've often noted this served as a big disincentive to many people who had a vague idea for an app and simply wanted to see if would work on the Mac or on iOS.

The first good news was announced prior to the start of this week's WWDC, Apple's annual worldwide developer conference. The four separate development programs, for iOS, OSX, WatchOS and Safari, have been combined into one with a single $99 annual subscription.




Previously iOS and OSX developers would only have access to beta software and SDKs for their respective OS but from now one sub gains access to all Apple development tool, beta software, and resources, promoting the creation of cross platform apps for Mac, iOS, and WatchOS. With the announcement of both iOS 9 and the next version of OSX, dubbed El Capitan, having access to both SDKs is indeed good news.

The change has already come into effect from existing members of Apple Development programs. For those who were enrolled in both the iOS and OSX programs who will find that their subscriptions have been extended.

The change will negatively impinge developers who were previously enrolled only in the Safari Developer Program, which didn't have a fee associated with it. The resources it offered are now part of the new single Apple Developer program and while their Safari extensions will continue to work for existing users, in order to update them. or submit Safari Extensions in the future, Safari devs will need to join the Apple Developer program. The current Safari Developer Program membership will remain active until July 8, giving devs just 30 days leeway and there is already pressure for those developing for Safari who haven't already got membership of the Apple Developer Program via an iOS or OSX sub, to do so:

In early fall, the new Safari Extensions Gallery for OS X El Capitan will go live. This gallery will be the safest and most reliable place for users to download Safari Extensions, as all extensions will be signed and hosted by Apple to ensure that they are safe to install. All updates to your existing extensions, must be submitted to the new gallery.

The move to a unified developer program was widely anticipated, what came as bigger news was that, courtesy of XCode 7, in future you won't need a subscription if all you want to do is run apps on your own iPad, iPhone or Apple Watch. Instead simply having an Apple ID, i.e. iCloud account, will be sufficient.




This is good news for all those who has been deterred from coding their first app and obviously in keeping with the move to get everyone code-literate. Now there is a way for amateur programmers to experiment without needing to go through the same procedures as their professional counterparts. 


More Information 

Apple Developer Program

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