Apple Development: Insight into iOS Developer Program

Last year, Apple allowed everyone who want to develop iOS apps, but cannot afford a subscription to the full iOS Developer Program to test their mobile software on their personal devices for free. Making iOS development available to a larger audience, Apple invites new development experts to take part in the expansion of the mobile app market, so if you are looking forward to get introduced to the word of iOS design, our digital agency’s experienced team of iPhone development experts have prepared this guide to iOS Developer Program.

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About iOS Developer Program

Since the very launch of the Apple’s iOS Program and up to the year 2015, mobile development specialists had to pay a yearly fee of $99 to have an opportunity to test their apps on their smartphone or tablet. Today, anyone who wish to create iOS applications can download the Xcode integrated development environment, and start building apps and test them on their devices for free. This move was a big move for Apple, giving up their old policies and giving students and amateurs a chance to take advantage of their rich development tools without spending a dime.

Leading App Marketplaces

It is obvious that Apple, Microsoft and Google are leading a war to attract new development experts to their mobile platforms. For example, to get an opportunity to publish apps on Google’s Play Store, development specilaists have to pay only $25, and they had an ability to run apps on their Android devices long before iOS made it possible. Meanwhile, Windows App Store is free for everyone who wishes to publish their apps.

Free Membership vs Paid Subscription

Moreover, at the same time the OS X and iOS Developer Programs have become available with one single subscription, so paying the $99 fee, you can create and distribute apps for OS X, iOS and WatchOS. On the other hand, if you just want to practice developing apps with official Apple’s tools and are not intended to distribute them via APp Store, you can access the toolset for free. Other advantages that come with a paid subscription include the ability to conduct beta tests with TestFlight, get access to beta versions of various version of the iOS operating system and, of course, publish applications in App Store to make them available to the general public.

Microsoft Apps

To attract more development experts, Microsoft released an update to their mobile operating system that enabled iOS and Android development to transfer apps to Windows Phones. At the same time, the Windows Universal App Platform allows you to build one single program that can be run across all different Windows devices - desktops, tablets, smartphones and laptops - the only aspect you have to adjust for different screen sizes is the user interface. As you can see, iOS finally succumbed and opened their toolset to aspiring development enthusiasts, making them more competitive in the face of their competitors such as Android and Microsoft.

How to Register a Free Account?

If the idea to pay $99 a year for the membership in the Apple Program, you have another option - to create a free Apple ID, which enables you to utilise a limited set of Apple development tools. To say the truth, the free account is not a development account in its full sense - Apple just gives people who have their Apple IDs but do not want to become a full-time iOS development access to Xcode tools, development forums,beta releases and other privileges. The most important feature, of course, is that any Apple ID owner now can deploy apps on personal devices including iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs as part of the app testing programme for free.

Step-by-Step Tutorial

Our iOS designers have created a small tutorial on how to register a free account to take advantage of Xcode:
  • Step One: Create a free Apple ID following this link. If you already have an ID registered, proceed to Step Two.
  • Step Two: Use your Apple ID to sign in to the Apple Developer Member Center, which will grant you access to the limited set of tools. Read the initial form and agree to the conditions, checking the box.
  • Step Three: Launch Xcode, go to Preferences and then Accounts.
  • Step Four: Click the ‘+’ sign in the bottom left corner, choose Add the ID and enter your Apple ID to sign in.

Now You Can Use Xcode

Congrats! Now you can sign in with your ID to deploy and test your apps on your iOS devices using Xcode for free. If later you will feel that you want to get access to more advanced feature of Xcode, you will be able to subscribe for the paid membership. It also gives you an opportunity to be one of the first people to try out new beta version of the Apple’s operating systems. We have made a chart of features available for different levels of Developer membership:
  • Apple ID (Free):
    • Xcode Tools
    • Xcode Beta Releases
    • Development Forums
    • Bug Reporter
    • Test on Device
  • Individual Apple Developer Account ($99):
    • Beta OS Releases
    • Advanced App Capabilities
    • App Store Distribution
    • Safari Extensions
    • Developer ID
    • Technical Support Incidents
    • TestFlight Beta Testing
    • App Analytics
  • Organisation Apple Developer Account ($99):
    • Team Management
  • Enterprise Program ($299):
    • In-house App Distribution
So now you have all necessary information to decide whether to use your Apple ID to get access to the free privileges, or sign up for the full-fledged Apple Developer Program at the yearly fee of $99.

How to Choose iOS App Developer

But what if I do not know anything about Apple development and do not have time to learn it? Well, then your choice is obvious - hire a third-party software design firm. To help you with the task, our business development specialists have prepared ten tips on how to choose the best mobile app expert that will not only supply you with the digital product, but also bring value to your business.
created Apple solutions
Apple developers
years of practice

Looking for a Perfect Programmer?

Do not look at the costs
of course, you can choose the cheapest digital agency from some emerging country, but the final result will hardly meet your expectations. Your primary goal is to build a quality app that will bring value, not to save money, so price should not be one of the primary factors to consider.
Examine the portfolio
ask the candidates where you can find the case studies of the project they have worked on;
Ask for client references
do not rely on portfolio alone, some wrong-minded designers can truthfully claim that they have created some projects, so it is always better when they can give you some evidence that proves it. Ask the candidate to give you a list of clients whom you can contact.
Find a team experienced in your area of business
when the team members have previous experience in your industry and is truly interested in achieving success, then you can count that they will make valuable contribution to your business;
Look for expertise
this does not mean that you should dismiss the digital firm with little experience but brilliant ideas, but the skillset always counts. Another important apctor is for how long the development company has existed, because it takes time to get to work well together as an app design team;
Look forward to build a long-term partnership
keep in mind, that you will have to spend a lot of time with the design team, discussing your project and improving it;
Make sure that you have properly written software requirement specifications
the candidate you will work with must be willing to carefully plan the app and create comprehensive software requirements;
Choose the company that offers a full scope of services
you never know what service you may need in the long run;
Focus on the design
mobile apps that look good and offer a great user experience always sell better than high-tech complicated applications;
Pay attention to the digital agency’s reputation
one of the main problems that you may face is the designer who fails to deliver the product you demanded.

Work with Apple Development Professionals

We are confident that these ten recommendations will help you find a perfect developer who will build a great mobile app and become a long-term business partner to your business. The process of choosing the development company is very important, after all, you put the future of your business in their hands, you you should be truly confident that they will not let you down.