Friday, December 12, 2008

iPhone Developer Program: Is it worth signing up?

I started looking into the iPhone development. Which led me to Apple's iPhone developer website. After a free, cursory sign-up, I was be able to download xcode (bundle of the chosen IDE for iPhone and Mac development, along with all the iPhone development libraries), and a whole bunch of getting started documents, along with iTunes video presentations... The whole shebang...

Of course, you do need an Intel-based Mac to do any "official" development work with the SDK.

I was pondering if I should sign up for the iPhone Developer Program and pay $99 for the privilege. Unfortunately, Apple's website provides no information about what does one gains from signing up for the program. So I did what any self respecting geek would do: google for info, post on mailing lists, and then blog about it, for the benefit of the general populous.

Without paying for the program, you:
  1. Can download the complete development environment, along with all the libraries, frameworks and other useful tools (xcode, interface builder, iPhone simulator, etc...)
  2. Can access all the available documentation, code samples, video presentations etc. at Apple's website.
  3. Can get started with building iPhone applications.
  4. Can run applications in the iPhone simulator.
  5. Cannot test your applications on an actual iPhone.
What you cannot do, and can be done only by paying members:
  1. You get a bunch of certificates that enable you to deploy, and test your applications on an actual iPhone or iPod touch device.
  2. You get on-device debugging capabilities.
  3. You get pre-release versions of the iPhone OS and API.
  4. You get access to Official Apple iPhone Developer Forums. The main benefit here is interacting with Apple employees, who hang out there. Sometimes, public service announcements are also made on these forums.
  5. And most important of all: Submit your applications to Apple.
If you just wat to get up to speed on the iPhone development SDK and see what its all about, you don't have to be a paying member of the program.

But, if you decide to get serious about it, you would need to become a paying member of the iPhone developer program.


  1. Yes it is. It not only acts as a marketing point for the developers but can prove a gateway for the iPhone application developers.

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  2. This is a really good read for me. Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw. Thanks for posting this useful article.

    iphone developer