Custom iOS apps that only you can use?

Discussion in 'iPhone/iPad Programming' started by definitive, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68000

    definitive

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #1
    I don't know anything about iOS app development, so I am hoping someone can help me answer this question.

    Is it possible to have an iOS app that only you can use? Basically it wouldn't be available to the general public through the App Store, but could be installed on your own iOS device(s). How is something like that accomplished?
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #2
    Join the developer programme ($99/year), and you'll get access to tools and certificates to let you run your apps on up to 100 devices that you pre-approve. You can install the apps directly with a USB cable.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Location:
    Tonyrefail, Wales, UK
    #3
    You'd need the iOS Enterprise Developer Programhttps://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/enterprise/ whcich costs $299 in your local currency
     
  4. Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #4
    No, you don't, as amorya already explained.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #5
    A catch that should be noted about this is that the apps you install through this program will not be usable after your year is up. Unless you decide to pay another $99 for another year, that is.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    definitive

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #6
    So in order for the custom app to continue working on someone else's device they have to keep paying the $99 membership fee? Seems somewhat inconvenient...
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    MattInOz

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney
    #7
    Have you had a look a the webapp frameworks?

    Depends on your App and what you want it to do but no fees and performance is reasonable. With Webapp caching and local storage in HTML5 you don't even need Internet connection.

    If you want a no/low fee option it could be the way to go.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #8
    People paying the membership fee are expected to be distributing apps via the app store... installing it on your own device is expected to be a step for testing the app before you upload it to the store. Apple doesn't allow for any "I just want to goof around and make some of my own apps for my own iPhone." kind of people.

    I believe Apple has some kind of special student accounts that you can register for if you're in a university class teaching iOS development... but I haven't a clue how to get one of them.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #9
    The university is the one to do the registration. Then they get access to a page where they can create accounts for their students.

    I believe the university ones can't do Ad Hoc distribution, or at least require the course professor to approve each device. Not entirely sure though.

    Regarding paying each year, yes you have to do that. If you've given the app to anyone, you also have to give them a new copy at least once a year, since you have to compile it with next year's provisioning profile. That's easy enough if you use a service like TestFlight though, as the users will just get an "Update available" box that lets them install the later version automatically.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #10
    Sure they do! There is no requirement after enrolling to do any App store Distribution whatsoever. Well over 100K enrolled iOS developers never submit an app to the app store.

    I've got tons of "white icon" apps on my iPhone. Some are potential app store apps in development, but some are just fun things I've been "goofing around" with. I know other people who enroll just to install some open source code on their device without having to mod their OS or otherwise screw with their device security.

    The $99 enrollment fee is not much different than if Apple charged an In-App purchase to unlock 1 year of run/install functionality in Xcode, instead of charging for development tools outright.

    Goof around all you want, as long as you renew if you want to keep your apps running.

    Or if you've finished your custom app and it doesn't use any private APIs, etc., and want it to keep running even if you don't renew, you could submit it for review (which you paid for as part of your enrollment), make the app available in only your country's store for only a few hours after setting some silly high price, then download your 1 copy using a redemption code, and remove the app from sale.
     

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