How long will an app run on your personal test devices?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by 1458279, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Is there any time limit to how long an app can run on your personal test device? Can you keep it on there for years?

    How many can you have? What's to stop someone from installing 20 of these for their company and running them for years?
     
  2. AxoNeuron macrumors 65816

    AxoNeuron

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    The Left Coast
    #2
    I think the limit is up to a year because your provisioning profile will expire. I'm not sure what happens if you re enable the profile though. All of the apps I built over a year ago no longer work so I guess not.

    No one could install it on any device they like unless you registered all 20 UUID's to your account
     
  3. Mascots macrumors 65816

    Mascots

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #3
    When Xcode is building a product for your device, it will use the provisioning profile to bind the certificates (developer and development), app identifier, permissions, and acceptable devices. From there, the profile is built into your application and then transferred over to the iOS device.

    Essentially, that means there are external factors (Connect and certificates, which expire and can be revoked) that are capable of breaking that code signing chain.
     
  4. 1458279 thread starter Suspended

    1458279

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #4
    So it sounds like a person could set things up for say 20 devices in their own business and just keep updating every year or so. I know it's no big deal for because it's not going thru the app store, but it would allow a small business to set themselves up on a budget and bypass the $199 for a private app only they would use..
     
  5. Mascots macrumors 65816

    Mascots

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #5
    It's inconvenient and most people will pay to utilize the full extent of their services because of that so Apple doesn't really care. Overall, the potential loss of people from doing something like that is fairly minimal - plus, if they are doing that, they are improving their skills within the Apple ecosystem which could turn them to potential legitimate iOS developers in the future - really the entire program's purpose.

    At 20 devices, that is already a chore. It's one thing to wait a few days through the App Store for everything to silently and wirelessly be pushed to devices, but its another to have to gather all devices, register them, build them, and repeat whenever you fix a bug or scramble when you find something potentially big wrong.

    Really, the issue is the abuse that we've seen from people reverse engineering the protocols Xcode uses to register for the certificates (and in combination with other reverse engineered exploits to understand and take advantage of Apple's services). They're attempting to (and have) create automated tools to register Apple IDs, Dev Accounts, and exploit that to sign illegitimate applications that are warezy or stolen. That is the bigger issue out of this, not a petty person trying to save $100-200 (which is a limited and acceptable loss).
     
  6. 1458279 thread starter Suspended

    1458279

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #6
    I guess I'm just pretty surprised that Apple would do this after changing what was an industry standard for many years.
    Back in the day, we would write what we wanted for our own computers. It's nice to see something like this happen.

    Another thing is that someone could ignore the HIG and other rules and write as they wish for a small group of people.

    I imagine that Android has already done this.

    I think it really helps to get people in because they'll see the 'magic' of making something that works on their own device :D
     
  7. Mascots macrumors 65816

    Mascots

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #7
    The Apple of today it a lot different than the one that released the iPhone without any sort of extensibility - they're grown more flexible than people give them credit for.

    This sort of happened already, an example being when someone managed to Swizzle their way into the WatchKit API to build custom watch faces - they did it then distributed the code freely so anyone could pick it up and build it on their device - basically allowing things out of Apple's control and without binding the code to the initial creator. But there are reasons for minimal impact in the Apple community to this.
     
  8. firewood macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #8
    Which is exactly what a developer doing long-term testing of apps on several years worth of various models of iOS device would want or need to do. So, of course, Apple wouldn't want to stop quality app testing.

    A lazy developer would be stopped by the need to rebuild the app (possibly after updating the code so that it will build on a newer version of Xcode for newer iOS devices), and re-install the apps every year or so, due to provisioning profile expiration.

    I have a couple of my 7+ year old "learning to code" iOS apps that I like running on my devices, but are way too ugly and buggy to submit.
     

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