Keeps me from wanting to be an iOS developer...

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Mork, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Mork macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Every time I start programming something in IOS, I start asking myself.... "Why should I have to pay Apple $99/year to put apps on my own iOS devices in my own office?"

    Since I have never put anything on the app store, it's difficult to justify the yearly expense with no (perceived) value to me.

    This pricing "model" seems ridiculous to me coming from open environments.

    Can anyone explain why this makes sense? I could see the $99/year making sense with Appstore submissions where Apple actually adds value.

    What if I just want to share my apps with some friends? There doesn't seem to be a way to do this, either.

    Perhaps I'm missing something here?

    Thanks,

    - m
     
  2. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #2
    Apple pioneered the whole thing and as far as I'm concerned it's a scam as well as a double edged sward. They found a platform that started a gold rush that become a crowded spam fest. It's like the web, but it's "Apple's web" and they charge admission.

    They charge developers before they submit to the store, the apps get pulled if the fees aren't paid, most apps don't break even and most of the customers don't care about most of the apps.

    Some, compare it to game development on an Xbox or other platform that charges much more, others say they handle the payments and provide the store.

    I say the store doesn't scale, people can't find apps and great apps are hard to find. They impose rules that help and hurt, generic rules to help with security, but hamper some.

    It was a very new business model when it started and it's become the standard. IIRC, others followed suit (msft) then changed their mind when they realized devs didn't want to learn and maintain 4 code sets.

    The whole app system is screwed up. For most, it's become more important to know marketing than programming, apps are easily cloned, Apple isn't responsive to small apps, approval seems random, nothing is done about stealing apps.

    They have the lead, they get to set the rules, and TBH, they are doing a better job than others.

    Another way to look at it might be that dev platforms in the past were expensive. I remember some C/C++ compilers costing over $1,000 whereas Xcode if free now?
     
  3. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #3
    The iOS Developer Program also includes, among other things, TestFlight beta testing (up to 1000 testers per app), code-level technical support (2 incidents per year), and access to beta releases. You don't feel those things add any extra value?

    Feel free to jailbreak your phone and you can develop apps for anyone else with a jailbroken phone. So, there's that option.
     
  4. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

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    #4
    To make sure you're serious about developing apps.
     
  5. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Good points all.

    Coming from Java where everything is basically free and open, this closed environment is a total shock.

    Plus, why Swift? Why not an open language people already know and use, like Ruby? I can only think this is part culture and part "lock in" (Apple only).

    Sigh...

    I'll probably send back the iOS dev book I just ordered...

    Thanks.

    ----------

    So, if I jailbreak my phone does than mean I can put my own apps on it without the developer subscription?

    Just curious.
     
  6. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #6
    Yes, exactly.
     
  7. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    So, assuming I have a jailbroken iphone (i can figure out how to do that elsewhere), how do you "provision" itunes so you can get an app on it or am I missing the point?

    Not sure how the app I write gets on a jailbroken phone.

    Thanks in advance for your follow up.

    - m
     
  8. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #8
    The jailbreak community will help you with that, as well. I don't jailbreak so this is as far as I can take you. Good luck! :)
     
  9. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I'm not going to jailbreak the phone. I shouldn't have to resort to those kinds of measures to put a simple program I create on a device I own.

    If Apple wants a closed environment, it can have it. I'll do my development elsewhere and just use my iphone for the basic stuff.

    Appreciate your replies.

    - m
     
  10. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #10
    People have different views over why Swift. Here's my take:
    Swift does a couple of things, it's easier to learn and at the same time NOT cross platform. This would do a few things, bring in more "weekend warriors" into iOS, keeping the (fake) gold rush going and at the same time locking out (or trying to) iOS developers from Android (and others).

    IMO, Apple knows the value of killer apps. Killer apps like Apple Pay and mobile enterprise can define the future market of mobile devices. This is exactly what happened in the 80's/90's... Lotus 123, WordPerfect, PageMaker. Windows pimp slapped the Mac. It was a second rate OS work-alike that became a standard and made huge money.

    We've learned from this the value of having these factors on your side as well as keeping them from being on the side of others (BB, WP, Android,...)


    IMO, it's a business move and in part an answer to a question few asked.

    The bottom line, as I see it, is that ALL mobile programming languages are mostly a way to get the the APIs. I used:
    Repeat Until, Do While, For Next, Perform, and others... they are logic loops, nothing more. Syntax, nothing more.

    You can write a great book in French, German, English, Latin,... The story is independent from the language.

    Walk down the street, find someone with an iPhone running an app and ask them what language that app is written in, then ask them if they care.

    Some might know, most won't care. Fact: Users don't care what language the software is written in. They want it fast, responsive, robust and usually advanced. ... and THEY determine what they download (usually).


    I'd wait on sending back the iOS book. This is really a question best answered after you determine what role iOS has in your overall game plan. iOS has a strong following and is aggressive towards new growth markets. ... Also, iOS/ObjC is native code with a strong runtime.

    From what I've heard, iOS development rocks vs Android development. The IDE, documentation, etc... but I shelved Android years ago.
     
  11. firewood, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015

    firewood macrumors 604

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    #11
    One of the big reasons why the iPhone is so popular (especially with enterprises and upscale customers) is its closed environment. Not directly, but indirectly, by making malware (adware, spambots, etc.) far more difficult to install (and run up your cellular phone bandwidth and bill), and thus far less common "in the wild". Since you don't plan on rooting your iPhone, it seems you value iOS security as well. Because so many wealthier customers prefer the iPhone, I make well over 2X more money developing iOS apps than for any other mobile platform.

    I consider the $99/annum for a validated signing certificate just part of the price of my iPhone. The masses who can't code get a $99 discount by not getting any certificates and provisions for their device. You are taking that discount, so don't complain. (If I wanted to complain about the price, I would ask for a free iPhone with a Tesla, Maserati or Gulfstream thrown in as well. Not about an extremely useful $99 upgrade on a $700+ product after the subsidies I am paying.)

    This problem isn't caused by Apple. It's caused by 100's of thousands of developers from all over the planet competing with you and flooding the system with millions of apps and app updates. Given that number, some small percentage are bound to be crooked. And some massive number are better at marketing than you.

    That's free trade and the competitive free market in action. Deal with it unless you want to create your own enslaving oligarchy but with you on top.
     
  12. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #12
    No doubt that it's free market (or near free market), I actually like that part, and I do have a solution that I'm working on so that it doesn't matter to me.

    I see mobile as I see the web. Apple has created a premium web, it works because most of the web nobody cares about. Most web pages don't matter to the masses, most FB members don't matter to but a few, most apps don't matter to the masses.

    The flood of new devs is creating the problem, for some, it causes a problem with being found and cloned. Apple should at least do something about app security. It shouldn't be so easy to break the system. Not a big deal, as the market is huge and you can make $$ on apps.

    Overall, all the platform have problems. Apple actually has fewer problems than the others.
     
  13. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Totally agree with the points above. Yes, when you want to start pushing apps to the Apple store, then perhaps the $99/yr is then justified.

    My chief complaint is that if I just want to put an app I create on my own device (like you can on the Mac, after all), it should not be closed/blocked unless you pay.

    My goal is not to sell an app, like Apple thinks I want to (or it wants me to...), but instead, I would like to boost my personal productivity.

    My device (only), my code,....no fees please.

    - m
     
  14. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #14
    The problem is that if Apple lets you easily deploy to your device, it makes it very easy for people to find ways to deploy to other devices and thus circumvent the App Store, which they don't want.
     
  15. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #15
    Back in the old days there were a TON of hobbyist that did exactly that. In fact, MS gave away GW-Basic with DOS and many started programming with that. It's been said that doing that lead to a very strong user-base for MS in later years and VB became it's own development platform that was quite popular.

    One thing Apple could look at is a "one time fee" ... you pay once and it can stay out there vs every year fee. They could make it such that you can't update it without paying again.

    At the same time, the overall costs should be blended together. Remember, we're getting a LOT of good stuff free. OSX, Xcode, compilers, IB, debuggers, etc... and I hear these tools rock when compared with Android.

    Overall, not too bad when you look at the whole picture, but I do see your point. ... Honestly, I'd look at JB, it could be the answer for you.

    Another option I heard about is script running apps. I've heard about some Python (maybe) that will run scripts kinda like a native app running scripts.

    Another option is HTML5 as a "web app" I don't know if it can be made private if that's a concern. HTML5 I don't see as great as native, but I hear it's a viable option and it completely bypasses Apple.
     
  16. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #16
    There are some programming languages that run entirely on iOS. Two Python examples:
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pythonista/id528579881?mt=8
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/jonathan-hosmer/id485729875?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo=4

    I know of a couple implementations of Basic that also run entirely on iOS:
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/techbasic/id470781862?mt=8
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/basic!/id362411238?mt=8
     
  17. kage207 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Someone mentioned this option: "Make a web app."

    Why would Apple let someone write an app and put it on their phone so that you could let anyone download it not through their store? No offense, I don't want apps out there that don't have certificates being installed on my mobile device.

    Just because you want it for you does not limit the possibility of others making it so they can circumvent the store and opening security holes. $99 isn't much money and I'm glad that is all it is because IDEs used to be very costly.
     
  18. firewood macrumors 604

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    #18
    There are over a half dozen. Basic!, Blue Basic, Cloud Basic, Hand Basic, HotPaw Basic, Mobile Basic, Nano Basic, etc.

    There's a story where the punch line is: "I don't have to run faster than the bear, just faster than you." What major vendor is doing much better than Apple at security? So Apple is doing something.

    You didn't pay. It's not really your device (as far as any coder is concerned) if you purchased it with the discount (no iOS developer enrollment).

    The open device is $99/annum extra (just like paying for a model with more GB storage, you don't get it without paying).

    Read the iOS/iPhone license (preferably before you purchase one), it's not the same as the one on the Mac. You may have been misinformed.
     
  19. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #19
    I think I may have confused things by not being complete:

    There are several ways to make or get what people consider an app or a mobile program.

    1. a web page that does something. Just like you've been able to play games in a PC browser for years, or have a web based calculator. A "web app" is just a web page that is designed with a mobile device and mobile browser in mind. HTML5 is one of the more advanced (AFAIK) and look just like a native mobile app.

    FB went down the path of HTML5 and said it was the biggest mistake they made.

    2. mix of native/web where you have kind of a book that reads content from the web. Maybe NetFlix is like this (IDK) but it would be a mix of web content and an app that work together.

    3. native. Native is a mix term, as it can mean compiled vs scripting vs runtime pcode. Java runs in a VM, ObjC run native, other can read scripts.

    Pure native is the fastest, sometimes call being "close to the chip" Just like an OS runs (loads) a program that then sends info to the chip, sometimes it has a middle-man that converts a script into what the chip wants to see.

    You can think of it as buying from a factory or a retail store. The value of the retail is supposed to be professionally trained people that help you (haha) vs a factory where you have to know what you want.
    If you don't want to learn to program the chip, go with the middle man, if you want/need speed, talk to the chip for it is the brains of the whole computer.

    HA, love it, so true!
     
  20. grandM macrumors 6502a

    grandM

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    #20
    lol I couldn't help noticing the laughing at the professional advice in retail stores. Back to the subject. I agree that apple can demand a fee. It would be better as was suggested to make it a fee per product and not per year. Kind of sucks if you would stop developing and have some apps out there you must keep paying for the apps already at the store. Having to go through the store is a giant plus in my opinion. Why? Security... Lol and don't go saying now that windows used to be a safe platform.
     
  21. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #21
    I don't think I'll ever do native again.

    HTML 5 + WebGL + ASM.js for me.

    Write it once and it runs everywhere - the same promise that most cross platform languages make, except for real this time.

    Works on computers (if your specific browser doesn't support it, it means you haven't updated in a few years, or you're using something obscure. Update to the latest Chrome or FireFox.)

    Works on mobile (as of iOS 8. Android has supported it for awhile. Probably also works on Windows Mobile, but that's such a tiny part of the market, who cares.)

    Works on game consoles. Seriously. If you visit Nintendo's developer page, they recommend you make your app using that stack. They say you shouldn't bother with the native SDK unless you've tried that stack and it didn't work for you.

    Just turn on Apache on your Mac and you can host on your local wifi for free. Assuming you have access to a modem/router connected directly to your ISP, you can also make it possible to access the app from anywhere with an Internet connection.

    Wait. Not quite true that I'll only use this stack. I'll only use this stack when I need a real GUI, or something that needs to run in an environment without a command line. If I have a command line and I don't need a real GUI, I'm using curses.
     
  22. kage207 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I don't think I have confused you. The OP said he didn't want to pay Apple the developer licensing fee to build a native iOS app. So basically the only option that would be as convenient as a native app is a web app for iOS development.

    Web apps are snappy and fast as long as you develop them correctly. Facebook didn't say that was their mistake, their mistake was making the mix of native/HTML5. It just didn't work with the media rich content FB does.

    Technically Facebooks old app was a native app but used the stack of Objective-C, HTML5 and some other web technologies most likely. There are other reason why the FB app sucked, but basically animation on a mobile device, in terms of JavaScript/CSS, was just not optimized.

    The above route of making a native/HTML5 app is something along the lines of using PhoneGap. If he wanted to make a project using that stack, he could export the app to android, iOS and a multitude of platforms. The thing is, the OP would still need to buy a dev license to install the app onto the iPhone directly.

    So yes, there are many different stacks to develop for iOS but only web apps are free.

    Pure native is not a term at all. Yes Objective-C / Swift is close as Apple wants developers programming but they do give you information about what's in memory and see the instruction set files of your app as well. The closest you can get to a chip is assembly languange, the instruction set of a chip. You shouldn't program with binary. Either way, the OP can't write an assembly language app and put it on their device unless he pays for a dev license.

    Tl;dr
    For free he can make a web app. Otherwise he can pay to put the app on his device or jailbreak it. Don't knock web apps, you just have to do it right.
     
  23. jmantn macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I find apps that aren't natively built are apps I tent to use less. Of course this is always dependent on the material and purpose of the app but if an app is built using native code there's more things you can do with it that integrates with the OS's features.

    One prime example was how facebook performed on iOS a few years back using code that wasn't written with objective c. Battery drain and performance were sub prime and Facebook even acknowledged it with press releases and in the app update notes that they were switching to native code.

    There's a lot of things that don't get utilized using one size fits all code but again it really depends on the app in question if it's worth it.

    Also as someone above me pointed out you do get code level help twice a year that alone is worth it. Also to be a programmer for some companies $99 is extremely cheap ESPECIALLY about seven years back when to get a programmers license use to cost around $500 or MORE for some companies.

    Also as a novice that's written a basic app for each platform I'll tell you that I've never seen such a mess with Android versus iOS. I've used both devices, had flagship devices with Android and iOS and to paraphrase one quote I read a few years back regarding programming for the two: "iOS feels like a hotrod where others feel like a honda". Ever do any .net programming? Yeah.

    And I may be a bit rusty on this but I thought you Could load an app onto your own device without a license. That may have changed in the last three or four years however. But also as a poster above mentioned test flight is now included and if you didn't use that before there was fees associated with that as well before Apple bought them out. Can't remember if it was a monthly or yearly fee however.

    Now don't get me wrong I think there's A LOT that Apple could do for programmers especially new ones starting out however they don't have the army of programmers most companies have but what they do have is a very polished development kit, forums, and extensive write ups (which aren't beginner friendly at times) but they are in many ways way better than the competition.

    In the end I guess you need to decide if you're going to stop at just having an app you're interested in. Chances are if you want to make an app that I'm assuming you can't find that there may be others interested as well and therefore worth the fee which you could recoup. However if you're just wanting to make an app that does something that an existing paid app offers or you wanna do something that wouldn't be allowed in the app store then as a poster above stated jailbreak would be the Optimal method.
    My two cents.
     
  24. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #24
    I'm not really sure what Apple sees when you use ObjC. I've looked into the process of decompiling an app and it seems they get quite a bit. It bothers me that someone can decompile someone else's app. I had someone decompile a PC app years ago because they didn't want to pay me. I saw the outcome and it pissed me off.

    They had a product years ago that would scramble up the .exe so that it was very very hard to read when decompiled.

    As far as web apps go, I'm no expert on them, but that could be an excellent path for the OP.

    I see apps in two categories, those that just need to do something fairly basic where speed and other advanced things are not a big issue, and others where they need to be very advanced or do things not offered by other stacks.

    I did look into some other tools like PhoneGap and others. One thing I didn't like is being dependent on some other company for support and updates. There's an advantage to keeping the stack lean because you can then be quick to update when Apple ads something new to the device or APIs.

    On the other hand, there's an advantage to being cross-platform with one code base.
     
  25. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #25
    It'd be cool if there was a way for that, IMO.

    But as it stands now, simply dropping the fee <and doing nothing else> would make it so that you (or any other developer) could sell your code to any Joe User with instructions for how to compile it in xCode and copy it to their own devices.

    That'd seems like it'd create a whole new market for apps that don't have to go through the screening process.
     

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