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Apple earlier this week announced a new consolidated Apple Developer Program for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Safari, combining the previously separate iOS, OS X and Safari Dev Programs into one for a single $99 annual fee. The change should place more emphasis on and increase the security of Safari extensions, but some developers have voiced their frustrations about the new fee.

Safari-Extensions-Gallery.jpg

In particular, developers will now be required to pay $99 per year to distribute Safari extensions through the new Safari Extensions Gallery. Comparatively, the old standalone Safari Dev Program was free and did not charge developers a fee to distribute Safari extensions within or outside of the Safari Extensions Gallery. Chrome and other browsers also do not charge a fee to distribute extensions.

Reddit user honestbleeps shared the email Apple sent to Safari developers:
"Dear Developer,

As a creator of Safari Extensions, you've helped enrich the browsing experience for Safari users by taking advantage of development resources through the Safari Developer Program. This program is now part of the new Apple Developer Program, which combines everything you need to develop, distribute, and manage your apps on all Apple platforms.

Your existing Safari Developer Program membership will remain active until July 8, 2015 and your Safari extensions will continue to work for existing users.

You can continue building Safari extensions and bring your creativity to other Apple platforms by joining the Apple Developer Program. Join today to provide updates to your current extensions, build new extensions, and submit your extensions to the new Safari Extensions Gallery for OS X El Capitan. You can also learn how to extend your coding skills to create innovative new apps for Apple customers around the world."
Apple aims to improve the security of Safari on OS X El Capitan by implementing Secure Extension Distribution, meaning that all extensions in the Safari Extensions Gallery will now be hosted and signed by Apple. Safari extensions installed from the Safari Extensions Gallery will be updated automatically, while those distributed outside of the Gallery are ineligible for automatic updating.

Apple has created a page for developers to submit Safari extensions for OS X El Capitan in the fall, and developers can read both the Safari Extensions Review Guidelines and Safari Extensions Development Guide to prepare. Safari extensions available now will continue working for current users, and existing Safari Developer Program memberships will remain active until July 8, 2015.

Safari 9.0 will also feature content blocking extensions for both iOS and OS X, providing users with a fast and efficient way to block cookies, images, resources, pop-ups and other content. Xcode includes a Content Blocker App Extension template that contains code for developers to send their JSON files to Safari that specifies which content should be blocked. A full Safari 9.0 changelog is in the Safari Developer Library.

Article Link: OS X El Capitan to Bring New Safari Extensions Gallery as Part of Unified $99 Developer Program
 

Watabou

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
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samholmes

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2015
3
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It also means no more free developer accounts for us non- but interested developers, which have so far given me free access to dev forums, WWDC videos, etc.

True that, I'm a paid apple developer but I got started out on the free resources to learn the ropes and engage in the developer community. All this does is limit the possibilities for new, interested developers.
 
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AngerDanger

macrumors 603
Dec 9, 2008
5,164
26,064
Great, now they just need to take a page out of NetFlix's book and require developers to mail in specific apps on CDs for approval, which they will charge twice as much for.
 
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groovyd

Suspended
Jun 24, 2013
1,227
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Atlanta
Perhaps they were spending so much on Safari Extensions writers support? What exactly does this fee pay for, direct technical support to the developers? It does seem they make enough money on the apps people create and should make the on-ramp free even if it costs them to support developers but I guess they just see this as enough of a barrier to entry to avoid everyone wasting their time. True developers with a purpose will not think twice about such a small fee. Nothing is really free is it? I mean the person putting out a free extension does it to be able to say they did it and most usually try to prod you into donating for it in one form or another anyway. I do kind of like the idea that anyone not willing to pay the fee won't be filling the gallery with spam or just waste of time extensions.

One extension I'd like to see and would be willing to pay for is something that remembers the video playback volume setting and carries it over to the next video you watch. I use volume leveling with iTunes to listen to music and hate how every time a flash or whatever video starts to play in safari having it blare out at full volume. It would be really nice if it had an option to volume level all videos played back. In the meantime I have switched to using Chrome for just this reason, that it does remember the volume setting for videos. I would much prefer to use Safari though.
 
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Kris Kelvin

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2005
223
161
From a security standpoint, this is actually good for the end user. Installed Safari Extensions can inject malicious code into any website you visit. Combined with auto-update, you never know if an extension might be compromised – which has happened to both Firefox and Chrome extensions. By requiring a paid/verified developer account and code signing, Apple gains the ability to revoke malicious extensions.
 
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mejsric

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2013
725
958
Seems like MacRumors afraid to make a headline that you can now block ads on iOS 9 Safari. Don't worry I will read news on News App while AdBlock on Safari.
 
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slammer0

macrumors member
Nov 6, 2012
30
52
Apple actually did reverse - opened developer forums to everyone and even made it available do deploy iOS apps do devices without paying for developer account!

The thing is that you have to pay if you want to be in the Safari Extensions Gallery like in App Store! If you want to distribute extensions outside the extension gallery you can do this like you did earlier.
 
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Saucesome2000

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2014
338
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Nashville, TN
From a security standpoint, this is actually good for the end user. Installed Safari Extensions can inject malicious code into any website you visit. Combined with auto-update, you never know if an extension might be compromised – which has happened to both Firefox and Chrome extensions. By requiring a paid/verified developer account and code signing, Apple gains the ability to revoke malicious extensions.
That's what I was thinking, but the internet will never waste the opportunity to accuse someone of being greedy.
 
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richard4339

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2006
870
89
Illinois
This is not entirely true... chrome charges $5 per developer.

Yeah, I was going to point that out.

I wrote 3 Chrome extensions for my workplace that we use internally only, and we were happy to have them hosted internally. When Chrome made it so you could only get extensions from the store, I was in the same boat. I had to pay the $5 fee for extensions that no one outside our internal network will ever touch. But still, $5 is a drop in the bucket overall.
 
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jaymzuk

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2012
221
45
The $99 is to deter Apple from having to trawl through absolute garbage extensions.

The change is all about giving the end user a feature it can stand by - "A safe, reliable extensions library hosted in one place", with the giant asterisk that is as long as those extensions don't offend Apple in any way, shape or form.
 
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