Apple releases Xcode 4 via Mac App Store for $4.99; free for registered developers

“Apple on Wednesday released Xcode 4 for free to its registered developers, while everyone else can purchase the development environment for Mac OS X and iOS from the Mac App Store for $4.99,” AppleInsider reports. “‘Xcode 4 has been streamlined to help you write better apps,’ Apple said. ‘It has unified user interface design, coding, testing, and debugging all within a single window. The Xcode IDE analyzes the details of your project to identify mistakes in both syntax and logic, it can even help fix your code for you.'”

“The release of Xcode 4 for $4.99 on the Mac App Store will allow non-registered developers to tinker with the development platform, or create their own Mac applications outside of the App Store,” AppleInsider reports. “However, to submit a Mac or iOS application to the App Store still requires membership to the Mac or iOS Developer Program. Testing an iOS application on a mobile device also requires a developer subscription.

AppleInsider reports, “The Mac Developer Program was discounted a year ago to $99 per year.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good news: No more NDA restrictions, more developers, and more public collaboration!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Bobby S.” and “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]


    1. Do you know of any tutorials showing how to use xCode in place of Dreamweaver for handcoding HTML or JavaScript. (assuming that’s what you meant by ‘web stuff’) The only reason I stay with DW is it checks my JavaScript as I type, and I can hand-code snippets of HTML and CSS. If xCode can handle that and allow me to maintain the dozens of projects I’m currently working on, I’m in. Thanks.

  1. Is it no longer free to register as an Apple Developer?
    Are they no longer including XCode for free on the Mac OS X Install Disk?

    Or are they charging $5 to avoid the “hassle” of using your Mac OS X Install disk or registering as an Apple Developer?

    1. Wow, they won’t let me download XCode 4 for free.

      I’ve always said that one of the best things about Apple is that they give their developer tools away for free. Which makes perfect sense, because developers can’t even run the tools unless they purchase a Mac, and developers increase the value of the whole platform. But now I guess they are nickel and diming developers just like Microsoft, to keep developers stuck on their platform through Stockholm syndrome. I am shocked and pissed off by this sudden bullshit move.

        1. It does not matter if it is 99 cents. It’s just wrong.

          Sure, $4.99 is a trivial amount to any professional developer (and free to registered developers — significantly more than $4.99!). However, that is not the point. New developers are not always professional developers.

          One of the many things that has fostered the rapid increase in Mac applications over the past decade is that when you bought a Mac you got the entire developer tools.

          One of the things that nearly killed the Mac in the 90s was the fact that Apple charged hundreds of dollars for the developer tools.

          Apple needs to keep the tools free. They need to keep them FREELY available to anyone who owns a Mac. Anything less will stifle the casual developer.

        2. You’re proving my point without even realizing it. Selling a cheap product to such a small and specific market is not a sound way for Apple to make a profit. The only benefit Apple gets is making developers invest financially in proprietary tools, creating a barrier to keep them from leaving. This barrier becomes worse with the inevitable XCode 5 and XCode 6 purchases, and whatever else Apple decides to nickel and dime their loyal developers with. Apple use to keep developers happy just by having the best software and platform. Now they are using Microsoftian tactics to lock developers in.

          Top notch developer tools? The best developers I know use nothing but a text editor and a handful of command line utilities. A complex IDE like XCode can be useful to some but it’s hardly worth boxing oneself into a proprietary system.

          1. If it were liberty and freedom we were discussing, then I would agree. Each tiny piece is priceless and should be protected at all costs. But this is a software package, and a pretty good one by many accounts.

            You appear to be saying that this $4.99 is the first domino in a series of steps that will lead to apocalypse for all Mac OS developers. Honestly, I don’t see it. I am not sure why they bothered to charge $4.99 for Xcode 4. But it has to be worth at least five fart apps…

    2. Accounts, themselves, are still free, however you need to pay $99 for a developer Program to get Xcode 4 “for free”.. They still have Xcode 3 up as a free download.

  2. bad news for developers who pay to be Apple developers

    seems like Apple is determined to make it all but impossible for most developers to make ANY money in the app store

    1. Apple’s own apps are priced pretty low – look at Pages? How does an individual lone developer justify pricing above Apple’s own apps? Answer: they can’t. Apple is helping to drive prices for apps as low as possible. If you make an app that only sells for 99 cents, and you only sell 100 copies, what do you get? $70 for all your work. Not good. Software should not be 99 cents unless you are guaranteed to sell many copies and only a few developers actually will.

    2. By opening up development tinkering even further, Apple is creating more developers to compete with the dedicated Apple developer. Result: Apple dedicated developers will not be able to survive on App Store alone. Sad.

    There is a point at which there are too many apps and too many developers. Result: only a tiny few make any money. The rest waste their time and make nothing. This will ultimately become a problem and interest in app development will wane until we are back to a handful of software companies dominating again. Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, etc. If little developers can’t make a living, they will move on. Sorry to paint such a negative picture, but this is not good.

    1. A little dramatic, don’t you think? Mac App Store products at $50 or $70 (or even $30) already look way overpriced, even without Apple’s intervention. When the price is right, more people will buy.

      1. EXACTLY my point. $70 is nothing for pro quality photo software. NOTHING. Nobody will be able to justify the time and expense to make an app LIKE Aperature and sell it for less that $70. And you can’t sell it for more because Aperature is ONLY $70. We’re back to a few giants again, Adobe, Apple, etc..

    2. You might have a point if it weren’t for the fact that Xcode has always been free until now. In fact, the only thing that has changed is they are now charging money for it. Which means LESS developers (using the new platform), not MORE. Unless, of course, lots of people decide to spend $5 for something that they don’t know how to use.

    3. But you still need to be a registered developer in order to put your app on the App Store, so would still need to pay the $99 – the ‘tinkerers’ would only be able to play around in the simulator.

      1. To clarify, you must be a registered developer ($99/yr) to submit apps for the App Store, and you must either be a registered developer ($99) or have a university account to test on an actual device (outside of jailbreaking…).

      2. That only applies if you are developing for iOS. For Mac OS X development, you can develop and test on your (or any other) Mac, and you can sell any which way you want (outside of the App Store). Only if you want to sell via the App Store do you need the $99 Developer Programme membership.

      1. “i smell a liberal” – really insightful

        1000s and 1000s of developers with millions of apps means that only a few get noticed and only a few sell well and only a few developers make any money at all. Meanwhile the vast majority of the developers are spinning their wheels and making NOTHING. That’s the reality of the app store. When an app first comes out, it gets a few sales for being new that day and that’s it. Actually, now since there are so many NEW apps EVERY day, many new apps get almost no sales EVER even including the first day. Sorry state of affairs for dedicated Mac developers. You can’t shine amongst 1000s and 1000s of new apps being cranked out by hacks. You get obliterated by being hidden by all the other crap apps.

    1. Actually, it’s just your $4.99 – assuming you’re not already a member of Developer Program. Buy it with your own iTunes ID and put it on an expense report (or associate an iTunes ID with a procard account).

      1. Just checked…it is just like iTunes. Now they have invented a whole class of software that I cannot use at work. If they do not ship Xcode 4 with Lion then I will be SOL. I will have to go back to linux and drop the whole Apple thing at work.

        just my $0.02

    2. It’s not app store only, that’s just one avenue. I’m assuming if you’re developing for mac/ios, you already pay the $99/year. If not, I would think the $99/year could be purchase ordered.

      As well, who doesn’t use cards these days? I worked for a college and they realized that POs were a lot of hassle, so they gave managers cards that were for business purchases only.

  3. There are multiple thousands of engineer hours that went into Xcode 4. Each engineer probably costs in the range of $40 – $50/hr plus benefits. We are fortunate that Apple asks $4.99 for Xcode 4, and not $500. For those that can’t handle $4.99, compare value while sipping that $4.99 Starbucks. That coffee isn’t free either.

    1. Every engineer using XCode already paid Apple over $1000 to buy hardware licensed to run Apple’s software.

      Every engineer who makes something awesome with XCode increases the value of Apple hardware which leads to more sales of Apple products.

      It’s was a great, mutually beneficial relationship between Apple and developers, that is suddenly being changed in a way that only benefits Apple.

  4. Order a iTunes card online or purchase one from a brick and mortar store if you need a P.O., I’m sure they can help you with that. Once you have your iTunes card, simply buy what you need.
    As to Ploogmans’s comment above, if you only sell 100 copies of your app then your app isn’t very good anyway. If you sold the same amount of apps on any other platform, you wouldn’t have even made your $70.

    1. This is a great idea assuming that your company will actually pay for an iTunes card. I don’t know about your company but mine does audits which are reviewed by the government. Expenses like this raise red flags which means I can’t get XCode 4. I do develop under OS X but I develop *unix* apps and not Mac or iOS apps. The only thing I need is gcc and the libraries. If XCode 3 remains free *and* continues to be updated with the latest versions of gcc then there is no problem. If not then I’m starting to look at Ubuntu for development. Which is a pity – I like the OS X UI a lot more *but* I need to do unix development. If Apple gets in the way of that then I’m out.

  5. Multitasking Gestures are:
    Use 4 or 5 fingers to:
    Pinch to the Desktop on the page you were last at
    Swipe up to reveal Multitasking Bar
    Swipe left or right between apps

    Way useful. MDN should do an article on the above article.

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