Skip to main content

View Diary: Building an iPad app on the iPad (17 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  There's no charge (4+ / 0-)

    If you put a paid app on the store, you have to split the take with Apple (I believe they get 30%), but there's no charge for putting up a free app.

    XCode is free, the runtime that lets Codea apps be compiled for the app store is free. The sum total of my dev costs (other than my time) was $10 for Codea.

    After a couple of days on the store, ChipBots has been downloaded by 354 people. Not exactly bestseller territory, but it's still nice to know someone is taking a chance on it.

    •  There is a charge! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BRog, Wee Mama, belinda ridgewood

      You still have to sign up for Apple Developer program which is $99/year in order to install your app on a device and submit it to the app store regardless of how much you charge for your app.  For that $99/year you can install on up to 99 devices for testing purpose only according to the license.  The only "legal" way to distribute an app is through the Apple store, or an Enterprise Ad Hoc license.

    •  That's not quite true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, belinda ridgewood

      It costs $99/year to be able to publish to the app store at all, or even run your apps on your own device. And that's not counting that you need a Mac, not a PC, to run the tools needed (though unlike the first requirement, that could likely be worked around), which is no small cost in itself, though in a pinch a Mac Mini is not expensive.

      With Android, you pay $25 once to publish to the Market — but you don't need any account to manually load apps onto a device. Android thus preserves the fundamental freedom of having a way to run the code you need to run on your own device, without an intermediary controlling it.

      This alone would explain the paucity of free applications on iOS compared to Android, but it gets worse for iOS. Apple has structured their license agreement for the App Store itself in a way that precludes a large amount of freely reusable code from being used in free iOS apps. The problem is highly pedantic from a legal point of view; the usage rules, while referenced from Apple's EULA, are not clearly limited to Apple's EULA, and thus the exception in their license which defers to a publisher's EULA in the case they differ may or may not apply to the usage rules; meanwhile, the usage rules conflict with the GPLv2. (The GPLv3 more directly forbids distribution on a closed platform, but the GPLv2 does not.) Apple has known of this problem for at least 2 years, but has not cared to fix it. In contrast, even Microsoft explicitly waives these terms where needed.

      All of this explains why any iOS app — free, commercial, or otherwise — won't find an audience with me, because I will never own an iOS device when a much better alternative is available.

      •  Just one correction... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        belinda ridgewood, Wee Mama

        My code in Codea runs dandy on the iPad, and I can exchange the code with anyone. In fact a lot more people have downloaded the code and tried the app from the Codea forum than from the App store (at least to this point). So while Codea cost $10, there's no need to pay $99 to be part of the developer program unless you want to load an app onto the app store.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site