I thought I’d share some of my initial experiences with the Apple iPhone Development Program. A lot of people are complaining about the Fucking NDA. I don’t know if even my feedback is subject to breaking the agreement I accepted with Apple.
Initially, I heard it cost $99 to register and become a iPhone developer. This is not the entire truth. Upon jumping on my new MacBook, I downloaded and installed XCode with the iPhone SDK. This is completely free to do and requires nothing for you to spend. You have access to the documentation, code samples, etc.
So here is where I thought perhaps the $99 was only when I was ready to distribute an application?!? Wrong again. Once I had began downloading code samples, and writing some of my own. I found the virtual iPhone to be a great tool, but not so great when you want to play with the accelerometer. I had considered shaking my MacBook! Apple typically does think of everything. 🙂
I wanted to begin putting the code samples and my Hello World applications on the device. The problem is Apple has taken great care ensuring any application put on any device is signed by a developer. While I am not typically use to this when developing mobile applications, I figured why not. All I need is a certificate. This is where I began to discover that you have to enroll in the iPhone developer program for $99 (Individual) before you can begin creating your signed certificate, etc.
So after enrolling, and accessing my iPhone Developer Portal, I was able to follow the instructions, and set up my MacBook and deploy a sample application with ease.
Being more of a Windows and Linux developer I wasn’t sure how I would like the Apple development. I had a nasty experience with AppleSciprt about three years ago. It was a have to have it now, and integrating with a 3rd party product type of project. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped. And a few of us expected as developers we could just jump in and write some code. Little did we realize just how different AppleScript really was! 🙂
My initial impressions with Apple development and XCode is very promising. I’m taking a slow but steady approach, watching what training videos they offer, including covering Objective-C. Who knows….I may actually get the hang of this and begin spending more of my development time on the Mac. It is a very rich development platform…and the maturity of the development community seems to be greater than Windows.
When I wrote that last comment, I know someone is going to tell me I’m bashing the talented Windows developers out there. I’m not. The environment on the Mac is consistent, and the large majority of the software I’ve added to my MacBook seem to all follow common UI Style guidelines, organization and behave similarly enough that you can find things the first time you use an application becuase it is so intuitive.