If you're interested in developing programs that work with macOS, iOS, tvOS, or watchOS, you should read this guide on the Apple Developer Program. Anyone who has thought of creating software for the Apple platform has probably been to the Apple developer website. The book is packed with information tips, tutorials, and everything an aspirant iOS, macOS, watchOS, or TVOS developer would need. Add the somewhat unclear distinction between the developer site and the official Apple Developer Program; things could get even more complicated. There's a significant distinction between using the developer's website to get a basic understanding of creating applications for Apple devices and becoming an active participant in the Apple Developer Program.
According to Apple's terms, the Apple Developer Program is an extension of the "code from the customer" pipeline. Participation in Apple's Apple Developer Program gives developers everything they need to develop applications, test, and then deploy for Apple's operating systems.
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Apple Developer Program, Source: Youtube, PHONEBULANCE
There are many benefits that come when you join the Apple Developer Program membership
Access to beta versions for iOS, iPadOS, macOS as well as watchOS and tvOS; the ability to let the public test beta apps with TestFlight; access to Apple's numerous extensions to apps, including CloudKit, Game Center, Apple Pay, Maps, and many more.
Developers can benefit from code-level support, which allows them to connect with Apple developers. Apple Developer who will assist with troubleshooting and streamlined code; the possibility of publishing applications on the Apple App Store. Apple App Store;
Developer signing up for macOS apps that are not available in App Store. App Store; Ad-hoc apps distribution (to 100 devices of each type each year) and Access to the Apple Store Connect App Analytics feature and the other App Store management tools.
In addition to these benefits that come with any regular member of the Apple Developer Program, Apple also offers two additional programs into the Developer Program umbrella: The Enterprise Program and the MFi Program.
Enterprise Program Enterprise Program offers advantages similar to those provided by the basic Developer Program. It gives corporate customers to create in-house applications that are proprietary to be used on devices used by employees.
Apple will consider any third-party device with an electronic connection with any Apple devices to be part of MFA's guidelines. This doesn't apply to devices that utilize headphones or standard Bluetooth profiles, as well as non-electronic devices.
Notification: Manufacturing a device covered by the MFi program doesn't mean that companies have to sign up. However, devices that don't MFi certified can't boast of being Apple-approved and will not have access to the specifications for the technical aspects needed to create an entirely compatible peripheral device.
Developers looking to develop macOS, iOS, tvOS, or watchOS-based apps do not have to join Apple's Developer Program. The decision not to join is, however, subject to several limitations.
The benefits of the Apple Developer Program listed above aren't available for developers non-members. In the most fundamental sense, this means non-members can't sell or make money from their apps in this App Store.
As per the Apple Developer Program representative, those who are not members who sign up for access on the Apple developer site gain access to the Xcode platform Apple's development platform, which is also available through the macOS App Store, and other apps created by non-members are only available only to devices associated with that specific user's Apple ID.
Apple software developers, Source: Proreviewsapp
If you're brand new to Apple development or are looking to learn how to build apps for Apple devices, There's no need to sign up for this Developer Program. You're still able to create applications for all Apple's operating systems and then install these on devices you own, but no extensions or support, and there are the beta versions of OS are not available, there's no App Store.
Enterprise customers looking to bring in-house applications for their employee's Apple gadgets are also left. There's no way to do without purchasing the Enterprise membership.
The problem is that membership in this program Apple Developer Program isn't cheap.
An individual membership costs the user USD 99 for a year. This is a high cost to pay if you aren't sure if you'll be able to recover the investment. This would mostly be through the purchase of apps. Developers get 70% of their sales regardless of whether they're enrolled with the App Store Small Business Program, which permits the developers to keep the remaining 85 percent.
How to Purchase Apple Developer Program, Source: Youtube, Pushpendra Saini
Enterprise Program membership is billed per company and is USD 299 per year.
Indeed, the Apple MFi Program does not charge a cost for joining, but there are two charges for membership. A business that wants to join needs to be prepared to cover the cost of third-party identity verification and pay a royalty to Apple after approval. Neither of these costs is included in the Apple MFi FAQ documents. Royalty charges are covered under an NDA, making finding the exact price difficult.
Based on the Apple Insider article from 2022 (which is the most current pricing source that is available), MFi royalties are 5 USD for each connector (e.g., for lightning port) on a device. It's not clear whether this information is accurate. I have contacted Apple and got this reply.
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