What do you wish you knew before joining the iOS Developer Program?
July 12, 2011 6:22 PM   Subscribe

What do you wish you knew before joining the iOS Developer Program?

Is there anything you wish you knew before you joined the iOS/iPhone Developer Program?

Should I register as an individual, or under my sole proprietorship?

Should I use my regular Apple account, or create a unique one for this purpose?

What else should I know?

I'm in Canada, if that factors into the answers at all.
posted by backwards guitar to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There's really not a lot of mystery in the process.

You're smart to think about whether you should register with your personal Apple ID. In retrospect, I wish I had. (In other words, don't. Create a new Apple ID for the business.)

If you register as an individual you can later migrate the account up to a business membership. Starting out as an individual does give you some flexibility as to which business you eventually turn the membership over to. Whether that's important you'll need to decide.

I can't think of much besides that.

You could also ask the question here. That forum has a very diverse group of developers, and you might get some interesting stories and perspectives.
posted by alms at 7:38 PM on July 12, 2011

If you're doing business as another name, rather than your own name, you might as well register with a biz membership from the get-go.

But, yeah, there's not a lot of mystery. You need a Mac to do development, of course, but I assume you know the more technical aspects of iOS development.

@alms, why do you suggest a separate account? I've never run into any issues with just the one, but I'm curious if I'm missing out on anything!
posted by amoeba syndrome at 7:52 PM on July 12, 2011

I wish I knew that downloading XCode updates would be so annoying. The SDK is quite large. Also, I wish I knew I'd be renewing a year later without yet launching but that is not Apple's fault.

I registered my business and got a unique Apple ID for it. They asked for a fair amount of paperwork and I had to fax(!) them something. I understand the personal application is much less onerous.
posted by michaelh at 8:31 PM on July 12, 2011

Best answer: If you don't pay your yearly fee in time, all your applications will disappear from the store. Having apps in the app store depends upon being enrolled in the program, not just signing up in the first place.

Apple are not as concerned about backwards compatibility as say, Microsoft, so it's quite possible that OS updates will break your code.

You can generate promo codes for paid apps, but not in-app purchases, for which the best method of distributing for free seems to be either to hard-code backdoors, or make a version with all functionality unlocked, with a release date in the future - which you can still make promo codes for.

If you have a highly-ranked free app, the ranking will reset if you make it paid.

There are now half a million or so apps in the store, so marketing is essential if you want to get a decent user base / any return on your work.
posted by iotic at 12:01 AM on July 13, 2011

Response by poster: Great answers so far, thanks.

@alms, it would be great if you could expand on why I ought to use a separate account from my personal apple ID.
posted by backwards guitar at 5:23 AM on July 13, 2011

Best answer: The iOS Developer Program and iTunes Connect allow you to add team members with several different roles, but there are a couple of things that only one person can do. Only the Team Agent can create distribution profiles and signing certificates needed to create app binaries that can be used by other people for testing or submitted to the App Store. Only the Team's Legal representative can retrieve promo codes from iTunes Connect.

Because of this I've had to give my personal iTunes login credentials to other people at my company so they can do their jobs without my help.

We can add a second team member with these abilities. I imagine we could assign these roles to a new account, but it's not an automated process and I haven't taken the time to bother with it. It's simpler to just not get into the situation in the first place.
posted by alms at 10:37 AM on July 13, 2011

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