Apple iPadOS: A cheat sheet
Apple's OS for iPad includes features that make it easier to use the iPad as a laptop replacement. Here's what you need to know about iPadOS.As the iPad lineup has expanded into a wholly separate product category, Apple announced at its 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that it has rebranded iOS for iPad as iPadOS starting with iOS 13 to highlight and target the features that differentiate the iPad from other devices. This follows Apple's naming trend of watchOS for Apple Watch, and tvOS for Apple TV.
Anyone who has considered developing software for an Apple platform has likely visited the Apple developer website, which is filled to the brim with documentation, tutorials, tips and everything an aspiring iOS, macOS, watchOS or tvOS developer needs. © Provided by TechRepublic Image: Apple © brandon vigliarolo brandon vigliarolo
The sheer volume of content available on the Apple developer website can make using it tricky. When you add to that a somewhat fuzzy boundary between the developer website and the actual Apple Developer Program, things can get even more confusing. (Note: This article on what professionals need to know about the Apple Developer Program is also available as a free PDF download.)
Apple AirTags hands-on: These trackers are small and impressive
Apple's newest product is a tracker called an AirTag. You attach it to an item and can keep track of it with your iPhone's Find My app.This kind of tracker isn't new. But the biggest selling point for the AirTag is Apple's Find My network which is made up of hundreds of millions of Apple devices. Last week, the Find My network was opened up to third parties that can use the network for items like bikes and headphones. This will only increase that number of devices on Find My and make it even more robust. And that's important because let's say you lost your keys and they had an AirTag attached.
There's a big difference between using the developer website to learn the basics of building software for Apple devices and being a member of the Apple Developer Program. This guide will clear up the distinctions.
SEE: Getting started with iOS development (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
What is the Apple Developer Program?
The Apple Developer Program is, in Apple's words, the "code to customer" pipeline. Membership in the Apple Developer Program gives developers everything they need to build, test and deploy apps for its OSs.
There is a lot that comes with Apple Developer Program membership, including:
- access to beta builds of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS;
- the ability to publicly beta test apps using TestFlight;
- access to Apple's myriad app extensions like CloudKit, Game Center, Apple Pay, Maps and more;
- code-level support that gives developers access to an Apple developer who can help troubleshoot and streamline code;
- the ability to publish apps on the Apple App Store;
- developer signing for macOS app releases outside the App Store;
- ad hoc app distribution (to 100 of each device type per year); and
- access to Apple Store Connect's App Analytics program and other App Store management features.
Along with these benefits, which come with any standard membership in the Apple Developer Program, Apple also offers two other programs that fall under the Developer Program umbrella: The Enterprise Program and the MFi Program.
Apple iOS 14 cheat sheet: Everything you need to know
Features and enhancements in iOS 14 include App Clips, Picture in Picture video mode, translation support in Siri, widgets, and COVID-19 Exposure Notifications.This iOS 14 cheat sheet details what developers and users need to know about the operating system and covers the redesigned Home Screen, App Clips, Car Play features, and more. This article will be updated with the latest information about iOS 14.
The Enterprise Program offers benefits like those included in the standard Developer Program, and it adds the ability for enterprise customers to develop in-house proprietary apps for deployment on employee devices.
The MFi, or Made For iPod, iPhone, and iPad, Program is for companies that want to build Apple-certified hardware accessories. Apple considers any third-party device that connects electronically to an Apple device to fall under the MFi program; this doesn't include devices that use the headphone jack or standard Bluetooth profiles and non-electronic devices.
Note: Manufacturing a device that falls under the MFi program doesn't require companies to enroll; however, products that aren't MFi certified cannot claim to be Apple certified, nor will they be given access to technical specifications necessary for building a fully-compatible peripheral device.
Best iPhone in 2021: Which model is right for you?
Apple released four new iPhone 12 models in late 2021, but last-generation models are also worth considering, and they're at a more affordable price. Apple does a great job of updating its phones for several years, so you don't need to upgrade every single year.We have seen improvements in battery life, advanced multi-camera functionality, and continued improvements to Apple's iOS. The high-end iPhones are pricey, but Apple's processor architecture has also proven to be the best in the smartphone world. There are also ways to buy iPhones from Apple or your carrier so you can pay for the phone over time with no interest.
Do Apple software developers have to join the Developer Program?
Strictly speaking, developers who want to build macOS, iOS, tvOS or watchOS apps don't have to become a member of the Apple Developer Program. Not opting for a membership, though, comes with a lot of restrictions.
The Apple Developer Program benefits listed above are all off-limits to devs who aren't members. Most critically, it means there's no way for non-members to distribute or monetize their apps on the App Store.
According to an Apple Developer Program representative, non-members who sign up for access to the Apple developer website get access to Xcode, Apple's development platform that's also available in the macOS App Store, and not much else--even apps built by a non-member are restricted to devices tied to that particular developer's Apple ID.
SEE: Hiring kit: iOS developer (TechRepublic Premium)
If you're new to Apple development, or just interested in learning how to develop for Apple devices, there's no real need to join the Developer Program. You can still build apps for all of Apple's operating systems and install them on your personal devices, but that's it—no extensions, no support, no beta OS builds and no App Store.
Apple's Swift programming language: Cheat sheet
Apple's Swift has far-reaching effects on all platforms, not just iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS. Learn why Swift matters, how to use the programming language and how it differs from Objective-C.In 2010, Apple started developing Swift, a new programming language that would rival Objective-C in a few areas--specifically, type safety, security, and better on-hardware performance. Swift is more than 2.6x faster than Objective-C and more than 8.4x faster than Python. Swift 1.0 was released in September 2014.
Enterprise customers who want to roll out in-house apps to their employees' Apple devices are stuck as well—there's nothing you can do without buying an Enterprise membership.
How much does the Apple Developer Program cost?
This is the unfortunate part: joining the Apple Developer Program isn't cheap.
An individual membership will cost you $99 USD per year, which is a steep price to pay if you aren't sure you'll be able to recoup that investment, which would largely come in the form of app purchases. Developers keep 70% of sales proceeds unless enrolled in the App Store Small Business Program, which allows them to keep 85%.
Enterprise Program membership is billed per organization and costs $299 USD per year.
SEE: Apple starts Entrepreneur Camp to help female app developers (CNET)
The Apple MFi Program has no fee to join, but there are two costs associated with membership; a company wanting to join has to pay for a third-party identity verification and pay royalties to Apple once approved, and neither cost is mentioned in Apple's MFi FAQ documentation. Royalty fees in particular are covered by an NDA, making finding actual pricing difficult.
According to an Apple Insider article from 2014 (which is the newest pricing source available), MFi royalties run $4 USD per connector (e.g., a lightning port) on a device. It is unknown if this information is still correct. I contacted Apple and received this response:
macOS Monterey: A cheat sheet
Apple's powerful new macOS was announced at WWDC 2021. This guide covers everything you need to know about macOS Monterey, including features, requirements and how to get it.With macOS Monterey, Apple is sticking with the theme of naming its OSs after California locales. This version of macOS offers many new features for users, including Universal Control, Shortcuts and AirPlay for iMac, updated capabilities in FaceTime, a redesign for Safari (including Tab Groups) and more.
All publicly-available information about the MFi Program is available on our FAQ page: http://mfi.apple.com/faqs. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide further details about the MFi Program beyond those provided in the FAQ.
How do I join the Apple Developer Program?
Developers who want to pay the $99 USD fee for Developer Program membership can begin the process here.
Enterprise customers interested in deploying in-house apps can begin the Enterprise Program signup process here.
Hardware manufacturers can begin the MFi registration process here.
Those who want to simply experiment with building software for Apple devices can sign up for access to the Apple developer website for free, which grants access to Xcode.
The Apple Developer Program is open for developers around the world.
Developer experience engineers aim to increase ROI while keeping developers happy .
CircleCI report finds that making life easier for software engineers can improve the bottom line and speed up innovation.CircleCI describes developer experience engineers as "the Q to 007 or the Alfred to the many Batpeople in the developer Batcave." The ideal DXE has enough experience to understand how to optimize workflows and eliminate waste. The person also should understand the business side of the company and know how to make "developer-centric, product-minded decisions.