How To Join The Apple
App Developer Program
Developing apps for Apple’s iOS and OS X platforms can be a fun as well as lucrative experience. The products dreamed up by app developers offer services and provide necessary tools for work, school, and everyday life. Beyond that, their creations may also provide stress relief like entertainment in the form of games, quizzes, and multimedia. If you are considering the possibility of becoming an app developer for any of Apple’s computing platforms, then the following list is a series of steps that you must take in order to achieve that goal:
Before We Get Started
When developing in the Apple ecosystem, it is important, even imperative to realize that you are operating on their turf. As you progress in your journey, you will come to notice that there are certain rules even in the way that your app looks that can get your app disqualified if it deviates from their expected norm. There is no fighting it– do not even try. If you are someone who is completely independent and abhor following guidelines, you may as well start learning how to program for Android or Microsoft because Apple is not the place for you. There is an obvious reason to this; like many corporations, Apple likes their customers to have a standardized Apple experience when using their products. That is why most software designed for Apple’s products have that undeniably Apple-y feel to them. The most important aspect of this paradigm is to realize that this is what the user is choosing by buying into it. They are buying an Apple product to get that simplified, streamlined Apple experience. In the majority of cases, these users do not want try something with too many confusing options, even if it offers them a greater degree of freedom. Always remember that you are playing by their rules, because if you do not, you will be setting yourself up for failure.
You will need to register with Apple as an app developer to take your first steps on this journey. This will require you to use your existing Apple ID. If you don’t have an Apple ID yet, you will need to create a new one.
- Enter these details into the developer login page at: http://developer.apple.com/programs/register .
If you do not have an established Apple account, you will be asked to provide personal information such as your birthday, name, address, and phone number. In addition, you will need to set a security question and answer in the event that you forget your login details. It is understandable if you feel uncomfortable providing that level of detail, up to and including your home address. That’s just how the system is, and again if you are working in Apple’s world then you better get used to it. So at this stage, gauging how much you are willing to trust Apple is a smart move. At this point, if you are still having some doubts about trusting Apple, you should begin to consider whether it is the right platform for you. What you should realize is that if you are unable to put your trust in the Apple way, then that is a red flag that the situation is about to get very uncomfortable. Not everyone is cut out to follow these guidelines. If it helps any, Apple has a pretty good reputation for keeping the data they gather on users private (even if they collect an excessive amount of it). They like that reputation and will go to great lengths to protect it. You will not be able to skip any details on the Registration page as they are all required to complete your registration.
Completing a Personal Profile
The next step in becoming an Apple app developer is to complete your professional profile and select which markets you want your app to target. If this is the time you are starting professional development, then you should take your time with this section and make sure everything you fill out and choose is exactly the way you want. The options that Apple lists for targeting are:
- Free applications
- Commercial applications
- Enterprise applications
- Web applications
Registered Apple Developer Agreement
Before completing the sign-up process, you must confirm that you understand, agree with and are bound by the Apple Developer Agreement. It is vital for you to know that at this moment, any games must end. Apple regards these agreements with the utmost seriousness. If you have provided false or improper information, Apple can and most likely will find ways to punish you. The level of severity of the consequences are up to Apple, and they have several ways to pursue it. At the very least, you can say goodbye to any chance of getting your app being approved in the App Store. This agreement is available as a scroll through the page or downloadable as a PDF. At least become familiar with the most important aspects of this contact; courts do not look too fondly on “I didn’t really read it”, and it has some very important clauses that should be examined. Additionally, you must be at or above the age of majority which Apple deems as at least 18 years or older. Once you sure that you are ready, click the box, and you will be taken to the next step.
At the very least Apple wants to ensure that you are who you claim to be, so they will send you a confirmation email that you must acknowledge. After you carefully consider the terms of agreement and decide you are ready, Apple will send you a verification code at the email address you entered in your registration details (it is usually a five-digit numeric code). Enter this code on the Apple Developer Program page, then click “Continue”.
Developer Member Center
After completing your registration, you will land at the Developer Member Center. You have finally arrived at the hardest part of this quest. This page contains technical resources, development instruction videos, developer support, and bug reporting. These are great resources for anyone seeking to program on an Apple machine, regardless of whether you have App Store ambitions. When you click “Program Summary”, you will be given a list of Apple’s platforms from which you must choose. I am sure for those of you who are ready to program, you have already decided on this critical aspect a while back, but for users who are just exploring, the options are:
Time for the easiest part of becoming an Apple developer: simply click the “Join Today” button located next to the program of your interest.
Some of the developer platforms will be free, but the main ones like iOS will require a fee before you can join. As of 2013, the iOS developer program is $99.00 per year, and the Safari app developer program is free.
You can find the Member Center at: https://developer.apple.com/membercenter/