Help needed: iPad developer issue(s)

Terry Fox tfox at
Thu Mar 15 00:04:58 CDT 2012

I am looking for some assistance in a new-fangled world, developing iPad apps.  A friend of mine and I (to protect the innocent we will call him Mel) are interested in writing a few simple iPad apps as a proof-of-concept.  After some research, it appeared that we could get one developer license to share, and collaborate in writing the code for a simple test app.  At least that’s what the books and online stuff all seemed to indicate.  More on this thought process later, if you care to read the rant.

Anyway, we would still like to collaborate on projects (read: share files back and forth that we can each compile and test on our individual devices).  This does not appear simple to do, not like sending project tarballs  or source files back and forth.  Each project seems to require that it be created and built using that specific license, based on “provisioning profiles” and a lot of other Apple geek-speak that just means: no way.

Is there a way to do this?  Can we send projects or files between us, or modify them somehow to be able to do that?  Honestly, we are not writing the next big app, just some ham radio stuff.  Since Apple has already messed me up, I thought I would check here.  I appreciate any ideas or thoughts.  I am especially a total neophyte when it comes to using (or programming) a Mac.  I have enough trouble just booting the thing up, so I would need help for the terminally thick to get through this.  I figure that there must be some sort of way to cut and paste, or create a blank project and copy files, or something.

Background rant:
OK, so we decided that the iPad/iPhone platform is the best to do “this”.  First of all, we have multiple Apple devices already, and it is clear that the iPad/iPhone is a clear winner in the number of devices out there.  But, there are multiple grenades and IEDs in that path.  First, you need an Apple hardware platform to develop the code on.  A used Macbook Pro fixed that for me.  Then, you must load xcode.  OK, done that.  And, you must learn Apple’s special version of C.  Working on that.  Next, in order to test code on an actual device, you must register as a developer and pay Apple a fee.  $99 for individuals or businesses, and $299 for “Enterprise”.  The business version has the rub that it MUST be a REAL business, not a DBA.  As in Articles of Incorporation must be faxed to Apple.  Gotta love it.  Who knew Big Brother was Steve Jobs?

After a lot of reading, it was still ambiguous as to whether we could do this.  So, I decided to go directly to the source (remember “The Source”?), and called the Apple help desk.  I asked two very specific questions (telling the person beforehand that we were individuals and not professionals, businesses, companies, or enterprises):
1.  Can more than one person share the same $99 developer’s license (being hobbiests)?
2.  Can two people licensed as above share projects and files, in order to collaborate on a single project?

After being put on hold for a few minutes, he came back and told me the answer to both questions was YES.  Feeling good that THE APPLE had spoken, I went ahead and signed up as an individual developer.  Then, I spent the next several days trying to figure out how to share the license (provisioning profile?) with Mel.  After total frustration set in, I called the Apple Developers technical support line.  The very nice and friendly Apple technical support robot informed me that the previous Apple person was not correct, and that what I wanted to do could NOT be done, unless I was a business.  I informed her that I was not a business, and did not want to form a business and go through all the steps and costs to create an incorporated business just to create a few free ham radio apps.  She was very nice and friendly in that robot manner that we have all come to love from whenever we visit the nice and friendly Apple genius bar.  Even if we have just been stabbed between the eyes, they sound so nice and friendly while describing the process, that one cannot possibly complain.  Kind of a Stepford-genius meets Chucky vibe.

Further, she tells me: Oh, by-the-way, it is my pleasure to also inform you that the previous person was also inaccurate in his answer to the second question.  You cannot share projects and collaborate either.  Thank you sooo much for calling, have a nice day.  Please fill out the survey at the end of this call, describing just how nice I was when I told you that you could NOT do what we just took your money for and told you that you could do.  So, I was out $99 for something that we could not do.

(notice any sarcasm?  The dripping sugar tone is totally accurate, BTW)  No wonder Apple-bashing is such a popular sport in some circles.

We ended up getting two individual licenses  (yet more Apple profit).  I am working on some hardware, and Mel is working on Apple code for the iPad.  We want to test things, without constantly driving to each other’s houses.  So, we want to find a way to collaborate.  Anybody have any ideas? We’re not sure how to set up the “tester” provisioning profiles, or if that’s yet another Apple scam.

Going back to Arduino, Windows and Linux for now.  Better the enemy you know, I guess.

Thank you for any help, and your time.
Terry, WB4JFI


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