Apple releases Xcode 4 to Mac App Store

Apple has today released a new version of their Xcode development environment for a small fee. Xcode 4, the first version available on the Mac App Store, costs $4.99, but members of the iOS or Mac Development Programs will be able to download it for free.

Xcode is used for developing both Mac OS X and iOS applications, and both groups of developers will see improvements to their workflow with Xcode 4. A new single window interface integrates debugging, testing, design, and coding into one panel. The Apple LLVM will also underline code mistakes as you type, and features automatic code correction for small errors.

Whether Xcode 4, like previous versions of Xcode, will be bundled with Mac OS X Lion has yet to be revealed, though it's entirely possible Apple is hoping to trim down the disc contents and move entirely to online distribution. Considering the fact that Snow Leopard was focused on "trimming down" the OS but still included Xcode, it seems unlikely for Apple to reverse its stance on bundling Xcode.

Today's release should come as no surprise to developers, as a second golden master seed was released just under a week ago. First shown at last year's World Wide Developers Conference, a golden master seed was leaked at the start of February, indicating an imminent release. Xcode has only seen minor improvements since Xcode 3 was released three and a half years ago, so today's release is likely to be be well-received by the masses of iOS developers that have flocked to the platform during that time.

Image credit: Apple

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15 Comments

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I was hoping that the release version would bring stable SVN integration, but it still seems buggy as hell.

The UI and "intellisense" is a huge improvement over version 3. Still feels like it has a long way to go compared to Visual Studio 2010. But hey, it's far cheaper

Zyphrax said,
I was hoping that the release version would bring stable SVN integration, but it still seems buggy as hell.

The UI and "intellisense" is a huge improvement over version 3. Still feels like it has a long way to go compared to Visual Studio 2010. But hey, it's far cheaper

Visual Studio Express C#,C++, VB, and Web Developer are all free (and can be used commercially).

Shadrack said,

Visual Studio Express C#,C++, VB, and Web Developer are all free (and can be used commercially).

But they're missing features from their big brother, like source control support, solution folders, plugin options and macros, SQL Developer edition, report creation tools, remote debugging, test frameworks ... the list goes on, but the point is the Express editions are fine for the hobbyist but for commercial development you'd struggle to get by.

Uplift said,
Where will this go when we buy from the AppStore? i have XCODE3 installed and want to move over to this..
Unlike other AppStore programs, it downloads the Xcode installer (to the Applications folder) and when you run that it installs to /Developer (renaming your current Developer folder to Developer-old)

virtorio said,
Unlike other AppStore programs, it downloads the Xcode installer (to the Applications folder) and when you run that it installs to /Developer (renaming your current Developer folder to Developer-old)

Thanks for clearing that up

virtorio said,
Unlike other AppStore programs, it downloads the Xcode installer (to the Applications folder) and when you run that it installs to /Developer (renaming your current Developer folder to Developer-old)

Really? Hmm... kinda breaking their own convention a little... I wonder how updates will be handled or if they will be handled at all.

Shadrack said,

Really? Hmm... kinda breaking their own convention a little... I wonder how updates will be handled or if they will be handled at all.

True, but the convention is that developer tools get installed to /Developer and it seems that the Mac AppStore can only install programs to Applications at the moment. Also, the installer is 4.5 GB so it is beneficial to be able to back-up the installer.

CentralDogma said,
$5! Back in my day Xcode was free!

I feel yea. Why pay the developers money for making an application that helps you create apps for their OSes easier and also could make you money? Let's just make everything free on the internet. It's crazy to spend tons of man hours on developing a product and charging for it. These developers must be crazy.

Seriously, $4.99 is too cheap. They should have charged more. People want things for free too much. Some people say if it's on the Internet, it should be free. Sorry to burst some bubbles, but nothing comes free in life. Not even the Internet. If you pay to get on, then you will pay for products and services as well. You want something for free from the Internet, then open up your blank "about" page. There you will see what you really get for free. You can sit and dream on a blank canvas, but it takes work to make something and people should pay developers more for their work and time put in.

Don't get me wrong. I like for things to be free as well, but if a developer is asking just a little from you for a product you use a lot, don't bitch about it. Especially if you got a free ride in the past.

yanike said,

I feel yea. Why pay the developers money for making an application that helps you create apps for their OSes easier and also could make you money? Let's just make everything free on the internet. It's crazy to spend tons of man hours on developing a product and charging for it. These developers must be crazy.

Seriously, $4.99 is too cheap. They should have charged more. People want things for free too much. Some people say if it's on the Internet, it should be free. Sorry to burst some bubbles, but nothing comes free in life. Not even the Internet. If you pay to get on, then you will pay for products and services as well. You want something for free from the Internet, then open up your blank "about" page. There you will see what you really get for free. You can sit and dream on a blank canvas, but it takes work to make something and people should pay developers more for their work and time put in.

Don't get me wrong. I like for things to be free as well, but if a developer is asking just a little from you for a product you use a lot, don't bitch about it. Especially if you got a free ride in the past.

I almost completely agree with everything you said.

My only, um... Is that unlike other platforms, everything that is produced with this development software, the developer has to hand off a cut to Apple.

It just seems odd that a direct profit return is generated for Apple with other people's work, so it almost seems a bit tacky to charge for the tools to help make Apple more money. Kind of double dipping.

In the history of development tools, there is a fair price, and overcharging. This is one of the reasons Windows did so well, as the OS/2 SDK cost $2000 where you could get into developing for Windows 3.1 for as little as $100 bucks. IBM was shooting themselves in the foot by keeping the old model of making money back off the development tools, instead of realizing that the developers would make OS/2 sell better. Not a direct profit return, but one that needed a bit of fairness in the price that IBM didn't compute.

As Microsoft is entering into the WP7 world, and ramping up their centralized sales markets for applications where they take a percent of the sales, it is an interesting time. As Apple has redefined the developer to sales model and Microsoft is smart enough to follow.

The strange part is that Microsoft has always had low cost development options, and if they will be smart enough to continue to bend this down to be fair. For example, as they do with the partner program, if you guarantee to develop an Application, you get access to all the development products cheap. But if Microsoft will be getting a direct profit return, this will need to adjust down to be fair and depending on the comlexity of the tools offered/tiered.

So far it is interesting to watch, as WP7 development is free for the tools, and not watered down. The rub is like Apple, the fee to get Apps approved on both WP7 and XBox live as well.

So ya, I agree that even though it is a bit of a double dip for Apple, $5 is fair, maybe not as great as free or asking the developer to produce at least one App in a couple of years, but ya, it is fair.

The whole 'everything must be free' is a model that seems great in concept, but ends up hurting the very people that the model is designed to help. Both Google and Apple have profited greatly from the OSS world, yet they could have afforded to pay for the work, and joe smoo in his home office is locked out of what Google and Apple took.

thenetavenger said,

My only, um... Is that unlike other platforms, everything that is produced with this development software, the developer has to hand off a cut to Apple.

Well, if they aren't part of the developer programs they aren't making Apple any money, so that's why they charge a small amount for the use of the application.