Question: Building iOS apps

I am getting ready to build some of my apps for the first time as iOS apps. I have SAB, XCode, and FastLane all installed.

From the SAB documentation, it is implied that to BUILD and DISTRIBUTE an iOS app, you need to enroll in the Apple Developer Program, which is $99/year. However, I only want to create and test the apps myself (on an iOS device) and pass them onto someone else to publish/distribute them to the App Store. Am I able to build/test the apps on my iOS device without enrolling in the Apple Developer Program? Or am I only able to use the Simulator to test the apps?

If I am misunderstanding something, feel free to correct me or point it out!

You normally don’t need to enroll in Apple Developer Program to test an app on a real device. You can do t like this in Xcode for example.
I haven’t tested this with SAB, though.

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Thanks for your response. I’ll give it a try.

As far as I know, if you want to test an iOS app on a physical device, you need to create an IPA file. And in order to create an IPA file with SAB, you need to sign the app with the signing identity and the provisioning profile that you only get if you have a developer account. Please have a look at “Installing and
Building Apps on a Mac” that is included among the Help documents in SAB. I think for only testing iOS apps, Simulator is already great. You can choose from many devices and the emulator is pretty realistic in my experience.

Thanks for your input Friedo. I’ve read the documentation but your input is helpful, especially encouraging me to use the simulators.

I would echo @Friedo’s recommendation of using the Simulator. When you want to test on the device, you will need a signing identity and provisioning profile.

Starting with Xcode 7, iOS developers can install a version of their app to a device for testing without paying the $99/yr for an account. Xcode manages the signing identity and the provisioning profile.

There is a procedure for taking advantage of this capability to get it to work for an SAB generated app, but it isn’t easy. It is documented in this google doc:

How To Use A Free Apple Developer Account to Test iOS Apps Created by Scripture App Builder

This is not a supported feature! We experimented with this at a meeting in Thailand recently and it worked for many but in a few cases it didn’t. So your mileage may vary.


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