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Xcode 7 apps on device

I was excited to see this: with Xcode 7, Apple now allows people to run their custom apps on their own devices without having to pay the $99/year membership fee:

Now everyone can get their app on their Apple device.

Xcode 7 and Swift now make it easier for everyone to build apps and run them directly on their Apple devices. Simply sign in with your Apple ID, and turn your idea into an app that you can touch on your iPad, iPhone, or Apple Watch. Download Xcode 7 beta and try it yourself today. Program membership is not required. (link)

This is perfect for me. I’ve long wanted to write apps for my own use, but because I don’t have any interest in selling them, the $99/year felt like a superfluous cost. (I also have a strong aversion to monthly subscriptions.)

Time to learn Swift…

The app I didn't release

Update: A donation came in today from a generous benefactor, so I’ll be releasing the app after all (in the near future).

Update 2: I ended up deciding not to release the app (and refunded the donation). It was a fun proof of concept and introduction to iPhone coding, but that’s about it.


For the last six months I’ve been working on Hwaet, an Old English dictionary app for the iPhone. It’s based off Bosworth & Toller (digitized by the Germanic Lexicon Project), and I also got permission from the Labyrinth Library to include their collection of Old English texts.

The app works (it’s fully functional). The dictionary’s there (although there’s still a bit of work to be done cleaning up the imported definitions — mostly errors from the digitization as far as I can tell), some of the texts are there (and I wrote a script that made it super easy to import the rest), and the project was going quite well.

So why am I not going to release it?

Mostly because I wanted it to be a free app. Apple requires developers to pay $100/year (and that’s a totally legitimate cost, considering what you get in return for it — I’m not complaining about the fee), and since I won’t be writing commercial apps anytime soon, I can’t justify spending $100/year on it. Especially not with a baby on the way.

Maybe someday I’ll write a web-based mobile version, but in the meantime, here’s what Hwaet looked like: