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Apple releases completed Xcode 4, offers App Store version

updated 04:00 pm EST, Wed March 9, 2011

No Mac Developer membership required

After an extended production period, Apple has at last released the finished version of Xcode 4. The software is Apple's central tool for developers, capable of programming both Mac and iOS titles. Some upgrades over earlier releases include a new, mostly single-window interface, Fix-it auto-correction, full support for C++ in the LLVM compiler and integration of Interface Builder into the Xcode IDE.

Apple has also taken the unusual step of putting Xcode on the Mac App Store. The tool was previously available only through the Mac and iOS Developer programs, which cost $99 a year. At the Mac App Store Xcode is $5, and apparently detached from any membership requirements. The download measures 4.24GB and requires Mac OS X 10.6.6.

Xcode 4 has had a long and sometimes troubled history, going through numerous developer previews. It's in fact one of the few pieces of Apple software to have been given a second gold master release, attributable to serious bugs in the first one. Gold masters are intended to be completed code, simply made available to developers ahead of time.

by MacNN Staff



  1. cashxx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not free anymore

    I'm a little PO'd at this....I have been able to download the tools for years for free, now I can't! Before all you had to do was sign up for a developer account and have access to the tools. This will hurt the platform now that you have to pay for them.

  1. Darchmare

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yes, cashxx...

    ...because platform success hinges upon by the number of cheapskates that have easy access to development tools.

    Seriously. If $5 is a real, actual impediment to anyone, it's not going to be one to those who bring real value to a platform. Anyone with the ability to code - or a even legitimate desire to learn - isn't going to be deterred.

    Apple has done plenty of boneheaded things to deter developers over the years. Taking an exorbitant 30% cut of App Store profits, silly content rules, bait-and-switch policy changes, etc. But $5? That's hardly one of them.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Not free

    Nope, that can't be right. Apple would be nuts to start charging for Xcode from all its developers who've paid good money to be a developer.

    What the h*** is a company of 20 developers supposed to do? Give them each a five dollar gift card to buy up a tool they used to be able to download?

    I'm sure it only costs money if you get it from the app store. There must be a developer download link somewhere...

  1. Darchmare

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's available as it has always been if you're a developer, at I'm downloading my copy now.

    It'd be nice if the Mac App Store could check to see if you had a developer account associated with your Apple ID and drop the price to nothing, but - as long as you don't mind getting it through their web site - this is a non-issue.

  1. countach

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not true

    The article is incorrect, you never used to have to sign up for the $99 developer program to get it for free. You had to sign up as a developer, but not to the $99 program. I know because I used it for years for free before I actually paid the $99 to sign up. As far as I see on the web site, this is still the case, although since I'm actually now a paid up member, I could be wrong.

  1. dronkert

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Does require payment now

    Just logged in with my free developer account and was redirected to either the App Store or a payed account for downloading Xcode 4.

  1. cashxx

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Things like this is why piracy starts!

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969




    How will I ever feed my family?!

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    convenience fee

    some people may not be aware that you can get Xcode for free by signing up on one of the free developer accounts, and yet want Xcode for some reason - probably just to toy around with it.

    So apple picks up $5 for the convenience of any easy download.

    I personally don't care about that - I'm glad xCode 4 is released, I guess I'll take a look at it now :)

  1. dronkert

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You are wrong, Xcode is no longer available as a free download with a free developer account, like previous versions used to be. You are now required to either pay for a $99/yr developer account, which does include a "free" download to Xcode 4, or pay the App Store price.

    @DiabloConQueso That isn't really the point, is it? Most people will easily be able to afford $5 for the download but a lot won't bother now. Which is a shame. The policy change is remarkable. Also, it adds up! It's not just this $5, life is getting more expensive everywhere.

    I guess, or I hope, that Xcode 4 will be included on the OS X Lion disc. More developers = more fun.

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