The 100 Device Wall

App Developers Skirt Apple’s Limits With Work-Arounds

If you didn’t know, Apple restricts developers to 100 beta devices per year. That isn’t 100 per app. That’s 100 per company per year. And deleting devices doesn’t give you back devices until the next year. Infinity Softworks has 10 apps plus two new ones in development. That means a very restricted list of beta testers.

I can kind of understand why Apple did it. They didn’t want developers “side-loading” apps by using an open-ended beta program. But Apple doubled the devices — adding the iPad — without increasing the limit. I feel like I am constantly juggling projects and requirements to see who gets devices. And that is time wasted, as far as I’m concerned.

I will say that the detail and attention that Apple gives to their end-user programs never seem to be given to their developer programs. Besides this 100 device limit, I have spent hours trying to get re-authorization certificates working correctly after they expired last night, something that worked perfectly fine for the last year.

There are very few reasons I would develop for Android over iOS at this point. But if I had a mobile app I was writing for both and didn’t have a business reason why iOS should come first, this restricted beta program would tilt the scales toward Android.

p.s. It was pointed out via email that we could technically use an enterprise account. It costs $299 and opens up the users, although technically to employees only.

p.p.s. Another thought: this program must be changing. With iOS 5, Apple deprecated UDIDs. Without the UDID there is no way for us to assign a device in the profile. Makes me wonder what Apple has planned.

3 thoughts on “The 100 Device Wall

  1. Pingback: Slamming the Scales Back to Apple « Elia Insider

  2. It’s a real limitation. Although it’s not THAT bad. We’ve gotten around it by filing another DBA business name with the state. While in Washington, we had Avatron Software, Avatron Publishing, and Avatron Media. That took us up to 300 devices. It’s still a pain though.

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