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Apple makes Xcode free to all with release of 4.1 on Mac App Store

Apple on Wednesday updated Xcode to version 4.1, and reduced its price to free for anyone who has an Apple ID and access to the Mac App Store.

That's down from the previous price of $4.99 that Apple began charging the general public in March, when Xcode 4 was first released. That software was also made free to Apple's registered developers.

Xcode 4.1 (iTunes link) on the Mac App Store will allow non-registered developers to tinker with Apple's development platform, or even create their own Mac applications outside of the Mac App Store. However, to submit a Mac or iOS application to the App Store still requires a membership to the Mac or iOS Developer Program. Testing iOS applications on a mobile device also requires a developer subscription.

The new version, released on Wednesday, is a 2.96GB download. It requires Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Xcode 4.1 includes the Xcode IDE, Instruments, iOS Simulator, the latest Mac OS X and iOS SDKs. Features of the latest version, according to Apple, include:

  • Includes SDKs for OS X Lion and iOS 4.3
  • Interface Builder support for Auto Layout and new Aqua controls such as NSPopover
  • Full screen support in workspace, project, and organizer windows
  • Project modernization to identify and resolve out of date build settings
  • Behaviors can be customized and assigned to unique key bindings
  • Source control enhancements to pushing, pulling, and management of remote servers
  • Assistant editor support for display of generated assembly and preprocessed output
  • Additional bug fixes and stability improvements

The Mac Developer Program was discounted in 2010 to $99 per year. The price change remodeled Apple's Mac program after the wildly successful iPhone Developer Program.

"Xcode provides everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, and iPad," the official Mac App Store description reads. "Xcode 4 has been streamlined to help you write better apps.

"It has unified user interface design, coding, testing, and debugging all within a single window. The Xcode IDE analyzes the details of your project to identify mistakes in both syntax and logic, it can even help fix your code for you."