Apple Updates Xcode to 4.1, Free on Mac App Store

| Lion

Apple updated Xcode to version 4.1 Wednesday, an update that include a new price tag of US$free — previously it had been $4.99 through the Mac App Store, and free only for registered developers through the Apple Developer Connection.

Other changes in the new version include SDKs for Lion and iOS 4.3, support for full-screen mode in Lion, and various other interface tweaks and enhancements. Xcode 4.1 also requires Lion.

Xcode is Apple’s set of developer tools for creating software for the Mac and apps for iOS.

Apple’s patch notes:

What’s new in Xcode 4.1 for OS X Lion

  • 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  • Project modernization to identify and resolve out of date build settings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

Xcode 4.1 is free, and it’s on the Mac App Store now.



Do you think this is because they were pressured to make it free, or that this was part of their strategy all the time?

Most people I talk to say they didn’t want to be Apple’s beta testers with an IDE since they need an IDE to get real work done.  Maybe the price tag was to reduce the number of users a bit so they could iron out more kinks? (And on that note, is Xcode 4.1 now good enough to use?)

Free is important. I was having a discussion in a group with a friend who wanted advice on what language he should introduce to his nephew who just got interested in programming.  Objective-C was immediately ruled out just because Xcode was not free.  $5 isn’t much, but it’s just enough to stop new entrants from learning to use it.


Traditionally, a free copy of XCode has come bundled with OS X. 4.1 is probably being released free, but for Lion only, in order to maintain that tradition.

Personally, I feel they could charge a heck of a lot more than $5 for the GUI IDE, but on a UNIX system it is essential to have free access to command-line developer tools. Hopefully a free copy of XCode for Lion is a sign that Apple shares that belief.


The $5 isn’t that important to Apple.  The important thing is to FORCE Apple users to sign up for a Mac App Store account.  Like any credit card scheme, your money becomes Apple’s money.

Dave D

I cannot believe you guys are discussing the $5 price tag…. In the western world that equates to FREE! How much did the computer cost to install it on? How much for the Mouse, electricity, the table you put the laptop on, the chair you sit on…..or the gallons of pop & pizza consumed while toying with your apple! Get a life guys and stop cribbing!
$5 for one of the best IDE’s on the market….you should be embarrassed to be even discussing it.

Where I come from
$5 = FREE

Thank you Apple and Mr. Jobs for a Job well done. Happy retirement and enjoy my $5, I hope you are somewhere in the world where it will actually buy you something

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