TL;DR How can I have a permanent profile for my Xcode-developped app on my own iPhone so that I could use it without having to rebuild it from Xcode every 6 days, likely by issuing myself the needed certificat and provisioning files ?
I'm an aspiring iOS developer and have built my first app, using the tools and language proposed by Apple (Xcode, Swift, SwiftUI). Works fine in Xcode and on my iPhone. I'm quite happy with it.
However after 6 days, the app stops working on the iPhone; the iPhone needs to be reconnected to my Mac and the app needs to be rebuilt from Xcode, then it works again.
I understand that this comes from the provisioning profile being managed by Xcode and being temporary (6 days).
I understand enlisting in Apple Developer Program would be a workaround, but I find it quite abusive to be forced to pay 99€ per year to use and tune my own app on my own device. I even read an old post saying that if I enlisted, my app would cease to work within a year if I delisted from the program. This is certainly not advertised loudly by Apple !
I understand they may be issues protecting the apple store monopoly, and hence apple business model, but I find it quite at odds with Apple official PR that promotes learning kids to develop and at the same time is preventing anyone to be able to use the programs freely for themselves.
So I would like to understand if this is a mandatory policy from Apple, or if I am missing something about managing provisioning profiles (sofar a total black box to me).
To be crystal clear, if there is a workaround, I believe it is about bypassing Xcode managing the certification process and creating myself the needed authorizations : development certificate for developer approval and permanent provisioning profile for my authorized device.
I make the hypothesis that it is not possible nor practical not to use Apple solutions, and that the problem is actually independent from the use of Xcode.
To rephrase it, my problem is :
Is it possible to develop an iOS application for my own use without having to pay 99$/year ?
And my understanding of path to solution is : How can I have a permanent profile for my Xcode-developped app on my own iPhone ?
Precision : I am not trying to launch a heated debate on jailbreaking, nor on the app store guidelines. I just want to understand wether in the current Apple ecosystem, if I want some applications of my own with me, I need to pay several hundreds of dollars in the next years to have the possibility to do it.
From what I understand, as of today, the answer is no, you can't use Apple tools, namely Xcode + Swift, to develop and use freely your own application even if it's only on your own Apple device. There is no workaround that would allow you to have a permanent certificat (more like annual IRL) for your own code.
See details of my answer here:
There is however an exception if you're part of an eligible organisation. https://developer.apple.com/support/membership-fee-waiver/
But in the intended specific case of this post, an individual who would like to hobby around only for his personal use, the answer stays no.