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I was wondering how developers can give some people (like family) their paid apps for free? Or even give paid in app purchases for free. I'm not talking about the promo codes, i believe they only last a few months? Do they use some kind of custom developed promo code system?

Your insights are much appreciated

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closed as off-topic by Josh Petrie May 13 '14 at 15:40

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Promo-Codes is the way to give your App away for free. It's only the promo-code that has an expiry-date, not the App... – bummzack May 13 '14 at 12:17

There're two ways to do that. If you have an enterprise developer account($199 one), you can create an Ad-hoc or enterprise provision to sign your ipa file and then can send the app to be used by any of your friend. It'll ask for confirmation while running for the first time on the device.

Another method is when you don't have the enterprise account, rather you have a simple developer account($99 one), you'll need to add your UDID of your friend's device to your devices' list and create a developer provision which needs to include that device.Just to warn you, you can only add 100 devices at max and once added you won't be able to remove that device unless you renew your developer account. Now you can use this developer provision to sign your ipa.

In both ways the ipa needs to be installed via IPCU(iPhone Configuration Utility) and not via iTunes(I am not sure if iTunes will allow installation of these ipa). Just drag and drop the ipa, select the connected device and hit install.

You can add their apple id in your test user's list, which will make their IDs as sanbox ids and then they can purchase anything from your app, without actually paying anything.

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You can create a App Store Package that allow people to install your app. It is used for beta tests but I assume it also work to give it for free.

Look here around Creating an iOS App Store Package and after, or here at How Do I Send the Beta Testers an Ad-Hoc Build?

It is limited to 100 people. I have never tested it but I think that would be a solution to your problem.

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