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A free Wolfram Player app has been available on the Apple app store since 19 September, with a bug-fix update today. As it stands I can download .nb and .cdf files onto it via Dropbox, and the app allows me to read them. If I try to run a Manipulate, an "Enable Interactivity" button appears that leads to an in-app purchase to "enable full interactivity".

My question is: what does this mean? I expect it will run Manipulate calls - how about numerical or text entry via keyboard? I'd like to know to what extent this purchase would allow me to use the power of Mathematica on my iPad. I can find very little information online, and the app's own help system looks like a copy of Mathematica's documentation center, not help for the iOS app itself. I did try Wolfram Technical Support at the weekend - no answer yet, and in any case the problem then (not even getting as far as the IAP option) appears to have been solved by today's update.

An assertion that the IAP provides the same functions as the CDF player on any other platform would be a fine answer to my question, if there is supporting evidence (preferably first-hand experience)!

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    $\begingroup$ New post on WRI's blog: Notebooks in Your Pocket—Wolfram Player for iOS Is Now Shipping. It says that interactivity can be enabled either by an in-app purchase or by login into a Wolfram cloud account with a subscription. $\endgroup$ – C. E. Oct 4 '17 at 14:33
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    $\begingroup$ You can discuss it on official announcement thread HERE $\endgroup$ – Vitaliy Kaurov Oct 4 '17 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the two links of Wolfram announcing the app. It looks like I posted a couple of hours early... I would however still welcome an answer to my question from anyone who has bought the IAP (or used the app under a Wolfram Cloud subscription). The announcement merely says it enables "functionality" (including Manipulate). $\endgroup$ – pystab Oct 5 '17 at 7:50
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Controls will not function unless you've enabled interactivity. I.e., a Manipulate will render, but you'll be unable to toggle checkboxes, change input fields, press radio buttons, etc. The same will be true for any control in the notebook, even if it does not live in a Manipulate.

Enabling interactivity can be done either by logging into a paid Wolfram Cloud account or by purchasing the in-app purchase. The in-app purchase is one time and will get you the functionality forever. In addition, if the notebook you're opening is a CDF deployed by the Enterprise version of Mathematica, it will work in Player regardless of whether you've enabled interactivity.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks John. I have bought the IAP and am experimenting. I think my remaining questions are about using CDFs in general rather than the iOS app specifically. $\endgroup$ – pystab Oct 9 '17 at 8:28
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Besides what John mentioned above, EnterpriseCDF documents also require no in-app purchase for interactivity. Creating EnterpriseCDF documents requires a Mathematica Enterprise Edition license, which runs ~\$7,500. Someone wishing to distribute full-blown CDFs or Notebooks to a large population could use that option. $10 is a lot for a casual iPhone/iPad user to sink into an iOS app, but it would clearly be a bargain for a college student to get full functionality to all Mathematica notebooks.

Pystab, you're right. This is somewhat complicated; Wolfram needs to produce a YouTube video showing the behavior of sample code on iOS both with and without full interactivity. What excites me is that students (or anyone) can freely author Wolfram code that they can run anywhere. Even without the in-app purchase, that code can perform some rather astonishing computations and visualizations in this app. I had been curious how Wolfram would walk the knife-edge of a compelling free app that would encourage purchases; I think they've done a good job.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, all of the statements here made in addition to my own are absolutely correct. And thank you for your positive remarks. FWIW I had also been wondering for a long time how we were going to walk that knife-edge. :) $\endgroup$ – John Fultz Nov 27 '17 at 17:16

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