If you want to do it just for yourself (i.e. not "enterprise" wide) and are willing to compile any code, then you *don't* need to pay. Apple is making it so you can use XCode and install on your device without paying the $99 to become a registered developer. You only need to do that (and incur the fee) if you want to submit to the App Store.
Not quite as convenient / insecure / freedom enabling (pick your sentiment) as Android, and only practical for open source / personal projects, but still better than it used to be.