Do You Need a Mac to Develop iPhone Apps?

Do You Need a Mac to Develop iPhone Apps?
Do You Need a Mac to Develop iPhone Apps?

Android and iOS are two widely used mobile device platforms. Developing apps for Android is reasonably straightforward as it doesn’t need a special type of compilation machine. The entire process can execute on the computer.

However, things are a little different for developing software for Apple devices. So, do you need a Mac to develop iPhone apps, or if it is possible to build iOS apps without macOS? Keep on reading this post to know more about it.

Importance of Mac for iOS Development

Android app development is simple, using cross-platform development frameworks such as RAD Studio and Delphi. C++ developers can develop iOS apps on Windows computers with C++ builder.

While Xcode IDE (Apple’s primary development tool) is required to build iOS apps. And Xcode is available just for macOS, which runs only on a Mac. So, Mac is required for developing software for Apple devices such as iOS.

Why & How to Develop iOS Apps Without a Mac?

If you’re not familiar with Mac, opt for developing apps without using a Mac. It’ll help in saving the cost of owning a Mac and preventing hardware & software compatibility issues. Also, keeping up with the new upgrades and managing gadgets is challenging on Mac.

Developing iOS on Windows is possible using Xamarin and Visual Studio. But, it requires a Mac to run Xcode. Regardless of the platform you use to build apps, managing files is important so that you can find large files and other types of data easily when you need them.

How to Build iOS Apps without a Mac?

Mostly, iOS software is developed and distributed from macOS devices. However, you can develop and distribute them with Flutter and Codemagic. But, you can’t develop native iOS apps without Xcode as Apple would not allow for it.

However, you can access a Mac without actually owning it or trying to install Xcode for Windows. Let’s check out how to start developing iOS apps without owning a Mac.

Share a Mac or Rent a Cloud-Based Mac

If you can’t own a Mac, access a Mac remotely. This method helps work as a team on iOS projects, as having individual Macs might not be possible. However, you can still use app builder software for computers to develop iOS apps without purchasing a Mac.

Alternatively, you can prefer renting a cloud-based Mac to use remotely without requiring the upfront cost of purchasing a dedicated Mac.

Install Xcode for Windows via Virtual Box

This software allows the creation of an OS virtual machine on a computer. It is entirely free, so you don’t need any investment to install Xcode for Windows. Download, install, and launch Virtual Box.

Now, create a new virtual machine and submit the details. It includes Machine name, type, and select macOS in machine type. Configure hardware settings. Then, start your machine and let the virtual machine OS boot.

Get RAD Studio to Build iOS Apps Without Mac

Do You Need a Mac to Develop iPhone Apps?
Do You Need a Mac to Develop iPhone Apps?

This cross-platform app builder is used to build Apps for iOS without needing Mac. It supports several platform app development via the FireMonkey framework. You can use it to build, debug, and test apps on Windows.

RAD Studio would prepare the app for other platforms when ready to execute on Windows. Tweaking and fine-tuning platform-specific features will make development faster.

Try Hackintosh to Run macOS on Non-Apple

It is referred to as running macOS on non-Apple hardware. Using this non-Mac device requires technical know-how to run Xcode for Windows. So, opt for this method only when you’ve technical knowledge and a device with suitable configuration hardware.

To build a Hackintosh, you will have to change the system’s bios setting. If you have proper guidance on it, you can more easily develop iOS apps.

Install RDP to Run Mac Online

Remote Desktop Protocol provides access to the Mac online. You’ve to buy RDP from reliable websites such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS. After purchasing, you will get the information to connect with other computers featuring Mac as OS online.

Find a remote desktop connection on your computer to join and submit the details you receive. Once the connection gets established, you can get another computer and download Xcode.

Run VMware to Try Different OS

Similar to the virtual box, VMware helps run several devices with a different OS on one device. Download VMware and access all the options required to create a new machine in the virtual box. You may go to the VMware help section to learn more.

Here, you will find guidance on how to create a new machine. When a new machine is installed and run in VMware, access the Apple interface and find Xcode in the Apple Store.

The Conclusion

Do you need a Mac to develop iPhone apps? Hopefully, you’ll get its answer now. The iOS SDK needs Xcode, which only executes on Macintosh devices. Running OS X in a Virtual Machine on your Windows platform will help in developing XCode on OS X.

Note that it will not be considered legal, but it’s technically possible. So, consider your technical, financial, and legal limits.

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