Should I Buy A Mac For App Development Rating: 5,7/10 3518 reviews

I was experimenting with cross-platform development for some time but it's only yesterday I tried to compile my code for iOS. I thought I could do development including UI design in either Visual Studio or Xamarin Studio and only deploy the app on a Mac hardware to do a check on device. The biggest surprise was that Xamarin Studio didn't support iOS projects on Windows. I was expecting more limitations on a Visual Studio side, not on the IDE owned by Xamarin. This left me only Visual Studio to do iOS development. But can I do the full circle, including UI design? I am not planning any sophisticated UIs, so far it's been mostly research of opportunities, and I am striving to put as much as possible in portable class libraries. To perform a test run of the app I opened a 'pay-as-you-go' account at MacInCloud and managed to run my app in a simulator, I also ran unit tests there. It works but performance is sluggish and you can't really develop on these VMs, they are just for tests. This brings me to the question of an optimal setup: I plan to buy a new machine soon and originally I was thinking about a powerful Windows 8 laptop. But since I won't be able to run Xamarin Studio for iOS projects on such machine, and Mac-in-cloud seems to be suitable only for short test sessions, looks like I will need to invest in some Mac hardware. Then the question is whether to have a Mac Mini companion to a Windows machine or to get for about the same price a decent MacBook.

So I appreciate an advice on a decent setup for cross-platform app development. What works best for you? Should I always have a decent Mac notebook if I include iOS in the set of supported platforms?

  • May 05, 2015  Whether this is your first Apple computer or you are just looking to upgrade, this guide will walk you through what things to look for when buying a Mac for app development. If you're wondering if you even need a Mac to make apps,  check out this post.
  • Xcode is an integrated development environment (IDE) provided by Apple. Xcode provides everything you need to kick start your app development. It already bundles the latest version of iOS SDK (short for Software Development Kit), a built-in source code editor, graphic user interface (UI) editor, debugging tools and many more.
  • Jun 16, 2020  The best way to learn Android app development is by doing! That means you should have a stab at editing the code in front of you, to see if you can make it do something new.

Thanks in advance

Would a 2014 base model mac mini be enough for ios development? OR would you suggest the 2014 Macbook Air 13'. OR the 2012 Macbook Pro non-retina. I heard both 2014 Mac mini and Macbook Air don't have upgradable RAM. Would that be a constraint? Should I go for the 2012 MBP and use a secondary display when needed?

Should I Buy A Mac For App Development Center

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Start Developing iOS Apps (Swift) is the perfect starting point for learning to create apps that run on iPhone and iPad. View this set of incremental lessons as a guided introduction to building your first app—including the tools, major concepts, and best practices that will ease your path.

Each lesson contains a tutorial and the conceptual information you need to complete it. The lessons build on each other, walking you through a step-by-step process of creating a simple, real-world iOS app.

As you make your way through the lessons and build the app, you’ll learn about concepts in iOS app development, gain a deeper understanding of the Swift programming language, and familiarize yourself with the many valuable features of Xcode, Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE).


In these lessons, it is assumed that you are familiar with the Swift programming language. You do not need to be a Swift master to complete the lessons, but you will get more out of the lessons if you can comfortably read and understand Swift code.

If you are not yet comfortable with Swift, complete the Learn to Code exercises in the Swift Playgrounds app. Alternatively, you can work through A Swift Tour from The Swift Programming Language (Swift 3). Both give you a solid foundation in the Swift programming language.

About the Lessons

Should I Buy A Mac For App Development System

In these lessons, you’ll be building a simple meal-tracking app called FoodTracker. This app shows a list of meals, including a meal name, rating, and photo. A user can add, remove, or edit a meal. To add a new meal or edit an existing one, users navigate to a different screen where they can specify a name, rating, and photo for a particular meal.

The lessons are each accompanied by an Xcode project file that shows an example of how your code and interface should look at the end of the lesson. After you go through a lesson, you can download the project and check your work against it.

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If you need to refer to the concepts you’ve learned throughout the lessons, use the glossary to refresh your memory. Glossary terms are linked throughout the lessons.

Get the Tools

To develop iOS apps using the latest technologies described in these lessons, you need a Mac computer (macOS 10.11.5 or later) running the latest version of Xcode. Xcode includes all the features you need to design, develop, and debug an app. Xcode also contains the iOS SDK, which extends Xcode to include the tools, compilers, and frameworks you need specifically for iOS development.

Download the latest version of Xcode on your Mac free from the App Store.

To download the latest version of Xcode

  1. Open the App Store app on your Mac (by default it’s in the Dock).

  2. In the search field in the top-right corner, type Xcode and press the Return key.

    The Xcode app shows up as the first search result.

  3. Click Get and then click Install App.

  4. Enter your Apple ID and password when prompted.

    Xcode is downloaded into your /Applications directory.


The lessons were written using Xcode 8.1, iOS SDK 10, and Swift 3. Try to use these versions while working on the tutorials. If you are using a different version, your screen may look different than what is shown in the screenshots. You may also need to make changes to your code to get it to compile.

Let’s get started!

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