iOS development in MBA 2011?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by intothefantasy, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. intothefantasy macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2011
    i am in my last year of Computer Science degree and i need to think of a final year project...basically what i am interested now is to try out iOS dev for a new path to go on...i have the iphone and ipad...i think would be nice for me to dev some apps for it...and is goin to be my final year project as well..although i dont have any ideas yet or title for this project...

    still i am thinking of finding my answer in iOS my question pops up when this new 2011 mba launch...i was thinking of getting a mbp 13 either with i5 or true that getting a mbp 15 quadcore would be powerful but then to me i am still new to mac perhaps...there is no reason for me to dump such a big sum money in 15 i thought i have decided to take the mbp 13. after the release of mba, it seems like the mba 13 would be very nice especially the weight and have quite a good reviews on its processor sandy bridge. Futher more the 13 mba has higher resolution then the 13 mbp.

    so now my question is, does iOS dev is do able in MBA? does the 4gb ram enough for it as well?
  2. VMMan, Jul 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011

    VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    I've been using Xcode 3 on an MBP 17" but just started trying out Xcode 4 on the 2011 MBA 11".

    I was really pleasantly surprised at how usable the 11" is with Xcode 4. I'm not yet familiar with Xcode 4, so I can't comment completely, but in terms of viewing and editing code, it struck me as very doable. A larger screen is always nicer if you don't have to worry about mobility though.
  3. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    It works perfectly on the 2011 13" MBA. I had both the 11" and 13", used Xcode on each for a few days until I could decide which one was better for me. I settled on the 13" as I found the vertical screen space more comfortable to work on, personally.

    Secondly, according to Anandtech's latest review, there's very little difference in terms of performance between the i5 and i7, at least on the 13".

    The maximum performance difference he saw was around 11 percent in a rendering test - I believe. Generally it was around 8%.

    I'd get the 13" i5. It's more than enough.
  4. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    If you're going to use the MBA as your sole or primary dev machine, then as much as I like my MBA 11", I'd also recommend you go for the 13".

    UNLESS, you're going to plug in an external display, then the MBA 11" will probably be okay.

    It depends on how much of your development work is going to be "casual" vs dedicated programming in which you are sitting at your desk, focused on being maximally productive.

    I'm maximally productive on my MBP 17" with an external display, but I'm trying to recoup lost minutes in the day in which I could be programming, but haven't been. The MBA 11" I'm hoping will let me always be able to take advantage of a few idle minutes here and there.

    You're probably young, but when you get older, you start to really dislike wasting time (because life is so ... short :( )
  5. applefanDrew macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2010
    But with Education $100 free MAS could get the i7 in the 13 inch and still get $10 of apps.
  6. intothefantasy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2011
    does 128 ssd space enough? since i plan to get win 7 installed inside...well personally i cant get into heavy programming in iOS since i am going to learn as soon i get a mac i think a mba should be doable since you guys giving quite positive comments regarding the mba.

    another thing i would love to know is the heat on this little machine. are they hot if compare with the mbp 13?

    i do plan to game with mba but then just only some low setting games like world of warcraft. wont be running raids on these machine but i hope i playable in some pve action such as doing 5 man dungeon, leveling some alts and dailies. and of course with low setting i assume.
  7. mmendoza27 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2007
    Yeah, it should be fine. I have Xcode, TextMate, Coda and some Creative Suite applications installed on my MacBook Air 11" and I still have 91 GB left. I decided not to install iLife, but have iWork and various other applications. I may install a VM of 30 GB or so for Windows 7 and various IDEs for programming on that side. I'd still have much left. I don't keep any music or movies. That's kept on the Mac Pro and I stream music anyways.

    As for the heat, my 11" is perfect. No heat at all and it's quiet too!
  8. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    I'd recommend the 13" over the 11". I use a 13" aluminum Macbook with a 1280x800 screen and it's fairly cramped for development work, especially when working on something like an iPad app UI.

    The 1440x900 screen on the 13" Air should be just fine though.
  9. intothefantasy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2011
    yea in terms of resolution the mba should be perfect..just abit worry about the horse power in these little machine..

    i do love to get the mbp 15 with discrete graphics but then to get it with ssd is kinda expensive and i heard alot of problem with 3rd party brand ssd working with those mbp eg: vertex 3..

    the ssd in mba is sata2 right? how is the speed compared to vertex 3 which is a sata3?
  10. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    The horsepower should be fine for development, most development doesn't use the GPU at all and the integrated GPU should be plenty for accelerated apps like Photoshop.
  11. sth, Jul 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011

    sth macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006
    The old world
    The i5 will be fine for development, especially with XCode4 and Lion's fullscreen features.

    OSX and Windows 7 on a 128gb drive will not work well, I think. The operating systems and the WoW installation alone will chew up half of your drive. Add a few programs (XCode alone is another ~8gb or so) and you'll quickly run out of space.

    Speaking of WoW: It will probably run okay on low, maybe medium settings, but don't expect much. A MacBook Pro will be way better for this. Maybe you can find some videos on Youtube of people running WoW on the 13" Air to get a feeling for what is possible and what not.

    If you can live with the graphics performance of the Air, I'd say get the 13" i5 256gb model.
  12. akhbhaat macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2010
    FYI: you're not going to be running or debugging your apps on either of those devices unless you pay Apple $99/year to join the iOS developer program (or unless your university is one of the few that has an educational contract with Apple, whereby it would be free to you). Oh, you'll be able to write the code and build a functioning application, but you'll only be able to test it on the simulator and you certainly won't be releasing it to the App Store.

    There is a way around the first problem, beginning with a jailbreak, but I'm not going to get into that here.

    Frankly: from an educational standpoint, I would suggest Android development instead. Java (with which you should already be at least somewhat familiar) is a more familiar and forgiving language than Obj-C (note: iOS Obj-C doesn't have automatic garbage collection!), and you can do more with Android OS than you can with iOS (you'll also have to account for a range of potential hardware types, screen sizes et al, which is a substantial part of real world software development). Finally, you won't have to pay anybody for the privilege of installing your application onto a physical phone, or releasing to market. You can pick up iOS later when you start producing market-worthy applications and are ready to cough up Apple's fee.
  13. sth macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006
    The old world
    On the other hand: Someone who is on the last year of their Computer Science degree should be able to handle manual memory management, as it's still widely used throughout the industry (for obvious reasons).
  14. seepel macrumors 6502


    Dec 22, 2009
    I've been using an 11" air to do iOS development and it has been just great. Hook it up to a 27" display and I can't tell that I'm not on my MBP. Of course my decision was based mainly on needing a laptop that I bring to school everyday. If that weren't the case I would probably be going for an iMac so that I could get some multi-display action going. And in the future I definitely see myself going this route.
  15. intothefantasy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2011
    i agree what you have said in the quote above, i would try to look for android since is easier with java instead of obj-c..but then i am in need of a portable laptop as well. A stupid question is, can mac os dev android stuff?...i am seriously bored with windows, and would love to try out mac as a new OS.
  16. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    I've got the SDK to run. Google's android VM system is rather slow on any machine though due to how they run it. I think it's true ARM emulation rather than an x86 version of the OS, which makes it harder to do development without a device. You simply won't get anything close to real perf, and it will be slow to develop that way. I'm not entirely sure why Google thought it was a great idea.

    EDIT: And this was on a 15" MBP.

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