Macbook Air for app development

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by breezeit, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. breezeit macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2014
    Hello All,

    I am looking to buy a macbook air (first time macbook user!) and I am concerned about app development in the Mac OS (would want to develop for multiple OS, not just for Apple).

    I have pretty limited developer skills, so I won't be doing any coding myself but will be looking at the "ready to use" app development tools available online. For example,

    Although some of these programs are web based, i.e. I can simply create an account and work on the web, I was wondering if this would be a problem to download the application on mac and work offline. I realise this may be a question to ask the specific software producers, but any advise from you experienced apple users will be much appreciated.

    Lastly, if I hire professional app developers either contract/hourly based or through a professional full service app development companies, am I likely to experience any problems opening/viewing files etc?

    Many thanks in advance :)
  2. joshlalonde, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014

    joshlalonde macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2014
    I can't offer much help but I'm a student going into programming (though I have a few years experience programming already) who recently decided to switch to Apple. Problem is I'm doing and C++ in Visual Studio which requires Windows. I intend to bootcamp. But from what I've seen, the MacBook Air is a fully capable machine for programming (and compiling) on.

    Once I get mine, I'll find out. I recommend you buy it, do some hard core testing on it and return it within 14 days if it doesn't meet your standards. My benchmark test is MineCraft XD

    Just letting you know that there are other people out there who use MacBook Airs for programming/dev. Fyi, I'm not sure if you're talking specifically about iOS Dev, but with the MacBook, you have a wider target audience; you can run Windows, Linux and Mac OS X so you can target WinRT, Android and iOS on just one laptop :D

    Also, the performance won't be lightning fast during compiling, but the SSD gives it a real boost in speed. Plus most of the time you'll be programming which isn't very computer intensive. Technically, programming and Dev aren't the same, but I imagine there's not much difference between both our scenarios.

    Good luck and hopefully my 'insight' wasn't a waste of your time :p

    Edit: Missed the part about you not coding. I guess in development, you're doing the management? I have no clue then. Sorry, guess I did waste your time. Though I think going into Dev, programming skills are a must. At least learn Java so you understand what bools, floats, classes and conditional statements, etc. are. Maybe I'm wrong. But it would certainly give you a head start if you can't get a senior position immediately XP

    Edit 2: Okay, so about the file part. I think it depends on the platform; if its not compatible with Mac OS X then you'll have to run Bootcamp or a VM. I can't suggest either because there are benefits to both. But in either case, if you need to run Windows, you can. And apparently it runs just fine. It would be nice to know what kind of Dev you're doing.
  3. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    Hello back at you!

    That's what I do for a living. I use several Macs, but my go to machine is a MBPr 15". So do not worry.

    Sorry, I'm not familiar with any ready to use app development tools. I typically use Coda2 (php/html5/css3/json) for web application development, XCode (objective-c/swift) for iOS app development and Eclipse (Java) for Ubuntu/Windows/Mac application development. But of course as all programmers, we have to use what the 'house' uses, so I'm 'familiar' with more environments than I can name.

    Yes sir, you are correct.

    No sir, almost all code starts out as text. You should be able to read it with Pages, Notes, GEdit, nano, vim or any text editor.
  4. joshlalonde macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2014
    I was thinking something different when he said files. Ya, code text editor can open them. Unless you meant special project files... idk.
  5. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2014
    I rune IDE, a Virtual Machine, and database on mine for developing LAMP and RoR web apps, work fine. IOS Simulator work fine on the 2013 MBA, the guys on the MBP might be a tad faster with their 4 real cores and 16GB of RAM, but I don't notice it behaving in a way that would be a nuisance to my development time.

    I have no idea what you mean by wanting to develop for multiple OSes. Web applications are cross platform by nature, so is the ebil platform known at Java.

    Your developer toolset used is very specific to the tool. No one can answer those questions for you. In general there's different tools that does the same thing on OSX as on Windows. Many are better :D you just need to know what you're doing and be able to use different tools to help you accomplish the same goals instead of letting a specific tool drive what you're doing.

    That has nothing whatsoever to do with the processing power and hardware spec of a MBA.

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