Programming iOS apps on Windows?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by 1nvictus, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. 1nvictus macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2013
    Is this possible?

    I'm building a PC and will need to choose an OS. If Windows can't do this, can I get a Mac OSX and bootcamp Windows through this, then set it so that Windows is my default OS on startup?
  2. vmachiel macrumors 68000

    Feb 15, 2011
    iOS apps are build with Xcode, which runs on a Mac only. If you want OS X as your main OS on your self-build PC, you have to make a hackintosh. Basically, you'll need the right hardware and hack os x onto it. Lifehacker has a great up to date guide on building your hackintosh:

    When you have done that, you can install windows via bootcamp. A tech youtuber I watch also made a dual-booting hackintosh recently:

    Hope this helps
  3. xArtx macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2012
    There are complete solutions for Windows if you're building for Cydia, that's how it's creator writes for iPhones, but you won't get anything into the App Store that way.
  4. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    This is certainly an option. But if you want to run Xcode, you'll need to boot into OS X in order to do so.
  5. DDustiNN macrumors 68000


    Jan 27, 2011
    You can purchase Mac OS X and install it to a Windows machine via a virtual machine software package. That's how I made my first app, and it worked perfectly fine as far as developing and submitting to the App Store. However, my laptop was a bit old and the VM Workstation was very laggy. I didn't like it.

    I've since purchased a MacBook Air for development and I am so glad I did. It's much faster, and the multi-touch trackpad is just plain awesome. Now I have Windows installed via VirtualBox but I never use it. I did not use Boot Camp although it is most certainly an option.

    I am still more proficient with Windows (since I've been using it for almost 20 years), but Mac is quite nice due to Apple's hardware (specifically the multi-touch trackpad like I mentioned).
  6. acctman macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2012
    Consider buying a new Mac mini they start at $599 or you can probably get a used model off of eBay or Craigslist for $299-300
  7. Duncan C macrumors 6502a

    Duncan C

    Jan 21, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Although I would get an i5 or i7 model rather than the older Core 2 Duo.

    Mac OS 10.7 and 10.8 don't run very well on Core 2 Duo machines. (in contrast, 10.6.8 runs beautifully)
  8. 2bFrank macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2012
    At work, we program applications on windows machines, we never use a mac. However our applications have to be cross platform, so we use phonegap/cordova.

    We have developed our own build farm now, however before that we were using feed henry and adobe phonegap build. These are good solutions to build your app and worth a look. However the phonegap/ cordova solution is only good for a certain type of application, if your looking at games or resource intensive applications then xcode is a must and thus you need a mac.

    I have used a couple of hackintosh's and had a mixed experience. For all the effort and hard work, its a lot easier just to invest in a mac.
  9. crashnburn macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2009
    I know of some people using these, and I hear of some smaller dev suites like Drona improving over phonegap - Do checkout and share.
  10. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    This is just a workaround, not a true solution and does not involve running/submitting apps.

    I use Visual Studio Code and Atom Text Editor to make scripts when I don't have a Mac nearby. They are available for all platforms, Windows included. If you know someone with Xcode you can ask for a copy of ViewController.swift and AppDelegate.swift (or snag from github) to give you a guideline for how you should layout your file. You can remove all the code in them so it's just class to create a Cocoa Touch class and use it as a template for basic class files. Code completion isn't there but at least it will give you syntax highlighting. If you want a playground you can get Ubuntu 14.04 or 15.10 and install clang with Swift there and use the compiler to run the code.

    Although it's not what you were looking for it's at least something to check your code for learning/testing purposes.
  11. crashnburn macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2009
    Do elaborate more on this pathway? Can this be a proper Dev Env without needing Mac/ Mac OSX on a VM?
  12. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    You can run Swift on Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 15.10 (no support for 16.04 as of this writing) Go to and follow the instructions. If you are looking for an IDE, there isn't one, however you can hack one up using Atom as described in this article. It will allow you to build and run (perhaps distribute to other Linux platforms) Swift applications but that's it. It is not a way for you to submit applications to the App Store, for now it's mostly just a way to sharpen your skills with Swift without a Mac/OS X VM. The latest version available is 2.2.1.

    I could elaborate for hours on this but I think you'll find all the information already written in the two links I shared. No sense in making you read it twice.

    1) Install Ubuntu 14.04 or Ubuntu 15.10
    2) Download Swift from here -
    3) Read up on how to install it for your platform under Getting Started > Installing Swift -
    4) Make a decision, use the REPL that comes with it, or go here and follow the instructions -
    5) Learn/Start using Swift. includes some of the basics from the Swift book, or you can browse the Swift 2.2 book at for more information.

    Like I said, you won't be able to build iOS apps, but you will be able to build apps that run on Linux and Mac. You can import Glibc or Darwin depending on where (Linux/Mac respectively) the application will run.
  13. AxoNeuron macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2012
    The Left Coast
    If you're serious about writing apps for iOS, just get a mac or install a Hackintosh partition on your PC.

    Personally, I wanted a computer that was more powerful than what Apple sells, so I built my own hackintosh. It's pretty easy and it runs OS X natively, and is every bit as stable as a Mac (and more powerful than any Mac you can get in the Apple store).
  14. MarkCollette macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2003
    Toronto, Canada

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