Using Xcode or Android Studio on MacBook Air 2018

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Falcon80, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Falcon80 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #1
    Anyone here bought a MacBook Air 2018 and is currently using it for for iOS development (Xcode) or Android development (Android Studios)? Is the speed/performance bearable? I used to own a MacBook Air 2012 (8GB RAM) and the experience is not that good especially when it comes to compiling projects.

    I usually do my development on my iMac but once in a while, I do need a portable machine to work on when I am not at my desk.

    Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Ma2k5 macrumors 68020

    Ma2k5

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #2
    You’ll likely have slow compile/emulations if I had to guess. If you have multiple projects/applications open, you can expect some lag/delay switching between them.
     
  3. Zorori macrumors newbie

    Zorori

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    #3
    In my 2016 m7 MacBook I happily run IntelliJ for mostly Scala, but also some Kotlin and C# in Rider. Compilation times are are obviously longer than on a MBP (but it's incremental, so doesn't really bother me) and the IDE is absolutely fine. I've done some Kotlin/Gradle work which was also fine. The faster chip in the Air will help, but it's the 16GB you really need.

    I've done some React Native stuff in VSCode and the emulator will take a while to load, but once it's up it's fine.

    I found XCode to suck even on a TB MBP 15. Feels like it needs a big screen to be a useful tool.

    Personally, I am tempted to upgrade to the Air -- but the Mini is also calling me :confused:
     
  4. Falcon80 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #4
    Does it help to get the maximum RAM?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 8, 2018 ---
    Mini is nice but it is good to have some portability even if you are working at home.
     
  5. Ma2k5 macrumors 68020

    Ma2k5

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #5
    If I’m honest, not a whole deal, I’d expect similar performance levels on 8GB and 16GB unless you have some huge projects.
     
  6. AppliedVisual macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    #6
    I know I’m kinda derailing this a bit, but I played with a new Air a bunch yesterday at the Apple Store when picking up my new iPad. Quite honestly, I’m questioning its existence other than to provide a system with the “Air” moniker just to fulfill established corporate purchase lists. Maybe to appeal to the existing Air customer base who don’t want to go “Pro”. It barely has a price advantage and absolutely no performance advantage over a 13” Pro and only shaves 1/4 lb of weight by being thinner at the front, having 2 less ports, and maybe gives up to 2 hours more battery under super-ideal conditions. Hmm...

    I wanted to like it a lot more than I do. I was hoping more of something like the the 12” MacBook but with two TB3 ports and the 3/4” larger screen in the same exact form factor.

    I’m still tempted to pick one up as I could use something smaller than my 15” Pro for mobile XCode stuff that I’m doing a lot of these days. Which kills me because the iPad Pro is more than perfect enough for that, if only we had a real development environment and not just Playgrounds. I’m sure that is coming... Actually I know it is, I’ve heard credible murmurings, but WWDC still feels like an eternity away and it may not happen in 2019.

    I think for general app development use, the Air will be great. Using it for iOS emulation it will struggle, and a MacBook Pro will be much better. And yet, emulation is still clunky on a maxed out 15” Pro if any graphics or performance code is involved anyway. So I don’t tend to spend much time in an emulator, just go direct to the device.

    16GB would be my recommendation. Sure 8GB is probably fine for a lot of projects, but 16GB won’t leave you in a bind if you’re profiling, debugging, etc.. Yes, a lot of that depends on what all you’re doing and the new Air is really a light duty system so for most people who are fine with the Air as their daily driver, 8GB is probably all they’ll need.
     
  7. bobbie424242 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #7
    For compiling fast (especially for Android dev), you need the fastest CPU you can get that fit your requirements (price + weight). Also, 16GB RAM is a must. I have a macbook pro 2014 that I used until now for Android dev but I will be shortly replacing it by a Windows laptop with a beefy CPU (likely i7-8850H).
     
  8. Ma2k5 macrumors 68020

    Ma2k5

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Interesting that you’re moving to Windows, any particular reasons? Do you deploy for iOS or strictly Android?
     
  9. bobbie424242 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #9
    Strictly Android. As for moving to Windows, there is much more laptops choice available that fits better my needs (better keyboard, repairable, extensible, better thermals...) especially as I do not need super light and thin.
     
  10. Falcon80 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #10
    I just checked the refurbished store. For US$250 more, I can get a 15" MacBook Pro 2017 Quad-core i7 (2.8GHZ). This seems to be a pretty good option except I hate the TB and also the weight though the 15" screen will be more comfortable to do development.
     

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9 November 7, 2018