Which Mac is best for apps developing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by v2club, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. v2club macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2011
    I have a 13" MBP 2011 model and I am learning objective C programming and would like to make apps for iPhone. However I have the chance to sell my MBP and buy a new Mac, but I don't know which one should I go for: 13" MBA, 21.5" iMac or should I stay with the 13" MBP?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You can effectively use any Mac model for app development.
  3. v2club thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2011
    Sure, but which one is the best and why? It does not make any difference to me which one I'll get ones I'm in the Apple store.
  4. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    It doesn't matter what hardware you choose from the above. All will be capable to make programs with XCode for Mac OS and/or iOS. I use an MBA 11" with no problems; of course it's slower compared to my iMac 27" but still fine.

    The only issue you might have if you would do lots of rendering for graphics like using blender or similar. That would ask for better CPU power.
    Depends on what you will develop.

    Take enough main memory (4GB)
  5. 87am macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2011
    Any Mac will do, just make sure you test the app on the actual device and not just the simulator.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There is no "best" one. It's only what's best for you. Do you need portability? Is screen size important? There are many factors to consider, none of which have to do with the requirements for app development. Only you can decide what's important to you.
  7. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Honestly ...

    What do you expect to hear? You're literally writing text and compiling it. Any model made in the past 5 years is sufficient for that task.

    What you need to focus on is comfort. Do you need a bigger screen? Do you need an optical drive? Do you need lightweight portability?

    I'll be frank with you, sounds to me you're just bored with your MBP and are looking for an excuse to buy something new, because this is a really silly question.
  8. Lagmonster macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2007
    You just need to pick laptop vs desktop, nothing else is important - you can dev code any anything.
  9. wegster macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    It kind of sounds like this is a 'maybe future hobby' versus much real dev experience?

    I can tell you that screen real estate matters to me as a software engineer, especially when looking at code day in, day out. RAM and a reasonably fast CPU are also worthwhile, but it depends on the type of development anticipated. iPhone apps are smaller, not exactly multiple GB of source code to be compiling like for a big enterprise Java app..php or other web development in general also tends to be smaller in scope, which means CPU and RAM are less of an issue, although if you plan to also run a web app server on your laptop that can offset the CPU and RAM 'savings' of writing smaller apps.

    If your primary operating mode will be with an external display, then the resolution doesn't matter as much, either.

    I've got some projects that take multiple hours to build, some 15-30 mins, and some 5 mins or less, and/or are interpreted/can apply and test changes near instantly, but need a DB or other servers running. I also need to be running at least two VMs at the same time, which both RAM and CPU come in handy for.

    There really is no 'best for development' it's what fits your wants as well as meets actual needs (if any are indeed needs). For me, a 1440x900 res or bigger, 8GB of RAM or more, and 500GB or more of storage is the best compromise laptop/near desktop replacement for ME. Technically, a Mac Pro might be better, in that I could kit one out to 16GB or more much cheaper to be able to run more VMs, but then I'd need to ensure work across multiple machines was always and correctly kept in sync, so my personal choice was a 15" MBP as a decent compromise all around, and to not worry when I need to run into a meeting with laptop in hand, if all work is synced back and forth or not.

    If you're buying this 'for personal use,' and maybe a 'hobby' to learn iphone app development or similar - buy what appeals to you personally, and once you understand your *own* real needs, you won't need to ask the question at all. :) I wouldn't expect any iPhone development to 'require' anything a MBA can't provide, the rest is really just comfort and speed.
  10. driveslowly macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2012
    I found this reply to be very useful. Thanks!

  11. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I would want 8 GB of ram, and a SSD. Unfortunately such a combination is not available in the Apple retail stores, only through custom orders.
    One other thing I like is a big screen -> iMac?

    Keep your current machine, it is as good as any of the newer ones.

Share This Page