Which MacBook to get for iOS development?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Sodium Chloride, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. Sodium Chloride, Mar 14, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018

    Sodium Chloride macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    #1
    I am planning to buy a MacBook for making and selling app for statistics. The app would have to create charts and tables. Do you think a 12" MacBook is adequate for this purpose? Or should I get a bigger 15.4" MacBook Pro instead? I would rather not use an external monitor since it would clutter my small room.

    Also, do I need a Core i7 or would a Core m3 be adequate?

    Regardless of my choice, this would be my first Mac although I have been using my iPad for like 8 months.
     
  2. firewood macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #2
    Many developers have created apps of that complexity on 5 year old MacBook Air 11's with even slower processors. Choose between the two based on the size of display you need for everyday use.
     
  3. spacebro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #3
    I'd get a 15" from 2015 or new depending on how much you want to spend. I've been using a 2015 MacBook pro to make apps at a company where other people have newer macs and MacBook airs. The 2015 compiles nearly as fast as new MacBooks, takes a couple minutes to packages something. The 13" is slower even new ones. The MacBook air though, took a solid 15 minutes to do the same thing. Definitely get a 15" pro if this amount of time will get in your way.
     
  4. TheWatchfulOne macrumors 6502

    TheWatchfulOne

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #4
    My app, which is shown in my signature, was mostly developed on a 11" MacBook Air (sadly discontinued.) That's as small a screen as you could get in recent years. It's not the fastest machine, but it does have a Core i7, so it's not exactly slow either.

    The real question is this: how portable do you want your computer to be? I chose the 11" because I wanted to easily pick mine up and take it with me. If I ever needed a new one, I would consider the 12" MacBook. Don't let the small built-in screen put you off. A small screen notebook can still be hooked up to a 27" display if needed.

    And defiantly get it refurbished from Apple's online store. You'll save lots of money.
     
  5. sundialsoft macrumors newbie

    sundialsoft

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    Scotland
    #5
    Note that iPhones & iPads have big screen resolutions so I recommend getting the biggest screen resolution possible just so the device simulators will look better on your Mac.
    A Mac with a solid state disk is going to run much better than one with a traditional disk. (I have a 15" i7 MBP and I'm about to change the boot disk to SSD as it's an obvious bottleneck)
    More disk space will make you life easier and you absolutely must have a separate backup device for Time Machine. (I also have a separate 2 TB portable disk for manual backups)

    (I have a few live app store apps and have been an iOS dev for over 5 years)
     
  6. Anksri macrumors newbie

    Anksri

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2018
    #6
    As for a 12in MacBook, it’s a good option if your main priority is finding something small and light, but the 13in MacBook Pro isn’t much bigger or heavier and it has a lot more going for it for the same price. So we’d stick with the MacBook Pro.

    Whichever MacBook you choose, we suggest you factor in the cost of a separate screen for when you are at your desk, because as a programmer you are going to benefit from as much screen space as you can get your eyes on.
    To develop an iOS or Mac app you will need the following:
    1. Xcode 9.2. Xcode is the primary tool for macOS and iOS development and it is only available on the Mac. It is a free download from the Mac App Store that includes Swift 4 and SDKs for the latest versions of iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS. Note that Xcode requires macOS Sierra 10.12.6 to run, so you also need…
    2. A Mac that can run macOS Sierra 10.12.6.
    Choosing between a dual-core and a quad-core processor (or deciding whether to upgrade to an i7 chip) is less obvious. You probably will be just fine with an entry-level dual-core i5 processor for coding, but if you have money to spare then it won’t hurt to get a more powerful Mac.
     
  7. ashanimatarage macrumors newbie

    ashanimatarage

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2018
    Location:
    SL
    #7
    I would suggest going for MacBook Pro - 15in and this model will give you more screen estate for a programmer.
     

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