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 member

    Jul 11, 2017
    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

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    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

    Oct 1, 2015
    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


    Jun 19, 2009
    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


    Sep 2, 2010
    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


    Apr 4, 2018
    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


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

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