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rancineb

iOS Development on PC

17 posts in this topic

So as a continuation from a previous thread I opened asking about iOS/Android tools, I wanted to ask a follow-up specifically about tools for creating iOS apps on a PC.  Since I'm just starting out and won't be building any games just yet, I think the result was to use xCode initially to get use to building iOS apps.  Unfortunately, I don't have a mac (I use PC) and don't plan on buying a Mac just to play around with iOS apps.

 

Is there a partner tool out there similar to xCode to build apps for iOS that runs on Windows?  I can't imagine that Apple shuts out anyone who has a PC, but wouldn't be surprised though either.  Originally I was hoping to find something that would work for iOS and Android, but right now my main focus is to make some basic apps for iOS so I don't' care about Android at this point.

 

Thanks for your help... again.

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I guess that depends on what you want to develop, Unity Pro allows you to program on the PC and convert and deploy for iOS and Android, I think Monogame and monodevelopment environment will allow you to do iOS development.

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Initially I plan on created some basic education apps that will be used in elementary schools for teaching math.  Nothing big, some simple apps that will have some colorful graphics to make it appealing for kids.  Not venturing into games yet so don't need tools like Unity.

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There was abother thread like this a few weeks ago.

 

Short answer: there are no tools for developing an iOS app with native widgets under Windows, legally. 

 

To develop an iOS game under Windows, you could implement your entire game in Marmalade (proprietary) or cocos2d-x (free) and then either buy a mac or have a friend with a mac let you register as a licensed apple deveoper, bring over your source code, re-build in XCode, and submit to the App store. At least in theory you could do that. In my opinion the above isn't really practical. You would have developed your entire game without ever testing on an actual device. You would have no way of testing any functionality that isn't covered by the cross-platfrom framework e.g. correct handling of device orientation and resolution, interfacing with Game Center, etc., etc.

 

To me, the bottomline is that if you are serious about developing to iOS, you need to buy a macintosh. Period.

 

To clarify, using Marmalade you can develop, sign and test on the device using only a PC. To submit your app to the App Store you need a Mac because the software used to upload the final package exists only in OS X. I've developed and distributed various games using only a PC and a borrowed MAC to upload to the store.

You have a free license that puts a Marmalade splash screen and a small watermark on the screen. The full license's price is not as prohibitive as it is on Unity though, and for me it's the best option right now for those that doesn't have a lot of bucks to spend on a license. You can also use Adobe AIR, but it's slower.

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There are a number of ways you can get *nearly* there with iOS development on Windows. You WILL, however, need a genuine Macintosh meeting the requirements of Apple, and also an Apple developer's license subscription to get your app on an actual device and into the app store.

 

* Unity (Free/Premium)

* MonoGame (Free)

* PhoneGap - JavaScript/HTML5/CSS3 (Free)

* MonoTouch (Premium)

* GameMaker Studio (Premium)

* Marmalade

 

I'm sure there are many more, but these are just the ones I've heard of.

Edited by smr
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Thanks for your suggestions.  This is why I'm not a big fan of Apple.  I'm very surprised that they don't have a port of xCode that runs on PC so they can expand their development market.  I'll take a look at Marmalade.  Thanks again.

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Thanks for your suggestions.  This is why I'm not a big fan of Apple.  I'm very surprised that they don't have a port of xCode that runs on PC so they can expand their development market.  I'll take a look at Marmalade.  Thanks again.

 

If I had to guess, it's because they've calculated that on a per-developer basis there is far more money to be made in selling Macs to a smaller number of developers than there is in selling one year of developer subscription, plus 30% cut of the zero dollars the vast majority of those non-mac developers would make selling their apps in the app store.

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There was abother thread like this a few weeks ago.

 

Short answer: there are no tools for developing an iOS app with native widgets under Windows, legally. 

 

To develop an iOS game under Windows, you could implement your entire game in Marmalade (proprietary) or cocos2d-x (free) and then either buy a mac or have a friend with a mac let you register as a licensed apple deveoper, bring over your source code, re-build in XCode, and submit to the App store. At least in theory you could do that. In my opinion the above isn't really practical. You would have developed your entire game without ever testing on an actual device. You would have no way of testing any functionality that isn't covered by the cross-platfrom framework e.g. correct handling of device orientation and resolution, interfacing with Game Center, etc., etc.

 

To me, the bottomline is that if you are serious about developing to iOS, you need to buy a macintosh. Period.

 

To clarify, using Marmalade you can develop, sign and test on the device using only a PC. To submit your app to the App Store you need a Mac because the software used to upload the final package exists only in OS X. I've developed and distributed various games using only a PC and a borrowed MAC to upload to the store.

You have a free license that puts a Marmalade splash screen and a small watermark on the screen. The full license's price is not as prohibitive as it is on Unity though, and for me it's the best option right now for those that doesn't have a lot of bucks to spend on a license. You can also use Adobe AIR, but it's slower.

Wait, you can deploy to a device from a PC? ... this is news to me.

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Note that if you go with one of the options that allows you to develop from Windows but still requires a Mac to submit your app -- that is, most options that don't provide a submission service where it's done for you -- that you aren't necessarily forced to buy or borrow a Mac; services such as MacInCloud will allow you to rent a system that you can remotely connect to for a reasonable fee.  smile.png

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I second jbadams recommendation of MacInCloud if you really object to buying a Mac.  But if you ever get really serious about developing mobile apps then you will eventually need to bite the bullet and just buy one.   You can pick up a second hand Mac from ebay for relatively cheap and unlike a PC which would be obsolete after a few years, a 3 to 4 year old Mac is still adequate for developing apps.  A friend recently picked up a 2011 Macbook pro which had a broken battery for only £200.  He needs to keep it plugged in all the time but its still perfectly good for his needs ( his first app has already made him £1500 so it's money well spent).

 

Apple don't support development of iOS apps on PC for the same reason that Microsoft don't support windows 8 development on a Mac.   They arn't forcefully preventing you from developing on a PC but, why should they develop tools that run on a competitors operating system.

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Thanks everyone for your recommendations.  I'll probably look at one of the suggested programs to start development on my PC.  My whole issue is that I don't want to invest a bunch of money into something that I'm just playing around with and not serious about just yet.  If I get some great idea and want to take it to the next step, I'll definitely pay the $99 developer fee and get a mac of some sort so I can publish.  For right now, I don't want to spend several hundreds of dollars that I might not have time for.

 

I'll definitely look at the MacInCloud option and see how that works.

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  • You also use cocos2d-x (www.cocos2d-x.org) to develop your game on windows. After development, you can make build for iOS easily. PhoneGap is a good choice for you.
  • In my old company - DeNA -. They have their own Game Engine: ngCore. you can see at developer.mobage.com
  • Now, I'm developing my own cross platform GameEngine base on cocos2d-x. You can develop game by JavaScript language on Windows, iOS, Android. You will develop and launch your game as you connect to a webpage. I used V8 - a high speed javascript engine of Google - for my game engine: Jacos2d-x. It will be released soon as an opensource project.
Edited by nguyen.duong
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Overall I think jwezorek had the best answer. Developing on the Mac allows for a better feel for how the app will work. However, in the end you need to test the app on the actual device so if you are developing for a iPod and do not have one, iPod touch can be subbed for an iPhone, you are not really going to know how your app is going to fair.

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