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How can I develop for iPhone using a Windows development machine? (20)

A devkit that allows one to develop iPhone apps in Objective-C, C++ or just plain C with Visual Studio:

Check it out at iOS build env

You can build iPhone apps directly within Visual Studio (2008, 2010, Express).

Pretty neat, it even builds IPA files for your app after a successful compilation. The code works as is on jailbroken devices, for the rest of the planet I believe the final compilation & submission to the App Store has to be done on a Mac. But still, it enables you to develop using a well-known IDE.

Is there any way to tinker with the iPhone SDK on a Windows machine? Are there plans for an iPhone SDK version for Windows?

The only other way I can think of doing this is to run a Mac VM image on a VMWare server running on Windows, although I'm not too sure how legal this is.


As has been pointed you can attempt to use the WinChain but if you are a newbie coder it won't be easy.

The iPhone SDK will work on Hackintoshes (a normal PC with OS X installed on it). I know as I have one and it does.

So after you go buy an OSX license you could TRY to install it on your PC on a different drive using Boot-132 or one of the other installers like iDeneb. The issue you will have to do a lot of tinkering and things still won't work quite right.




If you have ssh access to a Mac, then you can use a VNC (like Vine VNC, which allows multiple uses at once - thin thin client) to control XCode.

This could be useful if you wanted to access a Mac Mini from a laptop, or your S.O. is hogging your MacBook.


If you want it to be legitimate, you have two options, cloud based Mac solutions or cross-platform development tools. You may consider the hackintosh approach or virtual machines if you don't care about legal stuff. If you have a decent PC, running a virtual machine would be the easiest way to go. You may never know which hardware will have driver issues on a hackintosh.

I've tried all these approaches and they all have pros and cons, but for the second group, I feel kind of guilty. I develop apps to make a living and I wouldn't want to rip off someone else for it.

If you are making a small project, cloud based Macs may prove useful. Rent it for a short time, develop your project and off you go. Don't bother learning anything new.

However, if your project is getting big, cross-platform frameworks seem to be the only alternative. The critical thing is that you need to choose wisely. There are so many hybrid frameworks, but what they do can be summarized in one sentence as "diplaying web pages in an app wrapper" and developers' negative experience with hybrid frameworks also affects native frameworks.

I tried three of these (Titanium, Smartface and Xamarin) and they all claim to produce "real native output" and in my opinion their claims are correct. You need to test and see it yoursrlf, it's not easy to describe the native feeling. In a previous comment, it was indicated that it takes some effort to learn these platforms, but once you get to know them, you can develop not just iOS applications but Android applications as well, all with the common code base. And of course, they are much cheaper than a cloud Mac. Some of them are even free. You would need a Mac only for store submission.

If you know JavaScript, try Titanium and Smartface and if you know C#, try Xamarin. Just note that for the device simuator, Titanium is dependent on a Mac, but Smartface has a simulator app for Windows development and it works better than I expected. On the other hand, Xamarin requires a Mac in your network.


If you want to develop an application on Windows environment then there is an option, you can install MAC OS in your windows Platform name is : "Niresh'MAC OS" , you can search that text on Google

then you can download the whole MAC OS Source and easily installed MAC OS in your Windows PC, Niresh is able to Hack the whole OS.

Hope this will help you.


Interesting that no one has mentioned the cross-platform wxWidgets option.

It's less than an optimal solution, though.

IMHO, the business-wisest way to go is to invest the money in Apple's endorsed framework. That way, if you find yourself stuck with some mind-boggling problem, you have a much larger community of developers to consult with.


Most of "so called Windows solutions for iOS development without Mac" require Mac at the end just to sign and send to app store. I checked a few, not all though (who has the time?)

At the end it's just too much trouble to learn "their super special easy way to program iOS without Objective-C", they have lots of bugs. Really the goal they are setting is unachievable in my view.

Also a lot of time they make you use Objective-C equivalent statements simply in another language. They kind of look the same but there are always subtle differences that you have to learn on top of obj-c. Which also makes even less sense, because now instead of learning less you have to learn more. So where is the gain? Also they cost a lot, because they are very hard to develop.

Many lack any debugging abilities whatsoever.

In my honest opinion, if you are a hard-core iOS developer then for sure buy the best Mac and learn objective-c. It's expensive and takes time, but if it's your path, it's worth it.

For an occasional use, it's just easier to rent a remote Mac service, like XCodeClub.com


Of course, you can write Objective-C code in notepad or other programs and then move it to a Mac to compile.

But seriously, it depends on whether you are developing official applications to put in App Store or developing applications for jailbroken iPhone. To write official applications, Apple iPhone SDK which requires an Intel Mac seems to be the only practical way. However, there is an unofficial toolchain to write applications for jailbroken iPhones. You can run it on Linux and Windows (using Cygwin).


The SDK is only available on OS X, forcing you to use a mac. If you don't want to purchase a mac you can either run OS X on a virtual machine on your windows box, or you can install OS X on your PC.

In my experience the virtual machine solution is unusably slow (on a core2 duo laptop with 2G ram). If you feel like trying it search for the torrent. It's probably not worthwhile.

The other option is to install OS X on your PC, commonly referred to as a hackintosh. Hackintoshes work quite well - my friend just sold his mac because his Dell quad core hackintosh was actually much faster than the apple hardware (and cost about 1/3). You can find lots of articles on how to do this; here's one on how to install on a Dell Inspirion 1525 laptop: hackbook pro tutorial

Of course both of these options are likely counter to some licensing scheme, so proceed at your own risk.


Try macincloud.com It allows you to rent a mac and access it through RDP remote control. You can then use your PC to access a mac and then develop your apps.


Using Xamarin now we can develop iPhone applications in Windows machine itself with the help of Xamarin Live Player .

Using this Xamarin live player dev/deploy/debug cycle can now be done without an Apple system.

But to sign and release the app Apple system is required .

Find the reference here

I checked the reference nothing dodgy


YOU CAN DEVELOP IPHONE APPS ON WINDOWS PC. I've done it, with complex apps. And it works perfectly. You can develop iphone apps without ever seeing a mac or iphone.

You can develop on windows an HTML (or better: HTML5) app, using tools like Sencha or JQTouch, or mobi1. (They used to all be free for a while)

Then you use openSSL to sign the app. And Adobe PhoneGAP Build service to build IPhone App.

But you need the iphone developer licence to install it on an iphone. But you don't need a mac or iphone at any minute to compile, build or test it - all that is done ON THE PC.

I've done it, and it works perfectly. (But with Android type responsiveness - not as fast as a native IPhone app)

You could also use a program from the the Babylonian era (circa 300 bc) running C and C++ called dragonfly. If your app has one or two screens with limited interactivity, and many calculations, go for it. It includes an emulator. You compile to the iphone at the press of a button. (Not sure, but I think you do need a developers license in any case)

And then there is Xamarin. You develop in C# with special calls to native code. You'll have to learn the environment.


You can install OSX on PC but experience wont be great and it needs lot of work. Alternate is to use a framework/SDK Codename one : which is based on JAVA and can be used to code in WP8, Android, iOS on Windows (eclipse) with all extensive features

Features Overview:

  1. Full Android environment with super fast android simulator
  2. An iPhone/iPad simulator with easy to take iPhone apps to large screen iPad in minutes.
  3. Full support for standard java debugging, profiling for apps on any platform.
  4. Easy themeing / styling – Only a click away

More at Develop Android, iOS iPhone, WP8 apps using Java Disclaimer: This is my review for the product


You can use WinChain

Quoting the project page:

It's the easiest way to build the iPhone toolchain on a Windows XP/Vista computer, which in turn, can take Objective-C source code that you write using their UIKit Headers (included with winChain) and compile it into an application that you can use on your iPhone.


You can use Intel XDK with that you can develop and publish app for iOS without mac.

Click here for detail.


You can use Sentenza for make applications for iPhone, on Windows. Tested with success. It's not a solution but a good alternative !


You may try to develop web apps for iPhone using HTML, JavaScript, CSS. Check the getting started info at Apple's site.






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