Have you ever thought of developing an iOS mobile app on windows? The answer will be most probably a big NO, however, the times have changed and let’s find out how to develop an iOS app on windows.
The main issue that holds you from iOS app development in windows was the Xcode, the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) we use to design and develop an iOS app. Xcode includes a swift compiler, interface builder and other required tools to upload your app to the app store. Now Xcode contains everything you need to build an iOS app. The only issue is that it is only compatible with Mac OS X (now called Mac OS).
Another issue is that you can’t buy any PC with Mac OS on it because unlike Windows, Apple doesn’t let you license its OS with other manufacturers. When you purchase an OS X, you can license to only run this OS on Apple hardware. This limits you to develop apps that run only on a Mac.
Now let’s discuss the ways through which you can develop an ios app on Windows PC.
1. Use Virtualbox and Install Mac OS on Your Windows PC
The quickest way to develop iOS apps on windows is with the help of a virtual machine. A virtual machine will create an environment where any operating system can run in like it's running in the same hardware itself. This functionality is called virtualization as it allows you to run Windows on Linux and even Windows on OS X.
To run Mac OS on a virtual machine, you need two things:
• A copy of OS X as a virtual image file or an installer.
• A virtual machine tool like VirtualBox or VMWare.
You can acquire a duplicate of OS X by downloading it from the App Store. You can likewise find installers from different sources on the internet.
Remember that utilizing Mac OS on non-Apple hardware is against Apple's End User License Agreement (EULA).
2. Rent a Mac in the Cloud
A considerably simpler approach to get your hands on OS X is to lease a Mac in the Cloud, although it will be much more expensive.
Services like Mac-in-Cloud and Mac-Stadium offer affordable rent-a-Mac products. You can connect with those cloud-based Macs by means of a Remote Desktop Connection (RDP).
Windows provides a stock Remote Desktop you can utilize, thus do most Linux OS. Once you're signed in, you can install Xcode and your iOS app development services.
3. Build Your Own "Hackintosh"
The most evident choice iOS app development services on a Windows PC is maybe to actually install OS X on a Windows PC. Apple enthusiasts have always enjoyed the integrated user experience, design, and interconnectivity the tech giant has offered.
A Hackintosh is a PC that runs Mac OS. It is same as installing an OS X in a Virtual machine, likewise, you can install OS X as a bootable OS to your PC.
4. Create iOS Apps on Windows with Cross-Platform Tools
Cross-platform tools are amazing: you code your application once and export it to iOS and Android. That could cut your application development time and cost into the half. A few cross-platform tools enable you to create iOS applications on a Windows PC or allow you to compile the application if there's a Mac within your network.
A regularly heard argument against cross-platform tools is that they offer restricted access to and support for smartphone hardware, and are less "smart" than their counterparts. Remember that any cross-platform tool will expect you to compose platform-specific code at a certain point, particularly if you need to code custom features.
6. Code with a Swift Sandbox
Swift is an open-source language, which implies that you can effectively run it on any hardware. Accordingly, you can likewise run it in your browser too – if the language is ported to Chrome, Safari or Firefox.
IOS app development is all about familiarizing yourself with Xcode. Once you're comfortable there, you can develop your app with the tools mentioned above which will help you to get started on the right path.