Did the thought of whether or not can you make Apple apps on Windows ever cross your mind? Even if it did, you probably have brushed off the idea thinking it to be unattainable. However, times have changed and with the latest development in technology, even this is possible.
The main issue preventing iOS app development in Windows was the Xcode, the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that is used to design and develop an iOS app.
Xcode includes an interface builder, swift compiler, and other necessary tools to upload an app to the app store. It contains everything needed to build an app on iOS. However, it is only compatible with Mac OS, which is again cannot be purchased separately like Windows OS. Apple does not license its OS with other manufacturers. Thus, Mac OS is licensed to run on Apple devices only.
Can you make Apple apps on Windows?
Long story short- yes, you can, by following any of the ways discussed below:
Use Virtualbox and Install Mac OS
Using a virtual machine to develop an iOS app is the quickest way to do it. A virtual machine will create the environment in such a way that any operating system will feel like running on the actual hardware it was supposed to. This is known as virtualization.
You need two things to run Mac OS on a virtual machine:
- A copy of Mac OS as an installer or a virtual image.
- A virtual machine tool like VMWare or VirtualBox.
A duplicate Mac OS can be downloaded from the App Store. You can also find installers from various sources on the Internet.
However, remember that using Mac OS on any other hardware than Apple’s devices is against the company’s End User Licence Agreement (EULA) policy.
Build Your Own “Hackintosh”
Installing a Mac OS on a Windows PC is probably the most effective way to develop iOS apps. Apple enthusiasts enjoy the integrated user experience, interconnectivity, and design that the company has to offer,
A PC that runs Mac OS is called a Hackintosh. Like you would install Mac OS on a Virtual machine, you are installing Mac OS as a bootable OS on your PC.
Rent a Mac in the Cloud
Although quite expensive, a simpler approach to get Mac OS is to lease a Mac in the Cloud.
Services like mac-Stadium and Mac-in-Cloud offer affordable rent-a-Mac products. With a Remote Desktop Connection (RDP), you can connect with these cloud-based Macs.
Most Linux OS and Windows offer a stock Remote Desktop to use at your disposal. Once you have signed up, install Xcode and iOS app development services.
Create iOS Apps with Cross-Platform Tools on Windows
Can you make Apple apps on Windows? Of course, you can. There are some amazing tools where you can code your application and then export it to Android and iOS cutting your application development cost and time to half.
These are cross-platform tools that let you create iOS applications on a PC or let you compile the application if a Mac is there within your network.
However, they are often blamed for restricted access and support for smartphones. It is to be noted that any cross-platform tool would want you to compose platform-specific code at some point in time, especially if you need the code custom features.
Famous as a game development engine, Unity is an extremely powerful IDE, which can be used on iOS, Android, and several other platforms. Its powerful features and rapid development make it a good option for developing non-gaming apps also.
The “Cloud Build” feature of Unity supports iOS app development on Windows is fairly simple steps. One just needs to register as an Apple developer and join the unity cloud build to set up, create and build iOS projects easily.
It is truly possible to develop and distribute an iOs app completely in Windows with this free-to-use editor. You will only require a Mac to compile the project.
Code with a Swift Sandbox
Swift can be run on any hardware since it is an open-source language. It can also be run on the browser if the language is ported to Safarim Firefox or Chrome.
Using just Swift Sandbox, you can learn Swift and code with the same, You would not need XCode or Mac anymore.
Once a code is run in Swift Sandbox, it will send the same to a web server which will compile the code and yield a result. Thus surely affirming your query of can you make Apple apps on Windows?
Using React Native Environment
Setting up Mac OS deployment machines and with the use of an android emulator, it is possible to develop an iOS application. Use the Expo simulator available on iOS and Android to see the output.
Use the Hybrid Framework, Xamarin
Hybrid frameworks which are much cheaper than Cloud Mac offer cost-effective solutions for iOS app development on Windows.
Most developers claim that Xamarin offers real native output. It uses C# for coding. This feature-rich platform lets you develop and compile iOS apps and deploy them to iOS gadgets straight from Windows.
The only thing you are not allowed to do is submit from Windows to the App store. You would need a Mac for the same.
With so many options available you would never need to ask can you make Apple apps on Windows. True, that these are a bit complicated than building apps on Mac directly. However, these alternatives are widely tried and tested across the world by developers and they are exactly what you need in the absence of a Mac. Developing iOS apps is about familiarizing with Xcode. Once you are comfortable there, you would be able to develop an app with these tools thereby helping you get on the right track.