5 Best Methods to Develop iOS Apps on Windows!

Yogesh Pant
Jan 13, 2023

Have you been waiting to know how to develop iOS apps, but your preference for Windows has been holding you back? You may want to learn more about developing iOS apps but need more time to be ready to invest in an iOS device. Regardless of the rationale behind your inquiry, can you develop iOS apps on a windows computer?

The short version of a long explanation: You can't. Certainly not, and you shouldn't.

You can only primarily because Xcode, the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) used to create, develop, and distribute iOS apps, is compatible with Windows. The Swift compiler, Interface Builder, and the tools required to submit your apps to the App Store are all included in Xcode, which is all you need to create iOS apps.

It poses a challenge if you have been waiting to develop an iPhone app on your Windows computer. You cannot purchase a PC with macOS installed because Apple does not license its operating system outside its hardware. Even though Apple made Swift open-source, we still advise using one of these workarounds for private use in an emergency.

However, we strongly advise against using these workarounds. Of course, if you ask for a friend who insists, there are a few options. 

Which Platform, iOS or Android, Is Better for You?

Because of their features and capabilities, the Android and iOS operating systems are well-known and popular among software developers. Despite having a similar architectural design, there are differences in the processes used to create and maintain the products and the marketing strategies. 

But everyone has distinguishing features that make developers prefer it over rivals, such as its programming languages and system-specific design possibilities. From the standpoint of their customers, many firms have screened audiences and robust security and privacy requirements. It increases the client's need for a higher rate of return on investment and their predisposition to choose iOS development over Android. 

Regarding global adoption of mobile operating systems, Android, which had a market share of 70% as of December 2021, surpasses iOS, which had a share of 29.24%. If a company emphasizes the Android OS's development, it runs the danger of losing a significant chunk of the market.

How do you choose the operating system that best meets your needs? Here are a few noteworthy differences that can help you decide.

Key Variations

Programmer's Accent

Android apps can be made using Java or Kotlin, while iOS apps can be made using Swift. Swift employs a language with simple current grammar in contrast to Java's changed bytecode language, which is an intermediate-level language. As a result of Swift's smaller learning curve and more straightforward readability for programmers, iOS application development is quicker than that of Android apps.

In contrast, Swift is platform-specific. Since it can be used for server and web development, Java is great for cross-platform applications. Kotlin, a new programming language for the Android OS, has improved readability, enabling developers to write less code, which, when done correctly, results in fewer issues. It also offers more safety, less developer trouble, and is suitable for cross-platform programming.

Designing User Interfaces

For easy swiping and scrolling across home screens, iOS and Android have used a straightforward design. iOS follows the Flat Design guidelines. However, Android employs a newer set of guidelines called Material Design. The most extraordinary Android user interface takes advantage of the Material Design language, which emphasizes item shadows and animations to make navigating around the screen simpler for consumers.

Comparing the two, we can see that Android offers more customization choices than iOS. Due to its stiff rows and columns of application icons, iOS does not allow for UI customization to your tastes. It has widgets for the clock and weather apps. 

Unlike Android apps, which must ensure design optimization for multiple screen sizes, iOS applications are only made available for a restricted number of devices simultaneously. As a result, they are optional to incorporate newer design principles.

Audience

Creating an app is only worthwhile if user usage habits are taken into account. It's crucial to examine the user's characteristics while developing the app, considering their challenges, and providing a solution. Compare the costs of iOS and Android smartphones despite the fact that iOS users use only 29% of operating systems in the world. According to a survey, iPhone users make an average yearly pay of $53,251, whereas Android users get an average monthly salary of $37,040. 

This enables developers to gauge the spending power of consumers across operating systems, as Apple users are more likely to make in-app purchases than Android users. In 2021, consumers spent $133 billion on mobile games and apps worldwide, with iOS users spending $85.1 billion and Android users paying $47.9 billion. Android customers are less willing to part with money than iOS users since they have less buying power, especially given the cost of producing an app. By being aware of these purchasing trends, make an informed decision about where to locate your target market.

The Advantages of Utilizing Windows to Create iOS Applications

  • Affordability
  • Accessibility
  • More Programming Languages Are Available

Nor every ambitious app developer has the money to purchase an Apple device and create an iOS app. Even if a fantastic concept is waiting to be transformed into an iOS app, the high cost of Apple goods may impede development. It is possible to build a bridge between iOS applications and developers who can create Apple apps for Windows.

For a long time, if it didn't run on macOS, developing for iOS on Windows or any other computing platform was impossible. In the modern day, it is now feasible to use Windows for iOS development, with some modifications required to create and test an iOS application.

Windows is straightforward, giving programmers the tools they need to create programmes by continuously addressing and resolving any Windows API concerns. Over time, Windows has developed a standard that enables apps to interface with assistive technology efficiently.

Through these initiatives, Windows has cemented its overall position as the most user-friendly operating system. Additionally, you may programme in almost any language on a Windows device to develop applications for Windows and iOS users, particularly with the release of Windows 10's upgrade that made the Swift programming language available.

How to Create the Best iOS Apps on Windows

Tools for Cross-Platform

Developers are increasingly using the open-source UI software framework React Native for cross-platform development on Windows. It produces a native UI/UX that works seamlessly across the most popular mobile devices. It is based on JavaScript—making Apple applications on Windows has gained popularity due to its outstanding capabilities and simple learning curve.

Respond Native

React Native makes it feasible to deploy the same code on Android and iOS, saving you time and money since 90% of the code can be used on both platforms. React Native is more suited for mobile platforms than native systems since it is GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) based, while native systems depend more on the CPU. Hybrid approaches, formerly the sole option for cross-platform development, are far slower than React Native.

Xamarin

Another option is to create applications that can be exported to iOS and Android using cross-platform technologies like Xamarin and PhoneGap. You may create native applications with the aid of integrated development environments like Xamarin with C# and PhoneGap and Appcelerator with HTML5.

Cross-platform tools may help develop native applications as long as you are familiar with the principles of programming languages like C#, HTML5, Swift, CSS, and JavaScript. The best feature of the cross-platform Xamarin tool is that all of the applications made with it have the appearance and functionality of native apps. It is possible because it makes use of native interfaces that functions as users would expect them to.

Using Xamarin mobile app development, you can give your app a platform-specific hardware boost to reach performance comparable to native applications. Additionally, around 75% of the code for your mobile app will be the same regardless of the platform. Xamarin accelerates cross-platform mobile app development by pinpointing a single piece of code. This native-friendly interface increases the app development process's flexibility, making it easier to implement further improvements.

Case Studies for Xamarin

Restaurants may place digital orders and request delivery using the internet ordering app Olo. Olo started as a text message ordering business but later evolved into a JavaScript hybrid framework app. The app encountered problems, so the developer redesigned it using Xamarin. The original app was already a C# and .NET business that produced tools that produced unique applications for different companies using the same logic.

Alaska Airways makes an effort to integrate innovative travel technology solutions throughout time in an effort to enhance its client services. They were the first airline in North America to use online ticket booking services and print boarding cards by embracing technology advancements. Using Xamarin and Visual Studio Team Services, they developed a customer and staff app with features like push notifications, touch ID, and details about their flight journey.

Virtual  MacOS

When you gain technical knowledge, you can use virtualization MacOS software to run the Mac software on your PC. The before-mentioned provider performs the same operation on its server and then charges for virtual machine access. Unfortunately, using VirtualBox and VMWare WorkStation –two of the most well-known virtualization programs – requires considerable technical knowledge. To install the most recent version of macOS (Mojave), you may acquire them off the internet and then search for instructions on how to do it using VirtualBox or VMWare workstation. If you have these two items, you can run macOS on a virtual machine:

  • An installation or a virtual image file of OS X
  • A programme for virtual machines, such as VirtualBox or VMware

VirtualBox is free software since it is open-source. That is the reason why it is far more popular than VMWare Workstation when it comes to running macOS on Windows. A virtual operating system may be started by users using the virtualization software programme VirtualBox. By entirely virtualization hardware, VirtualBox gives consumers a greater degree of security against viruses executing in the guest OS.  

VirtualBox is not only the most feature-rich and performance-improving open-source corporate solution offered for free under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2, but it is also the only one. The software supports the most popular operating systems, including Windows, Linux, MacOS X, Sun Solaris, and FreeBSD.

VMWare Workstation software, which is excellent for creating iOS applications, is unfortunately not free; a license will run you around half the price of a brand-new MacMini. All you have to do is establish a remote desktop connection with cloud-based Macs. You may create applications using the built-in remote desktop client that Windows provides. Therefore, after you have logged in, install Xcode and begin the creation of iOS apps.

Rent a Mac with Cloud Support

Rending a MacinCloud is a simple method to get started developing with macOS on your PC before 

deciding to purchase a new Mac Since you will be using your PC to connect to the Mac and Xcode. It is possible to link to Macs in the cloud via Remote Desktop Connection thanks to a number of companies, including MacinCloud, MacStadium, and XcodeClub (RDP). Prices vary depending on provider but generally start at $20 a month with a selection of hardware to suit your requirements. Use the integrated Remote Desktop Client in Windows 10 to establish a connection to your rented Mac. A built-in RDP client is also included with several Linux distributions. After logging in, you may download XCode and begin working on your project.  

Apple's integrated development environment (IDE), Xcode, is a Mac-specific programme that can only be used with Mac OS X. It's tough to find Xcode's replacement for iOS developers using Windows PCs. If you utilize additional options like MacinCloud, MacStadium, and XcodeClub, it will be like having a Mac desktop on your Windows desktop. This option is appealing since it is the fastest and cheapest way to get things going. To connect to cloud services, use Remote Desktop Connection. Most Linux distributions provide a built-in Remote Desktop client, similar to Windows.  

Apply Unity3D

A cross-platform was developed by Unity Technologies and is mainly used to build 2D, 3D, VR, and AR games, applications, and experiences. It is accessible to beginners. However, you may no longer use the personal plan if your income reaches a certain level. Paid packages start at $25 a month. In essence, a solid IDE, such as Unity, is a game production engine that can be utilized on a number of platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, and others. On the other hand, its rapid development and powerful features make it a viable choice for non-gaming applications.

One may easily create iOS applications on Windows using Unity's Cloud Built functionality. After signing up as an Apple developer and utilizing Unity's cloud build, you can effortlessly set up, create, and generate iOS applications. You may create Apple applications on Windows using the free developer and editor. The only step that requires a Mac is a compilation.

On Android, iOS, Windows, and many more platforms, Unity, a powerful IDE, functions as a game-creation engine. However, because of its speedy development and robust features, it's also an excellent option for applications that aren't games. Unity's "Cloud Build" feature makes creating iOS applications on Windows simple. Signing up as an Apple developer and participating in the unity cloud build, designing, setting up, and building iOS applications is straightforward. It is possible to create an iOS app on Windows using a free editor for development and delivery.

This cross-platform app-building tool is particularly well-liked because of its higher graphical quality. Additionally, this technology is straightforward to utilize and has applications beyond only mobile apps. With Unity3D, you can distribute your game or app across 17 platforms, including Wii, iOS, Android, Windows, Xbox, and PlayStation. Unity3D monitors use data and advertise your app on social media. To get assistance and resolve your questions, if you have technical issues with coding or anything else, get in touch with Unity Connect, a group of Unity 3D engineers.

Unity 3D was used to create the puzzle game "Monument Valley," which was launched in 2014. This top-rated game has had more than 25 million downloads on Google Play and the App Store, with an average rating of 4.8/5. It has won multiple accolades, including the 2014 Apple iPad Game of the Year, for its gameplay and design.

Hackintosh

A system that runs Apple's macOS on a computer through unauthorized methods is called a Hackintosh. According to Apple's license, the operating system macOS may only be used on Apple products. A "Hackintosh," a modified Mac running macOS, is another option. Out of all the possibilities mentioned thus far, this one requires the most work, but it is also an option for users who wish to run OS (macOS) into a bootable operating system. Another option is to build a dual-boot computer that can run both Windows and macOS.

The architecture of Mac computers is similar to that of the majority of Windows laptops. There are extremely few, if any, compatibility issues while using a macOS on a separate machine. The introduction of the powerful AMD Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs has increased the popularity of Hachintoshes. For Hackintoshes, Intel CPUs have been favored since Apple long ago moved to Intel.  

Use a windows computer that satisfies the minimum specifications on the official website. Although it takes effort, setting up a Hackintosh will save you money. You should ensure a solid-state drive, a lot of RAM, and adequate computing power. Once your Hackintosh is complete, you can overcome the restrictions of iOS programming on a Windows PC. You are now using Macintosh instead of Windows OS. With Xcode, you can create, develop, test, deploy, build, debug, execute, and submit an application to the App Store. There is yet another method for installing macOS on a Windows PC. Although it could be faster than a Hackintosh, it has its own set of limitations.

As Reddit is a terrific site to discover engaging conversations on several subjects and answers to most issues, you may go to its subreddit to learn more about advances, insights, and updates in the app development community utilizing Hackintosh. The group is intended for "anyone wishing to install macOS on their PC" and offers a great chance to communicate with like-minded individuals and get help in various ways while also helping others.

Does the Idea of Developing Apps Intimidate You? How Should You Approach It?

No matter how big or small your business is, applications are essential to its development. 112.6 hours were spent using mobile applications by the young population, 112.6%. Increase customer loyalty and keep a devoted user base by making your product simple and growing client interaction. Making small business applications might be frightening, but you can create a great app with the right approach and a little assistance.

Creating an App for a Retail Establishment

Suppose you own a small retail operation providing exquisite embroidery work. In that case, you must ensure that you give potential customers a sneak peek at your goods so they may investigate and evaluate what you offer. How can you distinguish your company from that of your rivals? Please describe your company's objectives by focusing on the target market and learning how to make your items appealing to them.

Creating an App for a Retail Establishment

Planning your app such that it reflects the vision you have for your company is the next stage. Will your software be available for iOS or Android users, or both? Do you want to design an app that can be used on several platforms? You may make an educated choice by using the user numbers data stated above to understand Android and iOS users' behaviors better.

Once the app has been designed, budget your costs while accounting for developing and maintaining the app. The cost of developing an app increases with the number of features it has. If you are experienced in app creation, you may create your own app by using the instructions for developing iOS applications on Windows that were previously provided.  

Think about the many features you want to include in the app, such as push notifications, geolocation and map integration, in-app shopping and payment, and customer loyalty programme integration. For example, the well-known shopping app Myntra focuses on Gen-Z users and works to provide features that would appeal to them. The availability of a live-streaming area featuring social media influencers causes viewers to gravitate toward fashion trends that influencers consistently support. In an exclusive portion of the Myntra Studio app, customers may replicate the appearances of celebrities and social media influencers, which often influences consumers' purchase choices in favor of specific brands and trends.

App Development Outsourcing

You have three choices if you need to outsource the app development process:

App Developers

A specialized app development company can be the best option since they provide the highest level of skill and total assistance. However, small enterprises could find this choice to be pricey.

Freelance Developers

The most significant benefit is the lowest cost of employing a freelancer to create an app. They do not provide full-time help, even though their hourly fees may put them ahead of competing choices.

Homemade App Software

The most excellent option for small companies nowadays is to create their own apps using DIY app-building platforms. These platforms provide even the most novice computer user with a simple, step-by-step guide to creating an app. Create an app that meets your needs using the tools offered by AppsBuilder, GoodBarber, Shoutem, AppYourself, and Appy Pie. It is a cost-effective choice as you perform most of the labor. However, some platforms for creating DIY apps only make premium features available to subscribers. Additionally, the Apple App Store does not allow applications built on these platforms.

Conclusion

The resources mentioned above should assist you in learning more about creating applications for macOS if you still need to convert to Apple and study iOS programming on a Mac. It would help if you had macOS to run Xcode, whether on a cloud-based Mac or a Mac running on a virtual machine on VirtualBox.

If you have any issues, we at Mtoag Technologies are always there for you to get the best solution.

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