How do I build an iOS app without a Mac?

I need to build an iOS app quickly. I don’t own a Mac, have little experience with it, and need to produce some sort of a result now. Bummer!

I was under the impression that an iOS app can be built on Ubuntu, but now

   meteor add-platform ios 


"Currently, it is only possible to build iOS apps on an OS X system".

Am I out of luck? Should I be shopping for a Mac? (see, I am so desperate I started rhyming :slight_smile: )

Is virtualization and option? From browsing the forum, I see people do that. How? And does the iOS emulator work in virtual mode? (My Android emulator did not work, prompting me to bite a bullet and do a dual boot).

Maybe someone on the cloud does that?

1 Like

You need to own a mac to be proper in terms of licensing and what not.

Would building on a VM or hackintosh work… sure.

I found a few SAAS services that offer Apple:

Any of them good for iOS development? If yes, is it emulator only, or can they produce a package to be loaded to a device?

1 Like

I am using, not only because of the $1 / hour price. Unfortunately you don’t have administrative access rights, so installing meteor is a bit tricky. But when you got there (that cost me $2) its very usable.

I must say that I only use it for building and publishing, not for testing the app itself since iOS Emulator via RDP always lacks…

How did you install Meteor without the access rights? And (bear with me, I am a newbie) how do you publish a program (for the client to see) without submitting it to the Apple app store for review? It’s not ready yet.

If you follow the official installation instructions you will receive an error message saying that copying the binary to e.g. /usr/local/bin/meteor failed. But its still installed in your user’s directory/.meteor. so whenever you want to run it you have to reference it by its full path.

If you want to test your app (with a wider audience than just yourself) you can use TestFlight (or iTunes Connect?) :

Don’t expect a beta program like on Google’s Play Store :smile: but it kind of works…

1 Like

Thank you! I’ll try.

So… does meteor produce a binary that I can then host online and give a link to the client to download on his physical device?

An Android equivalent would be an “APK package” that an owner of an Android device can install by unchecking the “download only from Google Play Store” or some such.

Have you read the official documentation? There’s also a wiki on meteors github page, here’s what you need to read :

Ping! It’s been a while, and I (again) don’t have a Mac, and am still a Mac newbie. What’s the latest and greatest solution for Macless iOS development using Meteor? Is there a step-by-step guide? Preferably with debugging and all.

On an unrelated subject, what are the minimal and the preferred hardware requirements for Meteor iOS development? Can an old Mac Mini do?

No need to buy a Mac or do remote hosting. You can use VMware workstation to create a virtual Mac VM and build your iOS specific app(s) in it. I highly suggest you run your virtual Mac off an SSD drive for acceptable performance.

I’ve been doing this for some time and it works perfectly fine.