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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 07, 2012
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    Exclamation Starting to make apps
    Hello guys.

    I am thinking about become an app developer, but there are a few things id like to know.

    Firstly, what mac should I get? I'm looking for a laptop style one (macbook) that is roughly the size of a laptop, not a small one. I'm trying to spend under 300 for a new mac(book?). I would like it to be wireless Internet, and the speed isn't too important, as long as it won't freeze on me. Memory, well how much memory does making an app need? Also pretty obvious, but with a mouse and keyboard, speakers would be nice for some background music.

    Secondly, how hard is it to learn how to make a basic app. Or even to make a basic game?

    Lastly, are there any good tutorials, I have looked in so many places without success.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Kind regards,
    Joe

  2. #2

    vansmith's Avatar
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    I can't answer all of that since I don't make iOS apps but for 300, I'm not sure you'll be getting a stellar machine. I'll have to defer to some of our British members to clarify what that might get you but I wouldn't have very high expectations.

    How hard is it? This all depends on your skills and personal learning approaches. Have you ever coded before? What are you looking to make?

    You might be best off getting a book and there are a few good ones out there but as before, I'll have to defer to other members for recommendations.
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  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Ok, do you know the required os for app development?

  4. #4

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Welcome to Mac-Forums

    For starters, you will need an Intel-based Mac for app development. To use the newest SDK's, you'll also need to run the newer versions of OS X, which means a newer Mac.

    Whether it's a iMac, Mac Pro, Macbook Pro matters only to you as far as your mobility and budget goes. You will want to get as fast a CPU you can afford, memory can be upgraded by yourself and you will want to max out the system..

    Initially, you'll be using the simulator a lot and then going to the device itself, and not having enough memory will make things slow and cumbersome..

    On my old Mac Mini 1.83 Ghz, I had 3 GB of memory and it worked well enough, when I upgraded to my current 27" iMac with 4GB of memory it was great..and then upgrading memory to 12GB allowed me to run all sorts of things with no problem..

    How hard it is to make applications depend entirely on how much programming you know and the concepts that go along with it. If you don't know Objective-C, then you'll have to learn that first..

    There are numerous posts about this in this sub-forum, so do a search and you'll get lots of tips, links to tutorials and books to read..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  5. #5

    vansmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeRAB View Post
    Ok, do you know the required os for app development?
    Just to clarify Razor's excellent answer, newer version means OS X 10.7 (Lion). The current version of Xcode requires it. However, I don't know if older versions will work (can you still use old versions of the SDK and get App Store approval?).
    Important Links: Community Guidelines : Use the reputation system if you've been helped.
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  6. #6

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
    Just to clarify Razor's excellent answer, newer version means OS X 10.7 (Lion). The current version of Xcode requires it. However, I don't know if older versions will work (can you still use old versions of the SDK and get App Store approval?).
    It is possible to use an older version of the SDK and get approval, but it is always recommended to use the latest SDK since that provides functionality that you'd want to leverage anyway. But how old of an SDK is allowed will be limited to. So, iOS 5 is the newest SDK, I'm sure iOS 4.3SDK will still be OK, but going to 4.1 or older might not be allowed..

    Also if a Mac is bought that can JUST barely run iOS 5 or a slightly older version today, then when the next SDK version comes out, upgrading might not be an option and thus continued development might not be an option either..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    If I was to buy an old mac would I be able to put a new mac os onto it?

  8. #8

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    It all depends on how old the Mac it is..

    OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) needs at least an Intel mac, and OS X 10.7 (Lion) needs at least a Core2Duo processor to install..

    If your current budget is not going to get you a new enough, buying an older one will not really help you, you're better of waiting to save more and then buy the Mac that fits your need more..

    If you just wanted to get a Mac to browse the Internet or do simple thing, then the requirements are less and an older Mac (one running Tiger even) would be fine..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  9. #9

    vansmith's Avatar
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    Depends on what Mac you get. The system requirements for Lion are here.

    Thanks Razor for the clarification. I figured you could use an older one but I was unsure how far you could (or would want to) go back.
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  10. #10

    Mark FX's Avatar
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    Just to confirm some of the info that Razor & Vansmith have given you, you will need a Mac
    with an intel processor, with at least 2GB of Ram, but 4GB would be more suitable.

    The Mac laptops are great, but are very expensive in the UK, also they have small screens,
    which can be a problem when you start doing programming with the Xcode develper tools,
    which you will be using for app development on your mac.

    The best choice would be a 21.5 inch iMac.

    iMac - Desktop iMac Computer - Apple Store (UK)

    But you might want to consider a Mac Mini if your on a tight budget.

    The New Mac mini - Now With OS X Lion - Apple Store (UK)

    The mac mini can be used with a TV with a HDMI connection, which you might already have in your bedroom, but you will have to get the keyboard and mouse as they dont come
    with the Mac Mini as standard.

    I have had a look on the UK eBay site for you, and have seen both of the above systems
    for half the new price, but make sure you buy one thats no more than two years old, also try and buy from somewhere local to you, so you can pick it up in person, and check it is
    working correctly, the chances are if you buy local and private, the seller will have upgraded
    there system, and will be more likly to want to help you with advise.

    After buying a Mac, you will want to donwnload the Xcode developer tools from the Mac
    App store, these are free to download, and the newest version is 4.3.

    https://developer.apple.com/xcode/

    With this version of the Xcode tools you can make apps for iOS versions 4.3, 5.0, and the
    new 5.1 which will be released some time this summer.
    Also you can use it to develop Mac apps for versions OSX Snow Leopard, Lion, and
    Moutain Lion which will also be released some time this summer.

    All of the above equipment and software will be required for you to get going.

    As for learning, if you have not done any coding before, you want to learn a little ANSI C,
    and then Objective C, and one of the best beginner books is this one.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Objective-C-...360122-6457649

    I can highly recommend this book to you, it is written by some of the most experienced
    Objective C tutors, who run acclaimed coarses on Mac and iOS programming.
    You wont find it easy if you have no experience of coding, but take your time, and dont give
    up when things dont make sense, just take a break and try again.
    After completing this book, and having fully understood its content, then you might look into
    getting this book.

    iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide Big Nerd Ranch Guides: Amazon.co.uk: Joe Conway, Aaron Hillegass: Books

    This book is also a great learning tool, but will only make sense if you understood the
    basics in the first book, so dont rush, it only gets tougher if you do.

    Also once you start studying, come back and visit forums like this one and MacRumors, as
    you will find experienced programmers that will try to help you out, but we cant promise to
    always have the awnsers for you.

    My advise when posting questions is to be clear and specific, dont post dozens of lines of code, as most of
    us dont want to spend an hour reading these lines, and then an hour debugging them in the
    debugger of Xcode, so post only the lines of code that are causing issues.

    Hope this is of some help.

    Regards Mark

  11. #11


    Member Since
    May 07, 2012
    Posts
    5
    Wow thanks a lot for the help. Made me change my mind to the mini. But is this the one I am looking for?eBay - The UK's Online Marketplace

    It says that I can install everything via my windows pc. Has anyone done this, is it simple? Will I also be able to upgrade the os when an update comes?

    Just a bit more help will be a great deal of help.
    Thanks again!

  12. #12

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Specs:
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    That Mac Mini there will suit your needs just fine and will be able to handle the next OS X update (Mountain Lion) and a few more to come no problem.

    Now the wireless sharing of the optical drive of other machines means that that other machine needs to most likely have Bluetooth support for this to work.

    If you have a Mac desktop, then this is a non issue, but if you have a PC, you might want to look into this further.

    Worse come to worse, you can purchase an inexpensive external optical drive and use that to install everything..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  13. #13

    Mark FX's Avatar
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    Yes this model of Mac Mini would be fine for Xcode development.

    I dont advise using your Windows PC for installation of software, keep the systems totaly seperated.

    The Mac Mini comes with the OSX Lion preinstalled, so just connect it to your TV monitor, and also
    connect it to your Internet hub via wireless, which is also built into the Mac Mini, then download the
    Xcode developer tools, after spending a couple of days getting to grips with the Mac's operating system.

    Good Luck.

    Regards Mark

  14. #14


    Member Since
    May 07, 2012
    Posts
    5
    Thank you all for your help. You have helped a lot!!

    Kinds regards,
    Joe

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