iPhone Development On Windows Options

Posted: 23/10/2013 in ASP.NET

1) Flash CS5.5 – Has become a very good solution with the Flash iPhone Packager.  The packager for iOS allows you to compile apps on the windows platform.  If you’ve been using flash you can rejoice in Apple’s latest policy, it performs ok, but don’t expect highest performance games, and Papervision to run in here.  No mac required.  Something that has been asked is if it is possible to create flash iOS apps in an evironment other than the official Adobe one.. absolutely, you can compile with the Flex compiler, and package your apps for iPhone as long as you follow the asme guidelines.

2) Airplay SDK – The airplay SDK allows you to create games, and sign your app on Windows PC’s.  A great solution for both 2D and 3D games and apps because of the free offer made to indie developers.

Both these solutions can compile to code that is native to the iPhone right on your windows PC and many apps available in the app store have been created using them.

3) Unity 3D – Game development engine and editor that utilizes Boo and C# and the editor works on both Windows and Mac.

4) Stonetrip S3D – Game develop engine and editor utilizing LUA, the editor runs within Windows.

These game engines allow you to develop your apps on Windows, but you’ll need a Mac to test/compile

3) Appcelerator Titanium – This is a good solution, and has a very popular and vibrant community.  Apps are limited in performance because while they can be compiled as native apps and sent into the app store they are html/javascript based.

4) Genuitec MobiOne – This is an interface designer that uses the Phonegap framework to deliver native functionality.  It only runs on windows.  HTML/Javascript based.

These solutions allow you to create apps using web technologies (HTML/CSS/Javascript) and then run them through an Objective-C framework that responds to actions within a UIWebView, thus allowing you to access native functionality on the iPhone.  These frameworks are free.  You will need a mac for native testing/compilation.

5) Dragonfire SDK – An interesting option that allows you to develop apps using their SDK on windows.  Then you send them your uncompiled source which they compile and you download the compiled iOS application file.  You upload your code for compiliation on their server (as long as you have the Ultimate edition).  I like the syntax and it’s pretty popular so I’ll mention it.  It is a good wrapper with a nice simulator on Windows.

There are a couple of other solutions that were either in testing, required payment without any form of trial (or in some cases even screenshots), or just aren’t out yet many of them seemingly lesser versions of the Dragonfire SDK that enable iPhone development on Windows by compiling your source code for you.. Airplay SDK is probably the most advanced “iOS SDK on Windows” available free at this stage.

iPhone Development On Windows Now A Real Possibility

My suggestion is that you are really set on windows iPhone development and rdon’t even want to buy a Mac Mini is that you create your app using an html/javascript solution such as Phonegap/Appcelerator or the Airplay SDK and then find someone with a Mac and hit them up to do the submission for you.  Airplay SDK is the only free solution for creating high performance iPhone/iPad games using Windows.  You can use the Flash builder, but there are currently some performance limitations – a new edition is coming out soon.

Update: Airplay SDK has unfortunately been renamed Marmalade SDK and no longer provides a free solution for indy developers.

Best of luck, if you know of any other alternatives that enable iPhone development on Windows or if any of the info above has changed that enable iPhone Development on Windows

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