What is Xcode?
Xcode is an integrated development environment (IDE) developed by Apple Inc which runs on MacOS. It is basically a Software Development Kit (SDK) which contains all the tools that a developer needs to make application for devices running MacOS like the MacBook, iOS like the various iPhones, watchOS for Apple watch, and tvOS for Apple TV.
Xcode for Windows
Apple only makes Xcode for macOS operating system and not for other operating systems but buying a Mac is quite costly. So here, we will tell you how you can use Xcode for Windows PC (Windows 10/8.1/8/7). Once it’s up and running you can start making fresh apps or make apps existing in other OS for the Apple ecosystem like cheat engine for android.
You can run Xcode in Windows in 4 ways –
1) Remote accessing a Mac
There are a few services which allow you to access devices running macOS for a small fee. In simple words you’ll access a device running macOS from your Windows PC or laptop without installing the whole SDK. Most of the services come with Xcode pre-installed.
These services are:
a. MacInCloud – The most well-known option among the three services that are listed. It has a flexible payment model where you can pay as per your usage and requirements! It’s a bit slow but given the pricing it.
- XcodeClub – XcodeClub is a similar service which is run by an experienced developer named Daniel and users claim that the service is quite fast compared to others. But the disadvantage is that you have to pay for one month at a time.
- VirtualMacOSX – Another service offering similar options but isn’t very famous.
2) Using a Virtual Machine Running MacOS
You can use any Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) like VirtualBox or VMware. Then you need to download the latest version of MacOS image ( .iso file) from any trusted source, preferably the official site. After that run the MacOS on the virtual machine, sign in to the official Apple store using your Apple store and download Xcode and start making apps.
Setting up a virtual machine needs some amount of technical knowledge but there are tons of guides out there on the internet.
Basic Requirements for Running a VMM
a) Dual Core Intel or AMD Processor
b) Minimum 4GB of RAM
c) Dedicated Graphics Card 128MB (recommended 512MB) or In-built 1GB minimum
Running all these applications are hardware intensive, so better the hardware, smoother the performance.
VirtualBox is free and open source but VMware is paid. So initially try on VirtualBox before purchasing VMware. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but VirtualBox is more popular!
3) Using a Hackintosh
Hackintosh is PC (non-apple hardware) which has been tweaked and customized to run macOS. This process is a bit time consuming and you need to increase your budget to opt for this. For someone who is serious about coding and making apps for the Apple ecosystem, this a great option as you’ll have a lag-free experience with dedicated hardware.
Hackintosh.com is the best source to learn about Hackintosh building, installing the latest macOS. The website’s how to section is quite updated and has detailed tutorials.
It’s not necessary to build a new pc always, you can use your spare pc or laptop if it meets the requirements. Then install macOS using Clover application. There’s also an option to create a bootable USB drive using the Diskmaker X app.
R/Hackintosh is a subreddit dedicated to the Hackintosh community where you can learn about newer updates, hacks and solutions to problems you might face while running the device. The community is pretty active and helpful.
9 to5 Mac is also a great source to learn about Hackintosh. Read all their Hackintosh articles here.
4) Using Third-Party Solutions
There are some third-party solutions which you can use to develop apps for iOS which don’t require the use of Xcode. These are –
Xamarin – It is the most famous option among the third party solutions and it uses C# to build apps which you can upload to Android, iOS and Windows store.
The basic coding part remains the same only you need to make minor changes for each ecosystem.