Celect Studios

Celect Studios

Celect Studios

5 Best Ways to Develop iOS Apps on Windows

The scope of iOS applications has widened over the past decade. That is due to the fact that Apple has taken over the mobile app development industry leaving just one competitor standing, which is Google. Since the operating system was first introduced back in 2007 by Steve Jobs, no one knew what to expect. Nonetheless, there was hype as the first-ever touchscreen smartphone was being introduced to the world. 

Of course, as the iPhone was being promoted, its software was getting complimentary attention. After all, a train is only as good as the engine installed in it. Apart from iOS, Apple has expanded its reach to desktops by developing its very own MacOS. Nevertheless, the competition between Windows and MacOS isn’t as fierce as that between Android and iOS. Although Android took its baby steps back in 2003 when it was founded in California, it only got more prominence when Samsung adopted it in 2009. Interestingly, it was two years after Jobs had introduced iOS. By this time, Apple’s operating system had already put down its roots. Still, Android managed to give Apple a run for its money. 

Apple’s MacOS was developed to give tough competition to Microsft Windows, which had been dominating desktop computers for a long time, hardly coming across any competitors. Ubuntu and Linux are two operating systems that tried to level with Windows but ultimately settled for second place. Coming back to iOS, there were times when developing iOS applications was not an easy feat to accomplish. 

In order to develop iOS apps, developers used to require desktop computers. Since Windows was the only viable option to develop an iOS application at the time, Apple played to its strengths and introduced MacOS, eliminating the reliance on Windows effectively. However, just because MacOS has come into the fold doesn’t mean one cannot develop iOS apps with the Windows operating system. There are several ways that iOS developers do not have to rely solely on complicated MacOS to craft iOS applications. Also, there are some perks of developing with Windows as well. We will cover all of that as we explore the topic further in the blog.

Why Can It Be A Challenge To Develop iOS Apps On Windows?

As we said, Apple hasn’t exactly made it easier for developers to craft their applications on Windows. There are certain hurdles along the way that one must overcome. Developing iOS apps without a Mac can be challenging due to Apple’s walled garden. Xcode is the only integrated development environment available for building iOS apps and is exclusively available on macOS. This means features like simulating an iOS device on a computer are only possible with Xcode installed. In contrast, Google’s Play Store allows uploading apps via a website, which is not valid with Apple’s App Store. 

To upload iOS builds to the App Store, one must use macOS-exclusive software tools like Xcode, Transporter, and the Al-tool command line program. Unfortunately, this challenges many, as Mac computers can be costly. However, a few workarounds exist to develop iOS apps using just a Windows computer. One option is to use Windows to access a macOS machine and develop the entire app using Xcode. Another option is to write the code on Windows using cross-platform development tools. Keep reading to learn more about these options. 

Before delving deeper into these methods, let us look into some key differences between Android and iOS operating systems to understand better why developing iOS apps can be a bit complicated.

Android Vs iOS – The never-ending war

Android and iOS operating systems boast impressive features and offerings that attract software developers. However, it’s important to note that there are distinctions in their development, maintenance, and marketing that set them apart despite their architectural similarities. Developers have their unique preferences, from programming languages to system-specific design variations. Clients prioritize security and privacy, making iOS app development a top choice for many companies and resulting in a higher return on investment.

Key differences between the two

  • Programming Language

Nowadays, it’s possible to create iOS apps using Swift, while Android apps are typically developed using either Java or Kotlin. Swift utilizes a language with a straightforward, contemporary syntax, whereas Java’s programming language is converted to an intermediate-level language called bytecode. Thanks to Swift’s shorter learning curve, programmers can read and understand it more easily, resulting in faster development of iOS apps compared to Android apps. While Swift is a great choice for creating iOS apps, it is limited to that platform. On the other hand, Java offers room for server and web development work, rendering itself a better option for cross-platform solutions. Kotlin, a newer coding language for Android, has improved readability which results in less code and fewer bugs for developers who use it correctly. Moreover, it provides increased safety and is well-suited for multi-platform development, thereby making it perfect for Android app development.

  • User Interface And Design

iOS and Android have embraced a minimalist design approach for quick and easy navigation across home screens. While iOS adheres to the Flat Design principles, Android employs Material Design, which is considered an upgraded version of Flat Design. Material Design is an excellent user interface for Android, as it uses shadows and animations to enhance object visibility and user navigation. When looking at the differences between Android and iOS, it becomes clear that Android provides more opportunities for personalization.

With Android, you can customize the UI to suit your preferences, from the weather app widgets to the time display. This level of customization is not possible with iOS, which has a more structured layout of app icons. Additionally, iOS apps are only made available for a limited number of devices at a time, so they do not have to adapt to new design strategies like Android constantly does to optimize for varying screen sizes.

  • The Audience

It is futile to develop an app if an idea of user consumption habits isn’t considered. It is crucial to create an app that fits the characteristics of the users by considering their problems and presenting a solution accordingly. Although iOS users constitute only 29% of the world market share of operating systems, the costs of an iOS and Android device must be considered.

Were you aware that iPhone users tend to earn an average annual salary of $53,251 compared to the average salary of $37,040 for Android users? This information is helpful for developers who want to assess the spending power of users across different operating systems. Apple users are generally more inclined to make in-app purchases, while Android users prefer ad-supported apps. Regarding app development expenses, iOS users are more likely to spend money than their Android counterparts due to their deeper pockets. By taking note of these spending patterns, you can make a more informed decision on where to focus your target audience.

5 Ways To Develop iOS Apps On Windows

Now it’s time to dive into the essence of the blog. Below we have discussed five ways you can craft iOS applications on Windows, thereby defying Apple’s rigorous protocols.

  • Installing MacOS on Windows Computer Using VirtualBox

You can run a virtual Mac on your PC using virtualization software such as VirtualBox if you possess technical expertise. Similarly, a service that provides this feature performs the same process on its server before offering access to the virtual machine for a fee. VirtualBox can be acquired from the internet, and you can search for instructions on installing the latest macOS (Ventura) using it on Google.

In order to run macOS on a virtual machine, you need two things:

  1. A copy of OS X as a virtual image file or an installer.
  2. A virtual machine tool like VirtualBox.

VirtualBox is software that enables users to run an operating system in a virtual environment. Thankfully, it is free and widely used when running macOS on Windows. VirtualBox offers complete virtualization that allows users to abstract their hardware and provides a higher level of protection against viruses that may be running in the guest OS. It’s no wonder it’s more popular than VMWare Workstation, another virtualization software.

  • Acquiring MacOS Through Cloud

A costly yet viable alternative would be to access a genuine macOS device through the cloud by paying for services offered by providers such as MacinCloud, MacCloud, or MacStadium. It’s advisable to rent it only for the duration necessary to construct and transfer your application and terminate it once you’re finished. Windows offers a stock remote desktop client that you can use for iOS development on a PC. So, once you are signed in, install Xcode and let the iOS app development process begin.

  • Leveraging Cross-Platform Technologies

If you want to execute cross-platform iOS app development on Windows, there is a way to do that. React Native, an open-source UI software framework is attaining popularity among iOS app developers seeking cross-platform iOS development on Windows. Based on JavaScript, the framework creates a native UI/UX that performs seamlessly on major mobile platforms. Offering impressive features and a user-friendly learning curve, it is quickly becoming a sought-after choice for creating iOS apps on Windows. But hold on. Using cross-platform tools requires you to know the basics of programming languages, such as C#, HTML5, Swift, CSS, and JavaScript. It is also necessary for you to understand the iOS and Android ecosystems to code native apps.

  • Employing Hackintosh

If you’re looking to run macOS on a non-Apple device, Hackintosh might be the solution for you. Essentially, a Hackintosh is a custom-built Mac that uses unauthorized methods to run the macOS operating system. While it requires some effort to set up, it’s worth the labor as it can allow customers to use macOS on a different physical machine than an Apple device. With a Hackintosh, you can even make macOS a bootable operating system on your Windows PC or create a dual-boot machine that can run both Windows and macOS. For optimal performance, it’s recommended to use a Windows computer that meets the minimum requirements outlined on the official website.

While setting up a Hackintosh may require some time, it can save you money in the long run. It’s important to make sure that your computer has sufficient processing power, a solid-state drive, and substantial memory. Once your Hackintosh is up and running, you can overcome any limitations of iOS programming on a Windows PC. Essentially, you’ll be using a Macintosh instead of Windows OS, which will allow you to perform a range of tasks, including using Xcode, developing, debugging, executing, building, and uploading applications to the App Store.

  • Using The Haxe Programming Language

If you’re looking for a programming language that can create applications for multiple platforms, including iOS, then Haxe can be the way to go. It’s a widely used language that can develop desktop, mobile, and Web apps, including front and backend development. Although it’s prevalent among game developers, Haxe can build iOS apps with a static UI. Keep in mind, however, that Haxe’s strength lies in its ability to build applications for many platforms. it may not have features specifically designed for iOS app development. Consequently, you may not get the same native look and feel as you would with React Native.

To conclude

Developing iOS applications on Windows is like digging a grave with a pickaxe. The job might be difficult and time-consuming, but it can be done nevertheless. But we have just the right solution for you. Something that would spare you all the hassle of doing everything yourself. Celect Studios is an iOS app development company that has a team of dedicated iOS developers who are fully proficient in developing iOS applications through the Windows operating system. 

We craft seamless iOS applications with all the five strategies discussed above. If you want to save time, energy, and resources, hire our iOS app developers and reap the rewards. We leave no stone unturned and work tirelessly to deliver your desired result.

Share this article

Celect Studios

Phone Number

(281) 817-6217

Mailing Address

14090 Southwest Fwy #300, Sugar Land,
TX 77478, United States

Email Address


Scroll to Top

Request a Free Quote

An exclusive quotation for your mobile app solution is just a tap away. Fill out the form below, and let’s initiate your project right away.