Is it possible to develop iPhone apps with a Hackintosh?


Question or issue on macOS:

I really want to get started, but man are those Macs expensive…especially for a non-US like me.

I’m thinking about trying to run OS X in VMWare. But would this prohibit me from doing iPhone development? I will gladly buy a copy of OS X to give Apple their due…


How to solve this problem?

Solution no. 1:

The answer is yes.

To develop iPhone applications, you need the iPhone SDK, which in turn requires Mac OS X version 10.5 (Intel). If you can satisfy this requirement in your OS X installation, then you can build iPhone apps. Whether you can test them just as easily depends on USB support in your installation.

The fact that the Mac Mini is $599 is irrelevant to the question and how inexpensive it is, is relative. What is inexpensive to one may not be to another (especially since the OP states that he is not in US, where it might be much more than $599).

Solution no. 2:

Yes, its possible. But, issue is that iPhone SDK gets frequent updates and requires updated version of Mac OS X – updating hackintosh is pain (you can do better development on MacMini instead of wasting time to upgrade) and you will never know when your hackintosh will be unbootable!

USB, Audio are another issues I have seen in hackintosh.

Solution no. 3:

It’s definitely possible, and it’s not even that hard if you’re buying the parts with the intention of running OS X on them.

Most of the difficulties and incompatibilities people experience are due to attempting to try out OS X on hardware they already have. They may have an AMD system which needs a Voodoo kernel, they may have a Radeon 4xxx which will only work in VESA mode without hardware acceleration. Of course these things can be made to work, and it is getting easier all the time, but it’s more effort and it’s where the bulk of the problems come from.

Once you do get your Hybrid Mac working (as I affectionately prefer to call them) it still won’t be as perfectly painless as the ideal (note: not actual!) Mac owning experience. But still, with a little common sense you get a lot more computer for a half or less of the price.

Edit: as for running OS X in a VM on a PC, it’s really not very nice at all. It’s a tremendous hassle to get it to boot at all, and even then it’s not very usable as an environment, often without working sound/LAN/etc. You can obtain complete VMWare images of OS X which may not even work inside different virtualised environments!

Solution no. 4:

I know it will work, if you can get the damn thing to install and your able to get usb working.

I currently own a G4 mac mini and had a 2nd gen intel IMac (had to sell it to pay the bills). I paid for my iphone developer lic., bought a 2nd gen touch, booted my mini, downloaded the iphone sdk… Oh no, you need 10.5. Bought and installed 10.5… Oh no, you need an intel mac. Forced sdk install, apps build great for the simulator, but what is this, I can’t sign my code. More hacking… Oh no, provisioning error. Connected the touch, unable to mount dev partition. I now left with no job, no money and no way to release my apps to try to make some money.

Oh, yeah, I’m going to try to install hackintosh in vmware, but only because I’m flat broke. Also, I wouldn’t buy a another mini knowning that my g4 mini cost $599 (back in the day) but once I was done making it usable, I spent over $1000 ($200 aftermarket 1gig ram upgrade, $99 keyboard/mouse, $150 monitor, etc). Of course it’s cheaper for better hardware now, but the mini nickel and dimes you to death. Do yourself a favor and just get a macbook, that will be my next buy.

And the funny and/or worst part about all of this is, I don’t even like OSX or the iphone/touch.

Solution no. 5:

Technically: yes. Legally: no. The OSX EULA doesn’t permit it.

Note that having the right tools for your job is important, and the unknowns of running OSX on non-Apple hardware could lead to problems down the road. The Mac Mini isn’t that expensive at $599, assuming you’ve already got a keyboard, mouse and monitor.

Solution no. 6:

I’ve tried, but I haven’t successfully run OS/X in VMware. I do know someone who’s successfully developed iPhone apps on a hackintosh, but getting your hackintosh set up is quite difficult.

I’m in the same boat, I don’t want to shell out foir a Mac until I know I’m comfortable with the toolchain, and I’d like to get a feel for iPhone development using my current hardware. Interested to hear of others experiences.

Solution no. 7:

I was (with some effort) able to install OS X, snow leopard, as well as the dev tools onto my IBM X61 and have had no issues with it or developing IPhone apps on it. I have the OS fully functioning. Note: I bought a retail copy of Snow Leopard for my project.

Why? I had more time than money. If I had to choose again and I had the $1500 beans (+tax, + whatever) to buy a mac book pro I would have as it certainly wasn’t ‘simple’. But I didn’t.

But now that I have done it, I have an immensely cool IBM MacBook 🙂 and am quite proud of the accomplishment. I also learned an awful lot in the process. Was it hell? Yes.. Was it worth it? Yes…

Hope that helps!

Solution no. 8:

A Mac Mini is $599 and comes with OS X ($129 by itself). The specs on the Mac Mini aren’t awe-inspiring but they’re perfectly usable. I just wouldn’t be able to justify saving a few hundred bucks (max) by buying a bargain basement PC and running it as a Hackintosh. You lose all ability to get support from Apple, you have no guarantees it won’t break compatibility in the future, and you are highly unlikely to get the same relatively seamless experience of a real Mac.

Bottom line, whatever money you save, you’ll probably end up paying for/regretting later. I own both a Mac Mini and a Macbook and I’ve had a better experience with both than with any PC I’ve bought or built in the past. I just wouldn’t recommend trying to make an end run around this for the sake of a few hundred bucks. Heck, if you add up VMWare ($189) and Leopard ($129) and the cost of even a bargain PC, you’re pretty close to a Mac Mini already, so I can’t see this being worth it.

Hope this helps!