I've been looking to develop an iOS app and don't have regular access to a Mac, nor can my computer run OSX.

A friend of mine told me I'll need to write my program in XCode (which I'm aware I'll need access to in order to publish the app to the store) but I thought I could use something like Corona/Moai on a Windows computer and then just publish it with a Mac.

Who is correct?

  • As far as a better text editor. Textmate wins. – Joseph Apr 30 '14 at 20:23

While it is 'possible' to write iOS apps outside of XCode, I do not know how you will test, debug and sync your iOS application to a iPhone without XCode (which means you will need a Mac).

You will need to register a developer account with apple, and then what usually happens is your iPhone gets marked as a developer iPhone and is attached to your account (thats how it used to be anyway). Like Ramhound said, take a look at Visual Studio (I do not have any experience using Visual Studio to interact with an iPhone, so can't really help you there). The XCode IDE has a lot of tools to assist in developing software for iOS and OS X that I do not think will be available to you unless you are using a Mac.

After taking a quick peek at the mono project, it looks like you should take a look at Xamarin.iOS.


Xamarin.iOS provides full access to iOS APIs. Take advantage of the entire spectrum of rich functionality supplied by the latest version of the platform.

Keep in mind in order to do any of this, you will need a good understanding of Objective C and/or software development skills in order to get too far. I tried my hand at it an failed, but your mileage may vary.


https://expo.io is a react environment that doesn't require Xcode to develop (though it does require an iOS device to test, or Xcode for a simulator).

If this sounds like an advertisement, sorry about that. It is not meant as one. Merely information only. I've not used this, but have become aware of this as a development option. I too want to do without Xcode, if at all possible.

  • You still need XCode to publish your application. This reads like an ad for the service. Yes, even free services, can be improperly suggested. – Ramhound Mar 22 '18 at 7:15
  • @Ramhound Apps can be published to the iOS Appstore without Xcode, according to this: stackoverflow.com/questions/7924085/… – jeffmcneill Mar 23 '18 at 14:59
  • I should have clarified. You need Apple OS, which means you have X Code, the author was using non-Apple hardware to develop on. – Ramhound Mar 23 '18 at 18:47
  • @Ramhound Not necessarily, there are a few ways: – jeffmcneill Mar 26 '18 at 9:54
  • @Ramhound Not necessarily, there are a few ways around having a Mac. The first is development environments which have an upload capability, such as configure.it -- and there are likely others, including possibly expo.io mentioned above. A second way is to use an upload service such as: wenz.io/cart.php?gid=3 which just does application loading. Finally, there is macincloud.com which is basically a virtual mac. In all cases it may be that somewhere, some MAC is doing the uploading, but there are services available that have the MAC part hidden away. – jeffmcneill Mar 26 '18 at 10:01

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