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Which Apple Computer Is the Best Choice for a Professional iPhone Developer?

How to Start Making iPhone Apps

If you want to develop iPhone apps, you need a Mac. WIth the introduction of the latest Xcode and the Swift programming language, iPhone app development has become easier than ever before.

Programming Language for Apple Devices

Every year Apple facilitates the process of iOS app development and distribution for their computers’ owners, introducing new versions of the Xcode and updating the iPhone SDK. However, every Apple computer differs from another, that is why it is important to carefully think about which model of the Apple Mac to buy if you want to develop native iPhone apps. In 2014, Apple released a new programming language called Swift designed specifically for iOS, which is a way easier than its predecessor Objective-C. Swift breathed new life into iPhone app development, which is impossible without the OS X. Apart from giving an insight into the functionality of Mac computers, we will also speak of the must-have toolset of an iPhone developer.

Choosing the Best Apple Computer for a Developer

If you as an iPhone developer have not yet decided, which Apple computer to choose, it can become a true challenge. Apple offers a wide range of Mac desktops and laptops, each with its own characteristics and features. While all Macs are without a doubt high quality, secure devices, some of them offer a better functionality for iOS app development. Typically, when Apple launches new models, it reduces the prices on the older versions of iMacs and MacBooks.

Your Guide to Apple Computers for Programmers

Our developers have revised our wide experience as iPhone app programmers and made this guide to Apple computers that are best fit for developing mobile apps. We will tell about the features the computer should have to be an outstanding machine for building apps, and other functionality that makes the price higher bit has no value for programmers. At the end, our developers will take a close look at the entire range of the models available today, and the options for their customisation, which you may need if you want to create a computer of your dream. Moreover, we will advise you on the software, learning materials and other useful tools that will help you get started as an iOS developer.

Our Cases

How to Create Mobile Apps on Mac

Apple works hard to facilitate the process of mobile app engineering for iPhone and software design for OS X. To create apps for the two platforms, you need to download and install the integrated development environment Xcode, which is available on the App Store for free. There are two programming languages used to code apps in Xcode: the good old Objective-C and its newer extension called Swift.

Why You Need an Apple Computer

To publish and distribute applications on the Apple’s mobile marketplace App Store, you need to register as an official Apple Developer for a yearly fee of $99 per years (around £60). On the other hand, if your only objective is to build and test apps on your personal devices rather than sell them, you do not have to pay anything - just enroll in the program. However, you will still need a Mac if you want to design apps for iPhone and iPad. You cannot use the Apple’s official programs to create apps on a Windows or any other PC. You do need a Mac, because no matter what model you have, it will be enough to learn the basics.

Our clients


At Magora, we discover your ideas and bring them to life in the form of powerful, smart and use-friendly apps that cater for the needs of your business. Teaming up with our iPhone and iPad developers, you can rely on:

  • Enterprise data safety and confidentiality
  • Comprehensive software requirements specification
  • An in-depth insight into your business processes and cross-industry expertise
  • Solid background in native mobile design
  • Business consulting and mobile strategy
  • Customer-oriented approach
  • Time-proven software development methodologies
  • Visually stunning and feature-rich applications

Many app development beginners believe that building an app is an elaborate and high-end task that requires the fastest and the smartest equipment, veering towards the Mac Pro line. This is no more than a myth, because you do not need top-notch hardware and the most advanced innards to create iOS apps. However, what matters when it comes to software creations is the computer's display.

Coding on a Mac

Coding is not an easy task, as it requires you to stay focused on the screen, as well as do research, review and analysis. Software developers often run a number of programs in separate windows all at once: the Xcode integrated development environment, a text editor, an internet browser and other services and tools. To create an iPhone app, you will probably need to use every feature of the OS X there is.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mac Laptops

All the above said means you either need a Mac with a large display or an internal screen connected to your Apple computer. For this reason, we would not recommend the the MacBook line for anyone who wish to develop apps professionally. Look the truth in the face: if portability means a lot to you, then buy a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air with Retina screen and attach an external monitor when you need to work with a larger display. But keep in mind that buying one of the two computers, you spend extra money on a small display that is very likely to be uncomfortable for coding.

Most iPhone developers do not need all the high-tech features of the Pro version, so the choice comes down to either a Mac Mini with an external display or an iMac. The mini model comes at a price starting from £479 and offers enough functionality and hard drive memory to suit the needs of a mobile developer, which makes it the best value. The main disadvantage of the model is that it comes without a display, so you will have to buy the one you like separately.

What Display to Choose for App Development

The most common idea behind the Mac mini is that you connect it to an old screen, a mouse and a keyboard, which enables you to use the top-notch Apple product without additional expenses. However, app developers at Magora advice you to use a large display because otherwise the screen will feel cramped when coding - the Apple’s 27 inch Thunderbolt Display is the perfect choice. On the other hand, the price is as high as £899, so it is all up to your budget and needs. For instance, there are a great variety of 27-inch monitors available at prices under £200 from other manufacturers. Also, some programmers prefer to use two smaller displays, placing them next to each other.

The answer to this question depends on how complex an app you are planning to develop. The model range extends from the basic MacBooks to the most powerful Mac Pros. If your goal is to learn the basics of the iOS app development and get your first app to the market, any Apple computer will do. Even if you are an experienced freelance iOS developer who wants to design a simple iPhone app, you can do it on any computer you want (you can even use one of the older models). iPhone app development is not about writing music or creating videos - to write a code you do not need a huge amount of hard drive memory, a powerful graphics card or an extremely fast processor. All in all, any Mac will do just fine. Therefore, choosing the Mac is a question of budget and the development environment that will best suit our programming needs.

If what you are looking for is a high-tech computer with a large high-resolution display, than the Apple’s iMac is your number one option. Our developers recommend a 27-inch model, which will cost you from £1,749. Although this Mac is much more expensive than the Mac mini, you will get a lot of value for your investment. Just take a look at the iMacs impressive characteristics: a 3.2Ghz Intel i5 processor, AMD graphics card with 2GB video memory, 1TB hard drive and, last but not least, the fabulous 27-inch IPS screen. Moreover, you will be able to use your iMca to play video games in high resolution, speed and stunning graphics.