How to build iOS applications on Windows.

Apple makes ridiculous decisions sometimes, to put it nicely. And none is more so hated by me than their choice to make it so that you HAVE to have a Mac to build for their app store.

Here’s the XCODE legal crap that Apple makes you agree to. I read it so you don’t have to. In section 2.2, “Permitted Uses and Restrictions”, they state:

Apple hereby grants You [to]…

Install a reasonable number of copies of the Apple Software on Apple-branded computers that are owned or controlled by You to be used internally by You
So, like stated above, you can only use the XCode software on Apple branded computers. A couple more points from the same document:
You may use the Apple SDKs (excluding the macOS SDK) solely to test and develop Applications that are specifically for use with the applicable Apple-branded products for which the SDK is targeted, unless otherwise permitted by Apple in writing; and
You may use the Apple Services solely to test and develop Applications that are specifically for use on Apple-branded products, unless otherwise permitted by Apple in writing.
You may not distribute any Applications developed using the Apple SDKs (excluding the macOS SDK) absent entering into a separate written agreement with Apple.
So you can see that Apple only wants you to use their SDK on their computers, to develop software for their computers. I think that’s stupid.
For the rest of this blog post, we will be assuming that the Windows environment you are working in to develop iOS apps is on an APPLE BRANDED COMPUTER running Windows through Bootcamp.
The best solution I’ve found for the general developer is this application right here. It’s not free, but it’s cheaper than buying a new Macbook Pro that’s strong enough to export and publish the app as fast as a normal Windows desktop is able to. I was not paid or commissioned by the developer to promote this, by the way. I got a similar setup working on my computer a couple days ago and this works well, too. I highly recommend this method as opposed to supporting this terrible practice Apple is encouraging. By the way, for the program linked above, you need one-time access to a Mac to get some required files. It’s still very easy, and you could borrow a Mac from anyone you know. If you don’t know any friends that have a Mac and you trust online strangers, I’ve uploaded the latest current (12/11/2018) SDK right here. Extract it to a folder called “SDK” and put it in the root installation directory after the program has installed.
The program takes a little bit of configuration to get going, but it’s not too hard once you understand what’s going on. And if you’re not up for/expecting to get your hands dirty anyway, why are you a software engineer?
Cheers.

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