App Dev 5: Buying a Mac for iOS App Development

September 17, 2013 in App Development

iPhone App DevelopmentI’ve been a Windows user for over 15 years but because I’m going to start developing iOS apps, it’s time to move back to the Mac platform. In fact, it’s required to have a Mac to upload apps to the iTunes store. Plus, the required software called Xcode only runs on a Mac. I didn’t really need a new computer because my current PC laptop has been enough to run my business up until now. But if I want to complete my goal of developing an iPhone app, I had to get my own Mac.

When it came down to shopping for a Mac, I had several options. First, there was the form factor. Each form factor has it’s advantages depending on what other functions I need it to do but the two to consider are:

  • Desktop
  • Laptop

For me, the only option was a laptop because I wanted to be portable. And I decided long ago that I would never own a desktop again. Still, for a little bit, I did consider a desktop option with the Mac Mini. Macs cost more than PCs and the Mac Mini was really the most inexpensive option when it shopping forĀ a Mac computer. At around $600, I could’ve been all set but I would’ve been tied to a stationary desk connected to AC, monitor and external keyboard. But if budget is a concern, the Mac Mini is a viable choice.

My next option was to buy used. When I was comparing MacBooks, buying used was cheaper but at times it wasn’t that much cheaper than buying new. I searched my local Craigslist page and found lots of used MacBooks for sale. But the prices weren’t as low as I thought they were going to be. Also, a lot of the MacBooks were older models and would require some upgrades before I could even install Xcode.

But I also ran into several ads that seemed kinda scammy and the thought of meeting a stranger that knows I have $600+ cash in my pocket was an unsettling thought. I know there are trustworthy people out there but I didn’t want to risk being scammed or buying computer that might break right after I take it home. Read the rest of this entry →