What's a good alternative to the iphone sdk?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by nooobynick, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. nooobynick

    nooobynick Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    At the moment I have a pc so I can't get the sdk, what's a good windows equivalent(needs to work on vista 64-bit computer) that will let me learn coding by developing apps?:confused:
  2. MetaNick

    MetaNick Well-Known Member

    Nothing on Windows is going to let you do iPhone development. You could download Visual C++ Express or Visual C# Express and learn C++ or C#. I'd recommend C# first because it's a bit easier to start with, in my opinion, but you'll probably want some C/C++ experience when you move over to the iPhone. Both are free downloads so you can grab both and tinker with each of them.

    Along with those downloads, you'll likely want to grab a book or two on C#, C, or C++ to help you learn. Eventually you'll want at least a basic understanding (maybe more depending on what you want to do on the iPhone) of the Objective-C language as that's what most of the iPhone SDK uses.

    In general, programming experience is programming experience so even though you won't be working with the iPhone SDK, you'll still learn how to "think like a computer" so to speak, which is the knowledge that will transfer over easily once you do start working with the iPhone SDK.
  3. I could second that -- although Objective-C isn't quite like C++. It's object-oriented, but it approaches object orientation very differently from a syntactical standpoint, so although learning C++ is never a bad thing, you're going to have to kind of re-learn to program some aspects in Objective-C.

    There are Objective-C compilers for Windows, but they're all command-line driven; I've yet to find an IDE that does Objective-C. You still can't do iPhone development under Windows with it, but you can still learn Objective-C if you don't mind writing your code in Notepad, not having trace capabilities, and compiling it manually from a command prompt.

    Probably easier to go and get yourself a cheap Intel-based Mac Mini or something and a good book on iPhone development. That's what I've had to do.
  4. lazypeon

    lazypeon Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    There ARE Windows solutions, but none of them seemed very good / mature yet, and definitely not official.

    1. If you Google, you can find out about some tools (winchain?) that may let you get started. I looked into it briefly and it seemed like a pain.

    2. I THINK Eclipse will let you compile Objective-C with the right extensions, but I'm not sure. You still won't have the emulator though.

    3. You can try using a virtualization solution, though this was slow in my experience.

    With no Obj-C experience, I broke down and bought the cheapest Mac Mini that Apple offers ($600 USD on Amazon). It works absolutely fine for iPhone dev, and I was able to pick up Obj-C quickly. This is the solution I would recommend, unless portability is a consideration -- in that case, I'd get the cheapest Macbook.
  5. yourofl10

    yourofl10 Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Wel before you program on a mac, just get use to programming in C,C#,Objective-C,C++ on your PC

    There are programs for the PC like Mircrosoft Visual C++ and Microsoft Visual C#

    Soo just program with Microsoft Visual C++ or C# for a little bit then switch over to a mac.

    Hope this helps!
  6. nooobynick

    nooobynick Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Thanks I went ahead and downloaded Visual C++ and the GDK on the microsoft website I'll try using that.:cool:
  7. lazypeon

    lazypeon Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    Since you want to try the Windows route, here's the tool(s) I was talking about:


    A quick walkthrough on winChain 1.0
    What is winChain Builder?

    What it is: It's the easiest possible way to build the iPhone toolchain on a Windows XP/Vista computer. It's a GUI installer for the toolchain which can completely install the whole thing in minutes, as opposed to sitting in front of a bunch of DOS windows trying to build thousands of source code files with confusing UNIX commands.

    What it isn't: It's not a magical iPhone IDE or Interface Builder or anything like that. For that kind of stuff, you'll have to wait a little longer...
    What is the iPhone Toolchain?

    The iPhone toolchain is the bunch of programs the Dev Team and their various accomplices have put together, which can take Objective-C source code that you write using their UIKit Headers (included with winChain) and compile it into an application that you can use on your iPhone.
    How Does winChain Work?

    1. Download winChain from the Downloads section, and then the preBuiltToolchain file here.
    2. Download WinRAR from http://www.rarlabs.com and use it to extract the preBuiltToolchain. Be sure to right-click the RAR and choose "Extract Here" not "Extract to preBuiltToolchain" or any of the other options!
    3. Launch winChain.exe and browse to your preBuiltToolchain folder.
    4. Hit the first button to copy over the files.
    5. Hit the second button to install Cygwin.
    6. Hit the third button if you want to install Notepad++ for code-writing.

    And you're done!

    How Do I Make Projects?

    winChain also comes with the winChain Template Generator, which you can use to create a skeleton application that you can write code into and then build easily. Just launch the generator, give it your Name and your Application's Name, choose a folder to put it in ("iphone-apps" in your cygwin folder recommended, or you'll have to edit your Makefile!), and it will make the project for you.
  8. It should be noted that the above toolchain is not intended for App Store development. It was designed for the jailbreak scene, and as such you can only develop for a jailbroken device, and only those with jailbroken devices can run what you develop. You can learn a hell of a lot about iPhone development with it using Objective-C and it would be invaluable practice, but it's very much a roll-your-own solution and far from a complete picture -- and ultimately you're still going to have to get a Mac (or build a Hackintosh) to develop for the App Store.
  9. You can, of course, get started with Objective C without having a Mac. It is a part of GNU Complier set. But, as said above, if you want to put something in the App Store, you will need XCode and a Mac.

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