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iOS App Development Portable Genius by Richard Wentk

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Choosing a Mac

Although you can use any recent Mac for iOS development, not all Macs are equally productive. If you are developing for fun or curiosity, this may not matter to you, but it’s useful to understand the benefits and limitations of each possible choice.

Choosing a processor

Processor speed affects development times, but speed isn’t as critical as it is for high-performance applications such as gaming and video editing. Most iOS apps are small and simple, and Xcode doesn’t take long to convert your raw instructions—known as source code—into a working application.

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In Xcode, this process is called building an application.

Currently, Xcode runs on OS X Lion, so at a minimum your Mac must have a Core 2 Duo series processor with 64-bit addressing and two cores. An i-Series processor may give better performance, depending on clock speed and number of cores. But using more cores won’t make a huge difference to your productivity, especially when starting out. There’s no need to invest in an expensive multi-core MacPro, at least not until you’re earning enough from your apps to justify spending your development budget on one.

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Older versions of Xcode that work under Snow Leopard can be found online. If your Mac can’t run OS X Lion, you can experiment with these, but you won’t ...

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