How to Develop iOS Apps on Windows PCs by Using a Free Software?

All we know that Microsoft made xamarin “FREE” for the community edition of Visual Studio. This opens various doors of opportunities for individual developers and small teams.

Xamarin lets you write Android, iOS and Windows mobile Native apps using the shared codebase. It helps .net developers to leverage their C# skills to develop mobile apps. As the “community edition” is free, anyone who is familiar with the “Windows ecosystem”, can easily learn iOS/Android mobile application development.

This is very much helpful for those, who are working with Windows for years. It saves the time of learning a new OS-ecosystem (MAC/Linux) and helps utilize that time for learning mobile application development and it’s a lot easier to learn Mobile application development through Xamarin.

In this tutorial, I will guide you

how to setup xamarin environment on Windows PC and develop and run

a simple “Hello World” iOS app on Windows PC.

Prerequisites for installation steps:

Hardware requirements

  • 1.6 GHz or faster processor
  • 1 GB of RAM (1.5 GB if running on a virtual machine)
  • 4 GB of available hard disk space 5400 RPM hard disk drive
  • DirectX 9-capable video card (1024×768 or higher resolution)

OS Requirements (Any one from Below listed OS)

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7 SP1
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

Steps for installing Visual Studio with Xamarin

  1. Download Visual Studio Free Community Edition from https://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/
  2. From the setup, please check the C#/Xamarin checkbox as shown in the figure.
    installing Visual Studio with Xamarin
    installing Visual Studio with Xamarin
  3. Progress through the setup wizard and wait until the setup is completed.
  4. That’s it!!! Xamarin is installed on your machine and now you can easily start to develop iOS apps on your windows PC.

Steps for creating a simple “Hello World” application for iOS in Xamarin

  1. Once the Xamarin is installed, Go to File->New Project in visual studio. There, you can see the option to create iOS apps as shown in the screenshot.
    Xamarin - Visual Studio
    Xamarin – Visual Studio
  2. Select a folder where you want to create the application,Select Blank iphone app, and Click “Create”.
  3. This will open the “Get Started” screen as shown in the screenshot.
    Xamarin - Build Native iOS and Android Apps
    Develop iOS Apps on Windows PC using Xamarin.

  4. Right click on the Project in Solution explorer, and click Add=>New Item. This will open the new item dialog box as shown in the screenshot.
    Xamarin - Solution Explorer
    Xamarin – Solution Explorer
  5. Select “StoryboardViewController” and name it “HelloWorld.cs”.
  6. Click “Add”
  7. So, A storyboard, and its controller file will be created.
    Visual Studio - Controller
    Visual Studio – Controller
  8. Now, we will add a Simple label containing the text “Hello World” to the storyboard.
  9. In order to modify the storyboard, we need to connect to a MAC PC in the local network.
  10. Make sure there is a MAC PC in your local network and the latest version of xcode is installed on that.
  11. Now, click on the “Xamarin Mac Agent” button on Top as shown in the figure. This will list all the MAC PCs which are connected to your computer in a local network.
    Xamarin Mac Agent
    Xamarin Mac Agent
  12. Select your MAC from the list and press “Connect”
  13. This will turn your “Xamarin MAC Agent” icon into green. As shown in the screenshot.
    Xamarin MAC Agent
    Xamarin MAC Agent
  14. Now, double click on HelloWorld.storyboard
  15. Drag and drop a ViewController to the storyboard.
    Visual Studio - ViewController
    Visual Studio – ViewController
  16. This will add a ViewController on the storyboard as shown in the figure. In the storyboard, Properties, select the Class Property under the Identity section and Type “HelloWorld” as shown in the screenshot.
    Visual Studio - Class Property
    Visual Studio – Class Property
  17. This will link our class to this newly added View.
  18. From the toolbox Drag and Drop a Label on the View as shown in screenshot.
    Visual Studio - Toolbox
    Visual Studio – Toolbox
  19. Once the label is added, type “Hello World” in properties of the label as shown in the screenshot.
    Visual Studio - Hello World
    Visual Studio – Hello World
  20. Now, from the top, select an appropriate simulator and click Debug. This will run your iOS app on the MAC’s simulator.
    Visual Studio - iOS MAC Simulator
    Visual Studio – iOS MAC Simulator
    Visual Studio and Xamarin - Hello World
    Visual Studio and Xamarin – Hello World
  21. That’s it!!! You are ready to go on with your iOS development.

Install application on Device from Xamarin

You can also read a blog on how to install the iOS application to the actual device. If you are facing any difficulty while following these steps and developing iOS app on your windows PC, you can get in touch with a professional iOS app development company that will guide you to developing an app.

Further Reading...

Published by Mohd.Sohel Ather

Sohel Ather is a Senior Principal Software Engineer and a content writer by passion, has B.E in Computer Sciences from The Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE), And enjoys exploring the latest technologies and taking on new challenges. He focuses on actionable and unique ideas that can be used to grow company business and make a real difference for customers. You can follow him on LinkedIn.

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