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I'm looking for a straight answer regarding the development and deployment of a simple app using Xamarin (vs 2017) and targeting iPads specifically.
Do I really need a mac in order to actually build/deploy the app? If so, is it possible to run the mac in a VM for around $35 instead of shelling out $1400 for a new MacBook? (does it actually require mac hardware for the certificates?)
One other question: My current hand-me-down iPad unfortunately, is not compatible with the Xamarin Live Player. If I get a mac with XCode on the network and connected in VS, will that mean that I won't need the Xamarin Live Player? (saving the expense of a new iPad)
A little background: I was told yesterday that a new customer had decided on (and bought) iPads as their input device for a hybrid web-based application. I was confused because iPads weren't on the original proposal...they were added later unbeknownst to me. At any rate, I now need a simple little app that basically opens a webview with an encoded querystring identifying the device. It sounds easy enough, but after two days, I'm getting nowhere, and they want to start training in about 3 weeks!
One more thing, I have my mac mini running headless on my desk and I connect to it using TightVNC.
It works quite well but not over wireless. Instead I created a static IP address and hooked up a ethernet cable from my laptop to the mac. That works really well. Very fast.
so when you order a mac for your cross platform stuff - you lodge a job with the IT dept to they can be ready to get it on the network - you supply them with alll the technical info on whaty it is and why you need a mac and why it needs to be on their windows network...and you give them..MONTHS worth of notice
Closer to the time the mac is due to arrive - you let them know...hey the mac isnt far away
The mac arrives and nothing has been done...so you do all your iphone work on the mac and not the Windows box...oh and 2 years later...the mac still isnt on the network thogh you do have papal dispensation to use the guest wifi to access the interwebs
and you look occasionally at the ticket still in the IT Dept queue...and you dont say a word because guest wifi is better
Don't use the Sheep Help Desk or move to Queensland.
"I controlled my laughter and simple said "No,I am very busy,so I can't write any code for you". The moment they heard this all the smiling face turned into a sad looking face and one of them farted. So I had to leave the place as soon as possible." - Mr.Prakash One Fine Saturday. 24/04/2004
Yes. But you can sign up for a virtual Mac. I just started doing the Apple side of Xamarin. I use a Mac mini. You get one on Amazon for a reasonable price. The provisioning for Apple is arduous. If you need help reply back and I can send you the sequence that worked for me. You do need an Apple ID. Good luck.
I've actually come up with a solution that might keep me from having to mess with the iOS development at all. I figured out how to pin a url (with an encoded device name) to the iPad home screen. They can go through a login the first time, click on their device name and save the bookmark...it even creates a nice little icon for it!
The only problem I see is that button clicks in the Safari browser are slow...much slower than through IE. I may try another browser, but for now, this seems to work fine!
Check it out ... it might be what yer after.
If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur! - Red Adair
I have a set of apps based on a Web API. One is Android, the other is Objective-C and Swift on iOS, but they are already old and needed a bit of rewriting. The advertising for Xamarin looked good, so I installed it and gave it a shot. First off, Xamarin needs a dedicated UI project for each platform, although you can share code in a common project. No help, most of the code is in the UI already. Next, I noticed a file for a storyboard in the iOS project in the sample set of Xamarin projects. When I tried to open it in Visual Studio, it said that it could not, because it needed a connection to an iOS server. Game over. Xamarin is almost worthless and false advertising. My boss dug out an old Apple Mac and connected it to the network. It is possible to run a bootlegged iOS in a virtual machine, but you still need Apple hardware to sign and submit the app. I did for six months work on an Apple virtual machine supplied by a service run on Apple hardware. The cost was reasonable, but it frequently crashed.
Thanks for the info. I think I may have found a solution that avoids using iOS altogether simply by running it straight from Safari on the iPads. (custom url pinned to the home screen, url has a device name encoded)
I'm thinking I still might like to get a mac-mini many here have suggested, purely for the sake of removing that obstacle should the current proposed solution fail. (plan c)