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Best Mac for app development

Mark Hattersley | May 31, 2013
With Mac OS X and iOS going from strength to strength, many are interested in developing their own apps. Apple Mac OS X computers are especially useful for programming, and many developers want to invest in Mac hardware.

Which Mac to get for App development?
We'd advice most new developers to go for the Mac mini with the AOC display. It's a cheaper option than the iMac and the extra cash can be put towards software or training courses.

The 27-inch iMac is a better Apple Mac, but you do pay a lot extra for the 27-inch screen and you don't need the other features (such as the fast processor, large 1TB hard drive or NVIDIA graphics card). They're nice features, for sure, but you're paying extra for them and they offer little towards developing apps.

Apple Mac accessories and software for developers
Developers don't need as many accessories as other Mac users. A good Mac, a decent sized display and a good reference library and you're good to go. The only exception we'd make is to invest in a good backup system in case there are any problems, Apple's own Time Capsule is a great solution. Alternatively invest in a good USB external hard drive and use Apple's Time Machine software to perform regular backups.

There is also wealth of software that's good for developers. Here are some reccomendations:

  • Acorn: A powerful image editor that's a fraction of the cost of Photoshop
  • BBEdit: Industry favourite text editor
  • CodeRunner: Great alternative to Xcode for light programming tasks.
  • Dev Color Picker: Makes getting colours out of programs and into your apps a breeze.
  • Dropbox: Great for syncing files for remote access.
  • Evernote: Perfect place to store programming notes.
  • Little Snapper: Ability the take detailed screen grabs of programs and websites.

 

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