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Creating AR App for iOS on Windows PC

Discussion in 'AR' started by Kaiwhitehat, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. Kaiwhitehat

    Kaiwhitehat

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    Hi,

    I am new to unity, just started using it last week. I am using a windows PC and already made a small AR App for my Android phone. I had to install Android SDK but everything worked in the end.

    Now I would like to make an app for my Ipad, but when I want to build the scene under building settings I cannot save an apk like for android. It seems to me that I have to install Xcode to build the application, but this is not available for windows PCs.

    I did some research and read that there is the possibilty to use VMs for Xcode. Anyway my question is: Is there a way to create iOS AR Apps on a windows PC with Unity? If not, what alternatives could I use?

    Thanks, in advance!
     
  2. underkitten

    underkitten

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    Uhm, building an app for iOs is the whole process.
    My process: create/edit the project on Windows -> pull on mac -> build from mac(unity) -> build from mac (xcode) onto ipad.
    There is a hella process of signing stuff for an ios app.

    So there is 2 options:
    1. You can find tutorials on using just a Win machine with virtual Mac OS on it. Id suggest to watch some tutorials on that. Particularly on how to build a project on virtual macOS and the process of creating a digital signature. Don't know for sure if it will work 100%
    2. Get a macbook. You dont need a powerful machine because you would use it just to deploy your app onto ipad. For that Id suggest to read about online repos(git, etc) and some version control tool (git, perforce, source tree, etc). So you dont have to keep your project on usb/harddrive and transfer it every time when you need to make a small change. Overall, a really good investment if you want to be an apple dev.

    But yeah, to make a build on Mac takes me 5x times more time than to build it on PC or Android. It is really frustrating when you have to make a little change and rebuild it again.
     
  3. mgear

    mgear

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    other alternatives
    - could try unity cloud build (not sure if there is still free tier)
    - get mac mini (i think its cheapest model for mac, or get 2nd hand)
    - asset store has plugins to build for ios on pc
     
  4. Kaiwhitehat

    Kaiwhitehat

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    Thanks for the advice! I will consider getting a Macbook (borrowing from a friend) or getting the Plugins.
    I have had a short look at the plugins. iOS Project builder for Windows seems good. But there are no free Plugins for building iOS on Windows?
     
  5. Mumford-and-Dragons

    Mumford-and-Dragons

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    How did you create the AR project for Android and what tut did you use? Also can you rotate/move the object in AR mode?

    I am wanting to do this, so just asking around.
     
  6. underkitten

    underkitten

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    To make an AR project for Android you can use: Vuforia, ARCore (AR Foundations). Id suggest to try out ARCore first because Vuforia can confuse with its databases and stuff.
    You can find a plenty startup tutorials on setting up your project and tool that you will need.
    And yes, you can rotate, move, re-size, etc the model in AR. But for that you will need to add some scripts to it.
     
    Pacharid likes this.
  7. Mumford-and-Dragons

    Mumford-and-Dragons

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    Hi

    I am using ARCore atm and its working fine.
    Just trying to implement LeanTouch with ARCore but its not working out great...
     
  8. Am33r007

    Am33r007

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    To answer the original question. I did most things on my PC, then only opened the Xcode Project on a friend's MacBookAir and loaded it into my iPhone. Try that by borrowing a laptop for a few hours; get some experience and maybe you'd stick around the iOS insanity.

    You create the Entire Experience/Game Project on Unity on your PC, and Save it. Your project at this point is Universal.

    Then, for your Project Build Settings, obviously, instead of building for Android, you choose iOS and you open your player Settings and assign your needed output parameters. Then you Switch Platform, after success, you build it for iOS.

    It will create A folder, in which you have your Xcode Project. Find a way to email that folder to yourself and open it on a Mac with the newest Xcode possible. Things have to be specific, Xcode changes frequently, iOS firmware does too; even dedicated iOS developers have issues bridging the projects due to frequent updates.

    You need to know however that you need an Apple ID, and you may only create up to 10 App IDs every 7 days, You also need iOS App Development Provisioning Profile.

    You won't always succeed in producing an .ipa if you have specialty SDK implemented. But as long as you can sign your Xcode Project, you can send it to your iPhone manually - apps last in the phone for only ONE WEEK, then you have to sign them and load them again; you cannot resign them from the phone itself before they expire. Also, there are some reasonable places to publish your app besides the App Store, the app store costs $100/Year for a developer account.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  9. Mumford-and-Dragons

    Mumford-and-Dragons

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    Thanks for the info.
    Apologies but I was asking in regards to how you made you'r project for Android and if you used LeanTouch or other rotation tips with ARCore fo Android.
    I have managed to build VR apps for IOS but these tips still help haha
     
  10. Kaiwhitehat

    Kaiwhitehat

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    Thank you for your answer and your advice! I didn't know several parts of that info e.g. that the apps last only for one week. I will ask a friend who has a Mac if I can borrow it for building on iOS.

    What do you mean by "Things have to be specific"? Is there a lot of coding involved when building the unity ar app for iOS? I assumed it would be as simple as for Android Devices.
     
  11. Am33r007

    Am33r007

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    Not exactly, coding; although you may run into that later if Archiving (Building the Xcode project into an .ipa) gives you errors.

    To start, and as you know:
    When you build the unity3d app (scenes, event systems, etc.) you end up with a Universal Build and you save your project. Then let's say you open the project in Unity, and now you want to push to produce the project for iOS.

    Here, you enter into specifics:
    You want a BundleIdentifier, a ProvisioningTeam, and an Apple ID.
    You need to already have signed up for all the things above, because as you want to use unity to create the iOS build (Xcodeproj) this info is needed when you switch platform, and you will be using it when you go to open the resulting Xcode project in the Xcode editor.

    Then don't waste the names you create for apps, because only 3 apps can be installed under the provisioning name at a time, and only 10 ID every 7 days.

    New issues arise; you want to specify minimum iOS requirement. I hope you don't run into issues, but Xcode is like a ghost; a single symptom can have 20 reasons, and you go fishing for solutions in 100 setup options lol. I hope your build goes well and you get an .ipa.

    You can load (run) your Xcode project into your iphone and play it without it being 'archived' into a final ipa.
    Either way, they only last 7 days then you have to delete them and install them again.

    Keep us posted
     
  12. Kaiwhitehat

    Kaiwhitehat

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    Ok,

    so after trying and failing to set up a Virtual Machine with MacOS I borrowed a Macbook and could successfully build my Project to an Ipad ^^ thanks againg for all the help in this thread.

    What now bugs me is the following: When I build for Android I get an .apk that I can move to any Android Devices and then install the app there. With Xcode, it automatically built the app on the device connected to the Macbook.
    Is there a way to generate a finished .ipa so that I don't always have to attache an iOS device to the Macbook? (E.g. if I don't have the Macbook anymore and still would like to get the file to an iOS Device)

    thanks again for any help!
     
  13. underkitten

    underkitten

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    I don't think you can deploy apps on iDevices without having a Mac.
     
  14. Am33r007

    Am33r007

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    "Is there a way to generate a finished .ipa so that I don't always have to attache an iOS device to the Macbook? (E.g. if I don't have the Macbook anymore and still would like to get the file to an iOS Device)"

    Yes.
    So you use Xcode on the macbook to 'Archive' the project, rather than build it to a device. This means 'Generate the .ipa file, which is the final app. Then upload this app to your email or dropbox or cloud or whatever so you can download it later onto any mac or PC.

    Assuming that you successfully build the .ipa, Apple wants you to pay $99 a year for you to use TestFlight or App Store to host your iPA (app) and that way you can wirelessly deploy it to your phone or any phone.

    But there are a several places that can host your iPA for free for a specific time, here are a few

    Diawi
    installrapp.com/
    Opera Mobile Store: Bemobi

    Try to research the limitations each one of those services has, and add it to this thread, it might help others as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  15. Kaiwhitehat

    Kaiwhitehat

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    I already stumbled upon Diawi, but the free Service is limited for max. 75MB and my .ipa file is bigger. So this is one limitation there.
     
  16. Am33r007

    Am33r007

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    That's alright. Try the next one.

    When you produce your ipa remember to sign it in developer mode (so you can deploy it to any iPhone not just ones you have UDID for.

    There is also:

    HockeyApp
    AppBlade
    Appaloosa
    Fabric Tool
    Apphance