Search Unity

  1. Unity 6 Preview is now available. To find out what's new, have a look at our Unity 6 Preview blog post.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Unity is excited to announce that we will be collaborating with TheXPlace for a summer game jam from June 13 - June 19. Learn more.
    Dismiss Notice

Question The cheapest Mac hardware option to build an iOS app?

Discussion in 'iOS and tvOS' started by username132323232, Mar 6, 2024.

  1. username132323232


    Dec 9, 2014
    Hello. What is currently the cheapest Mac hardware option to build an iOS app that would be accepted by Apple? I have a late 2014 mac mini but I'm not sure it will run the required version of xcode. Thanks!
  2. tw00275


    Oct 19, 2018
    @username132323232 I haven't submitted my game to Apple yet so I can't confirm this, but I bought a MacBook M1 Air (2020) for this reason. It was £600 for a used model on eBay, about half of what a new model costs. You might be able to get an M1 Mini for a bit less.

    I don't use it for developing the game, just building for iOS, since 8GB or RAM isn't enough to run Unity, XCode and an IDE like JetBrains Rider at the same time.

    What's useful about the Apple Silicon devices is that they actually support half precision in shaders. Most desktop GPUs just use 32-bit precision for everything (although some AMD GPUs may support FP16), but on an M1 you can see in the Editor whether you can get away with 16-bit shader variables without needing to test it on a phone or tablet.
    username132323232 likes this.
  3. Neonlyte


    Oct 17, 2013
    Apple only supports binaries built by the latest version of Xcode available at the time of upload to App Store Connect. Right now it would be 15.3.

    The tradition of the past few years was that Xcode would always support the latest macOS version (e.g. 14.X), plus the latest minor version of the previous major macOS version (e.g. 13.X) before the middle of the cycle to give large organization time to phase in macOS updates. Usually right around this time of the year, Xcode will drop support of the previous major macOS version, as it has already happened with Xcode 15.3 released about a few weeks ago.

    Also from the recent trend, Apple is phasing out older Macs to receive latest macOS update on a release year basis, so Intel Macs are being cut off year by year. Not sure how that would pan out once only Apple Silicon Macs remain as it would be in the future.

    Thus, unless the person asking is extremely short on budget, for building iOS apps with the latest Xcode, I would always recommend buying whatever is the latest and stop worrying about it for the next 5 years at least. If not, M1 Mac Mini is a very good value purchase.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2024
    tw00275 and username132323232 like this.