Converting to iOS?

Hi Evan, I have a few questions for you about App Inventor IOS version. I'm planning on building an IOS version of my app and was wondering what exactly do I need for that?
Do I need to buy an Apple laptop?(they are pricey but I will buy one if I have to)
What are the OS requirements to make an IOS version compatible to publish it on App Store?
(older model Apple laptops have an outdated OS which is not compatible to publish an app)
Is there anyway to migrate the data from my already published Android version to the IOS version that I yet have to build?
To make the long story short, I need to know all the technical requirements to start building an IOS version.
Thanks a lot in advance! Enjoy the rest of your day!

A version of AI2 is currently being worked on in order to compile for iOS. It is expected for this summer, but it is not known when.

With this version you would not need a computer to make the program and compile (MIT already takes care of this).

What you will need is an Apple Developer account ($ 100) and a lot of patience. Making the application is that, making an application, but to publish you have to be sending and receiving appropriate certificates to be able to make the compilable "valid". Later you have to deal with the review by Apple ... very funny all ...

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Hi Luis, thanks for getting back to me on this. However, I'm a little confused now and have more questions to ask. App Inventor team made a public announcement on March 4, 2021 about the release of App Inventor for IOS.
https://appinventor.mit.edu/blogs/evan/2021/03/04-mit-app-inventor-ios-app-store

My understanding was that it is fully ready for download on a MAC computer to start building mobile apps for IOS OS. But what you are telling me sounds like it is still in development and not actually ready. So, what was the announcement for then? Let me put it this way: If IOS version is available on the App Store can I start using it to build apps for Apple products? if not then why? Also, I was assuming that using an apple laptop is the only way to make an app Swift compatible for submission. May I kindly ask you to clarify?

Also, is App Store submission process more complicated than that of the Google Play? What are the major differences? Google Play only took 4 business days to test and review my app and then gave it a production status. And I was lucky to be able to submit an APK, starting this August it will have to be an app bundle.

Thanks in advance and hope to hear back from you

Hi Anke, thanks for your response. I don't mean to sound dumb just trying to double check. So, even though App Inventor is available on the App Store I still won't be able to build an IOS version of my app for now, right? The reason why I'm so anxious to know these details is that I was planning to purchase an Apple laptop(it is roughly at around $1k) to have my IOS version ready by August 1st. Luis mentioned that I might not need an Apple laptop, how is that possible? What are the alternatives? Apple is very pushy and strict about their programming language and OS(there's no way to update the OS with a recovery CD, need an updated OS? buy a new laptop! - pushy!) and if an app is not swift compatible it will be denied the production status right on the spot.

Thanks again Anke, I appreciate your time and answers!

There are countless tutorials and instructions for this on the net / YouTube.

The app does not compile on your computer, nor does it happen now when you compile an Android application. You're right that to compile an iOS application you usually need a Mac, but the team has already taken care of that and what happens is that the server itself is a Mac (fix me if I'm wrong) so it does not matter which operating system you will use. By the way in the new Macs that are based on Apple Silicon you can run the application you build and also the companion naturally and that's really nice!

I have a Mac because I built my iOS apps natively with Xcode & Swift. But if AI2 provides a build server for iOS apps, it could also be done via a PC.

Thanks Anke, I will definitely check them out. However, back to my questions. What would you say is the main purpose of the App Inventor on the App Store right now, before more compiling work is done? What would you recommend to use it for? Will App Inventor provide a build server for IOS apps? Thanks

As @ewpatton said "... the hope is to make it available before the start of the fall semester".

thank YOU, now I'm getting a clear picture of where things are and what to expect. I wish I saw your answer a minute earlier, I was actually asking Anke about compiling. What would you suggest as the best way to migrate my android data(blocks, urls) to the IOS version when it is fully ready?
Thanks again for such a detailed answer!

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thanks Anke, I'll keep my fingers crossed for it. I appreciate App Inventor for how easy and self explanatory(in most cases) it is to use and also the credibility and the legacy of the institution it belongs to. I'm wishing you guys the best of success in completing the AI for IOS project and hope it is available sooner than expected.

You will not have to build a new project, basically all you have to do is compile your iOS application and that's it! (But you may need to make some minimal changes for this) App inventor will be cross-platform i.e. development one to two platforms. You can also run your application right now on the ios companion

this sounds encouraging! and how do I get to the IOS companion from a PC? I would love to test it

Open your project on PC, and on iOS, iPadOS or Mac with Apple Silicon Install the companion, and connect to your project (as you would with an Android device)


Please keep in mind that it is still in beta…

Got it, so I DO need an Apple product after all:)) I don't have any of them, love their designs and marketing strategy but still not a big fan, don't ask me why;))) thanks anyway, enjoy the rest of your day!

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You will need to test your application before sending it to the App store even after the App inventor is available not as a beta as there are differences between the platforms and adjustments need to be made for this. In addition you will also need to add screenshots to your application and Apple requires that the screenshots be on an Apple device and not on Android (unless there is no change at all). I recommend you buy a Mac with M1, so you can test your application in all sizes - you can resize the application window and see how it matches the size of the iPhone and the size of the iPad and also the size of a computer screen, in addition you will have a very fast and beautiful computer (I have it and I am very satisfied)

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this is very important to know. I love how brief and yet exact your answers are, now it all seems perfectly clear and I have a plan to follow. THANKS a million!

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Hello, what is your suggestion on buying a laptop for learning to build apps ?
Is the Macbook with M1 the best option if I want to learing building apps on both Android and iOS platform ?
And most importantly, what is lowest configuration of the Macbook (or other laptops) is recommended if I want to do things smoothly but not to broke my bank for it ?
I haven't follow anything about computers for years, since the smartphones and tablets are getting more and more powerful these days. My current hp notebook can't even run Android Studios smoothly.

Thanks

To all who are thinking to buy an Apple Device to test apps or other stuffs,

I have a little suggestion for you,

There is a Apple Emulator on browserstack.com

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