How to build app for iPhone without Mac?


The Intel XDK has a build option for Windows 8 indeed. As far as running the XDK itself on Ubuntu, I’d refer you to their site which says “Intel XDK is available as a free download for Windows* 7 & 8, Apple OS X*, and Ubuntu* Linux”.


You can also use a cloud build service like phonegap build or to submit the ipa file to itunes connect.


Hi Heems,
please do you know a way for uploading an IOS App to the Intel XDK cloud without a valid Apple’s certificate? I mean without paying the annual fee of 90$…
I’ve developed an Android APK and know I’d like to test it in my Iphone as well, but the certificate requirement is an stopper at this time that really I don’t know how to solve.


I just came across this service:

Haven’t looked at at in detail but it looks attractive. I came across when looking up info on Testflight:

Testflight is a service from Apple and I wonder if it could be of any help with the issues mentioned.

As far as I understand, it makes testing iOS apps in the field possible prior to publishing in the App Store.

Note however that it still requires the $99 Apple developer membership if I understand correctly.
And it has to go through a Beta App Review at Apple and must comply with the full App Store Review Guidelines.

(the “beta” review has to be repeated for every new “beta” version, however I think you can use the Ionic Deploy service to get around most of that)

Not sure about the certificate stuff and so on.

By the way, I’ve successfully installed OSX under VirtualBox on Ubuntu Linux. It’s a little bit slow but it works.

But I’m definitely planning to evaluate the Bitrise service, they even have a free plan and it may solve a number of the mentioned headaches (which is what I was getting when reading through all of the posts on this thread).


Hi @leob!

Thanks for mentioning Bitrise! I am one of the co-founders, let me know if any of you have any questions about our service, or just about CI/CD in general.
Also, we love feedback, so if you’d like to chat, we have a public Slack room (, feel free to join! :smile:



Okay thanks!

When I get to the stage that I need to get serious with testing and building for iOS then I’ll for sure check out your service, because what I’ve seen of it is looking good and I believe it is going to save me a few headaches.

By the way your service does Android too doesn’t it?


Not yet, but it is on our roadmap. You can expect it in the coming months :wink:
You can vote on this feature here (so we’d feel the urgency even more):


Okay cool, no problem.


Hi @leob!

Just thought to ping you that we released the Android support for Bitrise, it’s in public beta now. You can find more information about it in this blogpost:

Let me know if you have any questions about it, though!


Hey cool, thanks for the heads-up, I’ll check out your blog post.


Hello Andrew

Great post and great website! Just was wondering, do you have a youtube video of the aforementioned step by step process of building the app for iPhone without a Mac?

I was running an LG G4 to test my ionic app, but I recently came into a 6S+ but I do not want to get a Mac to keep testing my app.

Any suggestions? I will be following your post in the mean time.



To upload your app to the app store you can use our cloud service .Currently we are in beta and you can use our service for free.

Best regards,
Steffen Wenz

(I’m the creator of the site)


this the best suggestion.
I used for a long time.
but you will need crack to setup MAC OS on VMWARE because is not support officially yet.
to kan vm work good you need to give 4Gb RAM so you must have more than 8 Gb on your machine.
good luck all.


Consider how cheap a Mac mini is, or how many second hand macs there are it could just be easier getting a mac than attempting a workaround.

You get great debugging with Safari web inspector, the ability to upload to the App Store etc with no fuss.


Is it possible to use PhoneGap Build for Ionic 3?


Yes, it’s possible.

I’ve switched over to Ionic pro last week, but i’ve used it till last week.


The best solution out of all is macincloud. It has Xcode, node.js built in. and it costs only $20 a month!
I think it’s the best out there… their virtual Mac is super fast!
I recommend MacinCloud to everyone who wants to build iOS ionic app and publish on Apple app store.


Sorry for off-topic. I tried to use such a build pipeline with another technology (Unity3d iOS game). When built in VMWare the .ipa is not installed on the device, but when built on real Mac hardware - everything is installed and run fine. Some opinions say it might be due to licensing issues of Mac OS. Could you confirm that VMWare + OS X works fine for app builds?


I have built ipa’s with VMware osx.

However I would suggest using phone gap build as is free and is scriptable so can be used within whatever pipeline tech you’re using, powershell scriptable for example.