advice to start app development (for apple and android)

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I have had a couple of ideas for productivity related apps but stayed away because of the cost. I assume that i need to buy a mac (for an ios app). I already own 3 laptops and i cant convince myself to buy an overpriced mac. I dont expect to have a hot selling apps, so will probably give it away for free. The only benefit would be to practice my programming skills and to teach my son in the summer break. He is very interested in programming and has already done a few simple projects.

please if anyone wants to share any thoughts on
1) how to get a cheap mac for development,
2) are there any app 'hosting' costs on android or on apple.
3) is this worthwhile. probably yes.

Although not directly related to finance, there are significant expenses involved and would like your criticism.

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1) Virtual Machine?
2) No hosting cost.. but if it is a paid app, google/apple takes a cut for each sold.
3) Worthwile, yes.

I have an idea that's been floating my brain for a couple months too. It is a simple idea, but thanks to the number of smartphones out there, it could be a completely new way of finding a date.
Too bad I'm a lazy bum.

Is there a place I can sell my app idea?

Note that you would have to jump several hoops, just to run MacOSX on a virtual machine inside Widows and/or Linux.

Why not just do development for Android, if you don't want to buy a Mac?

You haven't really said what programming background you have. Seems like Android would be the easiest development for you to get into. You can install the SDK / etc. on windows without a problem.

It's also had to criticize a potential development without having any real details on what you are trying to do. Have you tried searching to see if there is already an app that does exactly what you were thinking of doing?

Depending on what you want to do, you may be able to use an Adobe product in windows.

As others have noted, Android will definitely be cheaper for you to get into. The SDK can be downloaded and used on a Windows machine for free.

Google Play charges a one-time fee of $25 for distributing your apps in their Store:

Apple's iOS SDK is also free, but it only runs on OS X, requiring a Mac. Also, there's a $99/year fee for the "iPhone Developer Program," which is required for distributing the app on their App Store:

For a cheap Mac, you'll want to look at the Mac Minis, and possibly at the refurbished ones in the Apple Store. These are the cheapest you're going to get directly from Apple:

Otherwise, you can look at eBay or Craigslist for used ones, but buyer beware (as with anything used). Also, you'll want to make sure the Mac will work with the latest SDK, which requires an Intel processor and at least OS X 10.7:

It's hard finding real system requirements for the latest version of Xcode (Apple's SDK). You may need more RAM than comes with a Mac Mini, but adding RAM is fairly easy and cheap to do.

Another option would be to develop an HTML5 web app. That should run on both iOS and Android, as well as other platforms, and you wouldn't need to put it in a store. I'm not sure what's the best platform for developing in HTML5, although this free one looks interesting:

For Android Development, I found this google doc on a reddit post and people seem to love it.. as noted by the more than 2700 up-votes on reddit.

i havent programmed in the last 6 years. But prior to that i have done a lot of c++, java, unix scripting and even objective c.

thanks everyone for the comments.

As most suggest i will start with android development and test out the app. So far no there is no app which implements the same idea.

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