"Build Mobile Websites and Apps for Smart Devices" Book

I am making my way through the “Build Mobile Websites and Apps for Smart Devices” Book by Sitepoint. Initially I was very impressed with the quality of content in the book, however, as you go further through the book I have realised that the title of this book is slightly misleading. What it should read is “Build Mobile Websites and Apps for Smart Devices (if you have a Mac).”
When I got the book, I was under the impression that I would be able to develop for all mobile operating systems, using just HTML, CSS and javascript. However, it appears that you also need a Mac computer for iOS development. I know you can still develop for Android and WebOS but let’s be honest - there’s no point in making apps if you can’t build for iPhone and iPad. So I feel like I have wasted my cash on this book, which is sad.
So I started looking for solutions.
I thought I have found it with Adobe Phonegap Build but even though you no longer need the SDK, you still need a '…Mac to configure your certificate and provisioning profile." However, someone in the Phonegap community wrote this interesting post about using OpenSSL to get around the problem: http://community.phonegap.com/nitobi/topics/detailed_guide_for_setting_up_building_ios_apps_without_a_mac - anyone tried this?

Can’t say I’ve tried the OpenSSL method, have you tried it yet?

Another option that might work for you is installing OSX on a Virtual Machine (Using VirtualBox for example) - the only thing you need that might cost a couple of bucks is a copy of OSX (try eBay or see if a friend has the install DVD)

MacBreaker have some tutorials on how to install OSX on VirtualBox that might be helpful if you’re interested: http://www.macbreaker.com/2012/07/mountain-lion-virtualbox.html

No I havn’t tried OpenSSL yet - I havn’t finished building my first app yet - I’m just looking into options.

I have found another option in mobundler.com - which appears to let you build the necessary .p12 file online. Looks promising combined with Phonegap Build?

Thanks for the info re VirtualBox - sorry to ask but is this a legit way of doing things? I’m a novice in this area but it sounds like it should be an infringement of Apple’s licensing agreement?


I can’t say I’ve read the licensing agreement so please don’t take this as legal advice.

But… as long as you own a (legal) copy of the OS, you should be able to install it on a Virtual Machine without too much of a problem. The other option would be to buy a Macbook (used Macbooks on ebay will set you back a couple of hundred $$).

I’ll start saving then!

Re OpenSSL - you can build and sign an app but you apparently still need a Mac to get your app into the AppStore [facepalm]