5050 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Oct 28, 2010 6:20 AM by JeroenHMG
Currently Being ModeratedOct 26, 2010 9:29 PM (in response to LouisByrd)It is possible, as it is with any Mac. However, keep in mind that the Airs tend to be the slowest CPUs of any shipping Mac. While the SSD is great for general purpose stuff, compiling code benefits from a faster CPU So if it will be your only Mac, you might want to consider another machine if your main purpose is development.
I just picked up an 11" Air which I will use for development, but it is not my only dev machine.MacBook Air (orig & 11"), iMac Core Duo 17, MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
Currently Being ModeratedOct 27, 2010 2:52 AM (in response to LouisByrd)I talked to someone last nite, who uses a 2 year old MBA 13" (original) for Xcode development. He was, at the time, working on an iPad app. I asked him how he managed with the MBA, especially w/ processor and screen size.
He said he wished the CPU was faster at times (for compiles) but for the most part it was fine. He said he had no problems with the screen size, because he used virtual screens/spaces _a lot_. He also said he bought it as a $900 refurb thinking that it may be OK for iOS development, and that it did work out for him and he'd do it again if he had to do it over.
I realize you asked about the new MBA - however, I thought this relevant, simply because if the old version was fine for one developer, the newer model most surely would be too. I also have been wondering the same thing; I have a 3 year old MBP 17" that I'm contemplating when it's EOL'd next year, to go with a fully loaded new MBA 13".Mac Pro Quad-Core Intel Xeon, Mac OS X (10.6.4), 12GBRam many HD's
Currently Being ModeratedOct 28, 2010 6:20 AM (in response to LouisByrd)I've been using a 2009 MacBook Air 2.13GHz with standard Apple 128GB SSD as my main development machine for about a year.
Mostly for iPhone/iPad Xcode and Objective-C development with some Unity3D development (targeting Windows) over the last few months.
I use it in preference to my mid-2009 2.8GHz 15" Pro with Vertex(v1) SSD because of the portability.
Battery is on par with the 15". The 15" is definitely faster - especially with Unity3D builds (via Xcode) to upload to iPhone or iPad. Non-iPhone Unity3D "compiling" (I target Windows for some clients) is fine. I often wished for more USB ports but never really needed more than the single one.
The only annoying thing is that with 2GB of RAM the thing will get slow (swapping) when you have Safari and/or NetNewsWire open with a bunch of tabs especially if some of them use Flash.
My 3 development "tracks" (keep in mind that this is the previous model Air):
For standard iPhone/iPad development building and debugging on the device or in the simulator is fine. The iPhone4 and iPad simulators use a higher resolution than the older iPhone simulators and that can cause a bit of a slow down if you're running an OpenGL ES game in the simulator. Non issue for standard UIKit stuff.
Using Unity3D editor/engine and TextMate for the script code is fine unless you are working with high-poly scenes. Last project for a client was not a high-poly project and I had no issues with anything that went on EXCEPT for testing in WindowsXP in VMWare 3 - obviously that was a bit slow. Testing in MacOSX was fine (nice and fast).
Using Unity3D for iPhone game development is fine also EXCEPT when you build for the target - that really can take some time. The 15" is definitely better for building this but it's still not a short process. I still mostly use the Air for this because it is the one I have with me at all times.
And that's where the difference comes in: it is light enough to always carry with you, you're never thinking "hmmm should I take my computer or not?" - you just take it.
I usually put it into a backpack (Crumpler 15" backpack - wonderful - with iPad) if I'm walking or cycling somewhere but if I'm going for a coffee in a local coffee shop I just put it into a thin cotton over the shoulder thing and I don't even notice it.
The new Airs are faster and (in the Apple store) feel more solid and fix the biggest problem with the previous model: 4GB of RAM as an option - don't skip this!
If I'm happy with the previous model Air then I (and probably you too) will be more than happy with the new ones. Just get the 13" 2.13GHz 4GB RAM 256GB SSD I'm itching to get a new one!
JeroenMBP 15"/2.8/4GB/Vertex250 + Air rev. C/2.13/SSD (best. laptop. ever!) + Mini srv, Mac OS X (10.6.4), only SSDs, iPad WiFi+3G 16GB.