Ever wanted to try developing for iOS? Yeah, most of us have. But there’s a big difference between wanting to try and actually taking the time out of your life to learn Objective-C. Codename One hopes to make the task of developing apps easier and more streamlined by allowing you to write your creation solely in Java, which the app will then translate to Objective-C before you publish it to the app store.
This isn’t a platform for making apps without any programming knowledge — you still need to be proficient in Java. But Java is a much less daunting language for the beginning programmer, and can be picked up in days or months to some extent. Currently, Java is one of the most-taught languages in public schools, and I could see this application helping many young programmers get their start on the App Store.
Previously, a common method of developing for the App Store without a Mac has been done by way of an Adobe “Packager for iOS” conversion application that was released as part of Flash CS5. Codename One provides a similar service, and says that a Mac is not required to test or build your iOS applications. They have said, however, you will need a Mac to publish said applications to the App Store. That is, unless you use their paid certificate setup service.
The app is free and open source, and instructions to get started can be found on the Codename One website. You’ll be needing a copy of Eclipse or NetBeans, and a simple plug-in for said application — whichever you decide to use. Good luck!