Can MacBook Air be used for programming? (Explained, Guides)

Programming is a universe in itself. From dealing with technical back-end servers to running fancy game engines, many different technologies come under the umbrella term of programming. So, when selecting hardware, it hugely depends on the type of technology the engineer would be working with, as every job has its own different system requirements.

Can MacBook air be used for programming

Can MacBook air be used for programming?

Yes, the MacBook Air is more than enough for almost all kinds of programming. Because, it has a 10-core powerful m2 processor, offers a lot of storage space and up to 16GB memory, which is excellent and far enough to run any programs. Also, the efficient keyboard, lightweight design, and long battery life make your work more comfortable.

Here we have explained some key things why doing coding or programming using MacBook air is good?

Incredible Processor

It comes with an 8-core/10-core top-notch M2 processor, boasting 20 billion transistors, and a 16-core neural engine. It is one of the fastest processors in the world, ensuring that there would be zero bottlenecks when it comes to running tasks that require very high-end processing power.

This is great for high-profile tasks like Data Science or Machine Learning, where the number of high-performance cores is essential to the efficiency of those high-resource-demanding ML software and tools.

Moreover, if you are a cool guy who develops games, then this M2 chip would give enough processing power that the high-end games engines would run as smoothly as a hot knife on butter.

Myth of macOS

There is a myth associated with this Apple’s software that it does not support all the software that windows support, and hence a MacBook can’t be used for programming since those development tools will be unavailable.

This is far from the truth.

Not only does macOS supports a lot of software, it usually has great alternatives for the software that it doesn’t support. From the famous web frameworks to game development studios and back-end tools, macOS supports them all.

Yes, the RAM is more than enough

For most demanding tasks, usually a conventional 8-16 GB DDR4 memory is more than enough. However, in the MacBook air, there are up to 24 GB of unified memory.

To shorten the story; unified memory is much faster and much more efficient than conventional RAM.

This means that to smoothly multitask the heavy software along with the infamous Stack Overflow, a programmer will not have even a bit of a problem as that software will run smoothly without lagging or crashing, so the only source of frustration for a programmer will be a hidden bug and not the slow running system.

But GPU, what about the graphics?

Contrary to common beliefs, a developer working on high-profile things like game development and Machine learning algorithms requires a very good GPU. In the MacBook air, the processor has an amazing 10-core GPU which should be more than what’s required for most of the programming tasks. As a plus, it can run a good number of games you can play after a long and tiring day at the job.


Most of the programming work can be done on any decent Pc. Running basic interpreters and compilers doesn’t take up many resources.

However, when it comes to high-level studios and professional software, you do require a good system to serve your purpose.

MacBook Air has all that’s required to run heavy resource-demanding software, and hence, it can surely be used for programming. Not only that, but it has some significant advantages over other options.

Why MacBook air is good for programming?

That old saying in the world of tech goes: “A good engineer is the one who knows that no tool is superior to the other tool, but it is an engineer’s responsibility to select the best tool for the given job”

The choice of hardware is to be made by the same principle. Want to get into game development? A good desktop with advanced GPU will be required. Dreaming to become a data scientist? Invest in a fast multi-core processor. Each niche has its demands and consequently, the system has to be built accordingly.

The great thing about MacBook is that it is a very well-rounded laptop. You can pretty much run every tool a programmer needs to work with on this laptop without any issue.

Apart from being incredible at what its alternatives are good at, it can also be used for a valuable yet exclusive-to-Apple niche:

You can use it for iOS development

This is perhaps the biggest upside to the MacBooks. It is a well-known fact that for iOS development macOS is the basic requirement.

No matter how sophisticated a computer is, without macOS, it cannot support iOS development. If a programmer has plans to get into iOS development, then a good MacBook is his best option.

The power of macOS

Using macOS has only one risk: “Once you start using macOS, you can never go back to the sluggish Windows”

Not only is macOS extremely smooth and fast, but it also has a beautiful, perhaps the most beautiful UI/UX. On top of that, it offers the Unix CLI which is something every programmer will treasure.

Hence, it won’t be wrong to say that macOS has the beauty and ease-to-use of windows and the CLI of Linux combined into one cool Operating System.

Also, it does not force you with those out-of-nowhere updates, unlike windows, living up to its reputation of making life extremely productive.

You might also check:

How to run non-compatible programs in MacBook air?

Sometimes, the newer iOS is not compatible with your favorite older programs which were designed for previous versions of iOS.

A way to overcome this is quite simple: Disable system integrity protection.

  • Boot the Mac into recovery mode
    When the system is booting up, hold down the ctrl+R until the Apple Logo shows up
  • Select Terminal from the utility menu
  • Type into the terminal:
    csrutil disable (and then press enter key)
  • Reboot the Pc and log in normally
  • Open terminal
  • Type:
     Sudo mount -uw / (then press enter key)
    Killall Finder (then press enter key)

This should enable those apps and you will be able to install them on newer iOS.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned above, a MacBook can most certainly be used for programming. Any decent to high-end Pc can be used for coding as a matter of the fact. However, the MacBook air brings with it some great perks that its competitors can’t manage to offer.

The exclusiveness of being in the Apple ecosystem has even penetrated the world of programming, and if you want to take advantage of those perks then MacBook Air is a perfect choice. It’s just a bit expensive, but programmers are pretty rich so it shouldn’t matter. Nothing is above productivity, right?

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