Amazon EC2 Mac Instances & Pricing

AWS (Amazon Web Services) today opened it's re:Invent conference with a surprise announcement: the company is bringing the Mac mini to its cloud. These new EC2 Mac instances, as AWS calls them, are now available in preview.

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Mac instances run macOS 10.14 (Mojave) and 10.15 (Catalina) and can be accessed via the command line (SSH) or remote desktop (VNC)

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Amazon EC2 Mac instances enable customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the cloud for the first time, extending the flexibility, scalability, and cost benefits of AWS to all Apple developers. With EC2 Mac instances, developers creating apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Safari can provision and access macOS environments within minutes, dynamically scale capacity as needed, and benefit from AWS’s pay-as-you-go pricing.


Unlike with other EC2 instances, whenever you spin up a new Mac instance, you have to pre-pay for the first 24 hours to get started. After those first 24 hours, prices are by the second, just like with any other instance type AWS offers today.

AWS will charge $1.083 per hour, billed by the second. That’s just under $26 to spin up a machine and run it for 24 hours.

EC2 MAC Instances Availablilty

The new Mac instances are now available in a number of AWS regions. These include

  • US East (N. Virginia)
  • US East (Ohio)
  • US West (Oregon),
  • Europe (Ireland),
  • Asia Pacific (Singapore)

with other regions to follow soon.

Benefits of EC2 MAC Instances

CI/CD (Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery)

CI/CD for iOS will save you days of preparing app submissions, fixing critical bugs, and uploading screenshots to the App Store. Automating these processes means that any member of the team will be able to release bug fixes or updates.

The CI/CD can check-in and check out the source code so all members of your team will be on the same page. Leading to better communication, increased app development quality, and more frequent releases.

The top benefits of CI/CD for iOS

Aside from making your previous iOS development process more efficient, implementing a CI/CD pipeline helps your team:

1. Build faster

A continuous and automated development cycle helps mobile development teams make high-value releases faster.

2. Detect problems early

A continuous integration pipeline can run test suites on every code change. Thus, problems can be spotted before they can reach production.

3. Provide effective feedback

In a continuous integration workflow, the entire team can view and monitor source code activity. When new problems appear, the team members that introduced the failure are automatically notified.

4. Automate the testing process

Manually testing iOS apps on a simulator or multiple devices is a time-consuming process. In a CI/CD workflow, the process is automatic and straightforward. Simply configure the devices and simulators into the server workflow and let your pipeline do the work for you.

5. Build deployment logs

In a CI/CD pipeline, all build deployments are logged. This means that at any given time, you can identify the exact point where your app failed.

What is Next?

We will share how you can setup iOS CI/CD pipeline using EC2 MAC Instances

Stay tuned and follow us.

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