Top 10 iOS App Development Tools That You Can Consider - GeeksforGeeks (2023)

Businesses know the importance of being in close proximity to their customers. And the closest thing to the customers today is their smartphones. Smartphones are also the means for businesses to get as close to customers as they possibly can. Mobile applications are the fastest way for businesses to increase their reach and eventually increase their sales. Androids and iOS being the major operating systems used in mobile devices, developers have to make sure that their app is compatible with both to reach a wider audience. For developers, this means that mastering app development in both these Operating Systems will tremendously be in their favor.

Top 10 iOS App Development Tools That You Can Consider - GeeksforGeeks (1)

According to Backlinko, approximately 1 billion consumers use iPhones, iPhones also account for 65% of smartphone sales in the US. Apple Store is the second most popular and used mobile app store. The Apple Store has over 2 million applications on it. Few studies estimate that Apple has paid approximately USD 50 billion to app developers since 2008.

Therefore, it becomes imperative for developers to develop apps that function smoothly on iOS. We are listing down a few of the most used and helpful iOS development tools that you can consider using.

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1. Swift (Programming Language)

First released in 2014, Swift is a powerful core programming language from Apple. Since it is relatively new when compared to other languages like C, Java, and C++, it has some very powerful advanced features. Swift is aimed to make the code easier to read and write. Some of the features of Swift are:

  • Advanced control flow
  • Memory-safe and type-safe language
  • Automatic memory management
  • Effective error handling
  • Functional programming
  • Supports inferred types

Going forward Swift will definitely be the language Apple will rely more upon. According to Apple, Swift is also 2.6 times faster than Objective C Therefore it is wise to learn and master it.

2. Objective-C (Programming Language)

The original language opted by Steve Jobs, Objective-C is a language that stems from the programming language C. Objective-C has a similar structure and syntax to C. This makes this language easy to learn and master for a majority of the developers who already know the language C. Some of its key features:

  • General purpose, object-oriented language
  • Supports encapsulation, data hiding, inheritance, abstraction, polymorphism
  • Supports exception handling as well as operator overloading

3. Xcode (IDE & Editor)

Like Objective-C, Xcode was the original integrated development environment (IDE) used by Apple. Xcode, first released in 2003, is used to develop software in macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. It provides developers with an integrated workflow for coding, testing, debugging, and user interface design. Xcode becomes necessary for developers as the mastering of it helps in cross-device development. It has some advanced features like:

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  • Instrument analysis tools
  • Latest SDKs
  • Create custom instruments to analyze code
  • SwiftUI and Interface Builder
  • Swift, C/C++, Objective C compilers

4. CodeRunner (IDE & Editor)

CodeRunner is helpful for developers primarily for its code compiling abilities. It can be used to create potent and advanced applications. CodeRunner supports 25 programming languages and is extremely lightweight. It has a built-in console, premier text editor, and offers customized key binding. Developers can live check errors and write efficient code without disturbing the actual app code. Some alternatives for CodeRunner that you can try are AppX, PhoneGap, Fabric, and AppCode.

5. Flawless (App Design)

Flawless lets developers perform a variety of tasks like iOS app design, analysis, comparison, and app design execution. It lets the developer generate dynamic design, capture animated screenshots, as well as check motions and animations. Flawless is embedded with Xcode which makes it a popular choice for developers. It supports Zeplin files, Quick hotkeys in addition to supporting long-screen designs. Plus, it does not require any additional setup, configuration, or third-party library linking. Other app design tools you can look into are Hyperion, Haiku, and Figma.

6. RxSwift (Libraries)

It is one of the best library resources out there. RxSwift is a framework for working with the Swift programming language and is based on reactive programming. RxSwift uses functional type operators for event-based and asynchronous code. Asynchronous programming improves the performance and responsiveness of the application. RxSwift lets code react and process data in a clean, secluded, and sequential way. It lets code run in parallel thereby increasing the functionality of the application.

7. AlamoFire (Libraries)

AlamoFire is another library that developers can use to develop iOS applications. It is an HTTP network-based library that provides an interface apart from Apple’s networking stack. It is based completely on Swift and handles web requests and responses in iOS as well as macOS. Apart from HTTP methods, it also includes JSON parameter and response serialization, network enhancement, authentication services, and many other features. Alamofire Software Foundation has added various libraries to introduce new functionalities and features, two of them are

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  1. AlamofireImage
  2. AlamofireNetworkActivityIndicator

Cocoapods, SDWebimage, and PromiseKit also provide rich libraries that you might want to consider.

8. Parse (Backend Services)

Parse is an open-source platform that offers mobile backend as a service. Preceding its shutdown, Parse was open-sourced by Facebook. It has now grown to become an open-source community having its own blog, documentation, and community forum. Parse powers developers to store data in the cloud, manage push notifications, dashboards as well as run custom code in the cloud. Parse was listed as one among the top 50 innovative companies of 2013 for speeding up the pace of software development. Some of its backend tools

  • Cloud-based object and file storage
  • Social media integration abilities
  • Parse hosting and analytics
  • Identity log-ins
  • Create custom code in the backend

Another popular backend service provider, and an alternative to Parse, is Firebase which also has some great features like Real-time backend as a service, Google hosting, and model-observer database scheme.

9. RayGun (Debugging)

Raygun is a cloud-based software that reports errors, crashes and monitors the performance of web and mobile applications. RayGun supports more than 30 languages and frameworks, which makes it a tool that is cross-device and high in demand. Raygun4Apple library can be used to track Objective-C as well as Swift applications. It enables developers to receive accumulated as well as individual crash reports. Parse also has some great tools for debugging.

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10. Peckham (Plugin)

One of the most practical plugins for Xcode is Peckham. Peckham makes adding and importing statements owing to an auto-complete feature. This feature lets a developer add or import statements, headers, etc, directly into the code with the help of keyboard shortcuts, like command+control+p. There are numerous Xcode plugins available today, all of them having advanced and functional features. Some of the other plugins that you can consider are Dash, Crayons, HKSnippet, Injections, and All Targets.

Evolving as an iOS App Developer:

The IT space is ever-evolving, with new technology, tools, and software being developed every now and then. Therefore it becomes crucial to keep up with these developments. For iOS developers, being skillful in multiple languages and tools is key to enhancing their careers. The scope for developers has been growing for the past decade. Since Apple accounts for a substantial share of the smartphones sold and used, iOS developers have also seen a significant rise in demand, scope, and pay scale. Employers prefer developers who are well versed with Swift, cross-device development, and a variety of tools. Learning to create an interactive interface with Interface Builder, using a versioning system for code, and being acquainted with important frameworks is equally important.

The above-mentioned tools are some of the best tools available, they are in no way exhaustive. There are many powerful development tools that you can learn and master to develop smooth, dynamic, and reactive iOS apps. The best way to start is by learning the tools and programming language used by Apple. This way you will get a better understanding of how the development of apps on iOS differs from apps on Android OS. It will also help you to move on to other development tools since you will already have a solid base to work on!

My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up

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Which tools are used for the development of iOS? ›

What Are the Three Primary Tools that iOS Developers Use?
  • Objective-C. Objective-C has long been the principal programming language used to write software for iOS (and macOS). ...
  • Swift. Like Objective-C, Swift is a programming language used to program apps for iOS. ...
  • Xcode.

Which software is best for iOS app development? ›

Xcode. Xcode is the Mac app used to build every other Mac app and every iOS app, too. It has all the tools you need to create an amazing app experience.

Which tool is used for app development? ›

Xamarin is the preferred mobile app development tool for native apps. It reuses business logic layers and data access across platforms. It is widely used to create apps for iOS, Windows, and Android app development.

Is the development tool for iOS Apple *? ›

Xcode. The Xcode developer tools include everything you need to create apps for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

What's the best platform to develop iOS apps in 2022? ›

The Xcode development environment, used to create iOS applications, has a text editor, a compiler, and a build system. Moreover, it is the perfect tool for developers to write, compile, debug, and publish the app on App Store.

Which is better Xcode or Swift? ›

According to the StackShare community, Xcode has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1052 company stacks & 604 developers stacks; compared to Swift, which is listed in 994 company stacks and 541 developer stacks.

Which is the best tool for mobile app development? ›

What are the Best 11 Mobile Development App Tools that you must know in 2023?
  1. React Native. ...
  2. Flutter. ...
  3. Xamarin. ...
  4. Ionic. ...
  5. jQuery Mobile. ...
  6. Sencha Ext JS. ...
  7. Framework 7. ...
  8. Onsen UI.

Why are the tools needed for app development? ›

It enables developers to build enhanced and native-like apps using a single code base. The aim of this framework is to build first-rate native application experiences using JavaScript and React.

What is the best tool to create a mobile app? ›

The best mobile app development software of 2023 in full:
  1. Appy Pie. The best no coding app development platform. Today's Best Deals. ...
  2. Zoho Creator. The flexible app developer. Today's Best Deals. ...
  3. AppSheet. Apps for business software solutions. ...
  4. Appian. Tanked up about mobile apps. ...
  5. For digital mobile platforms.
Jan 3, 2023

Is Xcode a build tool? ›

The Xcode build system manages the tools that transform your code and resource files into a finished app. When you tell Xcode to build your project, the build system analyzes your files and uses your project settings to assemble the set of tasks to perform.

Is Python used for iOS development? ›

Let's start from the beginning; Python is a scripting programming language. It's suitable for solving various tasks and working with different platforms: from iOS and Android to server operating systems. It is an interpreted language, not a compiled language like C++ or Java. A Python program is a plain text file.

How to create iOS apps? ›

How to Create an iOS App: 5 Steps to Make It Happen
  1. Download Xcode.
  2. Learn Swift.
  3. Access Online Resources.
  4. Find a Mentor.
  5. Enroll in Coding Bootcamp.

Can you use C++ to make iOS apps? ›

It installs the SDKs and tools you need for cross-platform development of shared libraries and native apps. When it's installed, you can use C++ to create code that runs on iOS and Android devices and platforms, Windows, Windows Store, and Xbox.

Is Swift enough for iOS development? ›

Swift is a powerful and intuitive programming language for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Writing Swift code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and Swift includes modern features developers love. Swift code is safe by design and produces software that runs lightning-fast.

Is Swift hard to code? ›

Swift is easy to learn, even without prior experience in coding. Apple designed it to be a programming language suitable for beginners, efficient, and easy to use. First-time coders can download Swift Playgrounds to learn the coding language with gamified Apple-designed lessons.

What is better than Xcode? ›

Visual Studio, Swift, Cocoa (OS X), Android Studio, and Atom are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Xcode.

What are top 5 class mobile apps development? ›

React Native, Ionic Framework, Node, Xamarin, NativeScript, Adobe PhoneGap, and Flutter are the best mobile app development frameworks for cross-platform app development.

What is the best way to develop apps for iOS and Android? ›

You can use Ionic to develop mobile apps with popular web technologies like SASS, HTML5, and CSS. Ionic is quite popular among professional developers because it facilitates the development of progressive web and native mobile applications for both Android and iOS.

What are the 4 types of app components? ›

There are four different types of app components:
  • Activities.
  • Services.
  • Broadcast receivers.
  • Content providers.

What are the 3 most important things you would consider when developing a mobile app? ›

11 things to consider before you design and build your App
  • Do you really need an App? ...
  • Decide if it is for Android, Apple or both? ...
  • Have you allowed enough time to design, build and test it? ...
  • App Registration. ...
  • Who are you competitors? ...
  • Use an App developer or use on online build service? ...
  • Do you need a tablet version too?

What are the 10 steps to make an app? ›

How to make an app for beginners in 10 steps
  1. Generate an app idea.
  2. Do competitive market research.
  3. Write out the features for your app.
  4. Make design mockups of your app.
  5. Create your app's graphic design.
  6. Put together an app marketing plan.
  7. Build the app with one of these options.
  8. Submit your app to the App Store.

What is the best free app builder for iOS? ›

Appy Pie's iPhone app maker is the world's best no-code app development platform for iOS. Thousands of iOS apps are built and published each day through Appy Pie's iOS app builder platform! Create your own native iOS mobile apps within a few minutes.

What tools are used for Apple? ›

5 Tools for Cutting Apples
  • Apple Slicer: This is an obvious cutting tool for apples and a go-to at Stemilt. ...
  • Knife: Another obvious tool for cutting apples is a knife. ...
  • Mandolin: If you want to take your food presentation skills up a notch, then treat yourself with a mandolin.
Mar 10, 2020

Is C++ used for iOS development? ›

It installs the SDKs and tools you need for cross-platform development of shared libraries and native apps. When it's installed, you can use C++ to create code that runs on iOS and Android devices and platforms, Windows, Windows Store, and Xbox.

What is Xcode developer tools? ›

Xcode Command Line Tools are tools for software developers that run on the command line, in the Terminal application. Since before Apple's beginnings, this assortment of Unix-based tools have been the foundation of almost all software development.

Which tool is used to extract information from iOS devices? ›

Elcomsoft IOS Forensic Toolkit is a commercial tool that allows us to take a Bit to Bit Image of iOS devices. It also supports the extraction of secret passwords and decryption of file systems.

What development process does Apple use? ›

Iteration Is Key

In fact, Apple iterates the design throughout manufacturing. The product is built, it's tested and reviewed, then the design team improves on it and it's built all over again. These cycles take 4-6 weeks at a time and may be run many times over a product's development lifecycle.

Is SQL used in iOS? ›

Any of these will stand you in good stead for a career in app and program development, but SQLite is one of the most popular forms of SQL among Android and iOS developers, and it generally follows Postgre syntax. SQLite is an open source SQL database which saves data in text format on a given device.

How to build an iOS app? ›

The iOS mobile app development tutorial can be simplified as follows:
  1. Step 1: Choose an iOS Language. ...
  2. Step 2: Find an iOS App Development Tutorial that Best Fits Your Learning Style. ...
  3. Step 3: Enroll in the Apple Developer Program. ...
  4. Step 4: Download Xcode. ...
  5. Step 5: Design & Build the App. ...
  6. Step 6: Test & Deploy.
May 5, 2022

Is Java used for iOS development? ›

Java can run on any platform that has a compatible Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Since Apple doesn't support JVM for iOS, Java can't run on iPhones and iPads. Apple makes sure that only Swift and Objective-C has 100% vendor support on iOS by forbidding alternative runtimes from being deployed on it.


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