Now everyone can get their app

Made for

Users looking for the correct app platform or integrated development environment to build a truly native Apple application.

Not for

Users looking to build an app for any other platform outside of Apple.

 
Free version
 
$99/year
Pricing details

Features

App Platforms

  • iOS
  • MacOS

Development Tools

Xcode 7 and Swift now make it easier for everyone to build apps and run them directly on their Apple devices. Simply sign in with your Apple ID, and turn your idea into an app that you can touch on your iPad, iPhone, or Apple Watch. Download Xcode 7 and try it yourself today. Program membership is not required.

Integrations

Deployment

Xcode is an already an amazing environment for test driven development, and Xcode 7 makes it even better with user interface testing and code coverage. Xcode’s Test Navigator makes it easy to navigate, edit, and run your tests. Testing assistants keep the tests and application code aligned in paired editors so you can work on them together

Pricing

Basic info

 
Free version
 
$99/year
 

No minimum contract, free version

 
Annual subscription
  • To publish apps to the Apple App store developers require an annual $99/year license

Reviews

Sort by
 
Client Interview
Jul 29 2015

Cheesecake Labs Implementation of Xcode

3.5

Features: 
3.5
Ease of use: 
3.5
Support: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
3.5
the reviewer
 
Less than $250/yr. spend
 
IT Services
 
11-50 Employees
 
Brazil
Developer, Cheesecake Labs
Bruno Guerios
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The user is Cheesecake Labs, a Brazil-based application development company. Cheesecake Labs' development team utilizes Xcode for many of their iOS application development needs especially in cases where Interface Builder is already in place. Cheesecake Labs' development team also utilizes AppCode, but offers their developers the choice based on comfort with either Integrated Development Environment. This team sees a lot of room for improvement for Xcode, specifically surrounding their refactoring tools and support services.

Experience

.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

Cheesecake Labs is a mobile app development company. We make solutions for startups, which we like to consider our partners. We usually work remotely. We're located in Brazil. I am an iOS developer.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for this platform?

We received a project for an iOS application from a client that wanted us to build an app for them. The client required features that were too complex to work on a cross platform solution like PhoneGap or Xamarin. Therefore, we started the project on the Native IDE [integrated development environment] which is Xcode supported by Apple. 

SOLUTION

How does your company implement this platform or software?

We use it through the whole process of developing and submitting an iOS app.

Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?

Mainly we work either with Xcode or AppCode. For example, when we start in an ongoing project that already uses IB [interface builder], we usually go with Xcode, since AppCode's IB isn't as good. We're constantly discussing about the advantages of one over the other. But, in the end, it all comes to whatever the developer feels more comfortable with.

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?

Xcode is free. An Apple developer's member account was required for developing, but not anymore.

FEATURES

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?  

I've seen a lot of people complaining about Xcode. They say it doesn't have the resources others do. I think those developers didn't give Xcode much of a try. Even after using Xcode as a development tool for almost two years, I am constantly finding new tools that make my job easier, and our apps better.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?

The provisioning profile signature process is very confusing. Apple should work on that to find a better solution. Another thing we always discuss while comparing AppCode and Xcode are the refactoring tools. In Xcode, they are very limited and usually don't work properly. That should be improved as well.

Have you had to interact with the platform's support team or reference their support resources?

We searched for support on how to sign our code with a provisioning profile and how to publish an app. The whole process isn't very clear, I think they could make it better or simpler.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Three and a half.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Three and a half.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available? 

Three and a half. Because of the issues that I mentioned.

Overall, satisfaction with the platform?

Three and a half. Xcode allows adding plug-ins to it. Most of the resources I can't find within Xcode, can be found in these plug-ins. The drawback lays on the fact that most of them are not supported by Apple and, almost every time Xcode upgrades, they stop working.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Three and a half.

3.5
Overall Score
  • 3.5 Features
  • 3.5 Ease of Use
  • 3.5 Support
  • 3.5 Willing to Refer
 
Online Review
Nov 16 2015

TestFlight Feature Great for Solving App Crashes

4.5

Features: 
4.5
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
the reviewer
 
Information Technology and Services
 
11-50 Employees
 
Washington DC Metro Area
Senior iOS Developer, SIMpalm
Abhishek Gour
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

This Xcode user is a senior iOS developer at SIMpalm, an application development agency headquartered in the Washington, D.C., metro area with development resources in India as well. This user highlights Xcode's Storyboard, app simulators for different devices screen size, and the TestFlight feature. This user wishes that there was a language converter that converted Objective C into Swift programming language.

BACKGROUND

Can you provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there.

SIMpalm is a mobile app and web development company. We have built more than 150 mobile apps in the last six years. I am a senior iOS developer and I build native iOS apps.

How does your company use Apple Xcode?

We use Xcode to build native iOS applications.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was your company hoping to accomplish by using Apple Xcode?

We wanted to build robust, user-friendly, native iOS applications using Xcode. Xcode allows us to build high-quality, feature-rich applications.

SOLUTION

Within your company, how many developers actively use Apple Xcode?

We have around eight native iOS developers, all of whom use Xcode. Eighty percent of our clients also want us to use this solution.

Was your company considering other solutions? Why Xcode?

We have used cross platform tools like Titanium and Senecha Touch to build iOS apps; however, we do not get the best user experience and functionality with those tools. Xcode provides the best possible way to build an iOS app. If we want to build apps that integrate with external devices using Bluetooth, only Xcode can handle these apps effectively.

Are you familiar with the payment plan your company subscribes to in order to use Apple Xcode?

Xcode is a free tool. We just have to pay $99 per year for an Apple developer account.

Have you had to use their support team or reference their support resources?

We don't use the support team, but we do reference the support documents on the Apple site.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any success stories, metrics, statistics, or other feedback from your company's use of Apple Xcode?

During the last six years, we have built more than 40 iOS native mobile apps using Xcode. We have built both iPhone and iPad applications. Xcode allows us to build universal apps that can work on all iOS devices and models. We also have built iWatch applications using Xcode. Whenever new iOS versions come out and existing apps need code changes to support those new versions, we can do that very easily using Xcode.

Are there any features or tools of Xcode that really stand out?  

Several Xcode features stand out in my mind. Storyboard allows us to create the UI [user interface] quite rapidly, and we can do interaction and flow between the entire UI. Storyboard allows us to see the entire UI flow in a single view. Instruments is used to find memory leaks and to optimize the code and performance of the app. We can apply Breakpoints in the code to analyze the code line by line to find out where the real issues are or where the bugs exist in the code.

In addition, Xcode provides simulators to test apps for various screen sizes and models of iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices. We can compare any code file or text file using File Merge and then merge those files. We can add Playgrounds to our project to show how we are using our own APIs [application programming interfaces], demonstrate how we solved a problem or even demo our code's features.

Finally, Xcode includes a comprehensive workflow feature for identifying, understanding, and fixing the most critical application crashes. These crashes are collected by the App Store and downloaded automatically into Xcode. Last, but not least, we can find and fix crashes while we are beta testing using the TestFlight feature.

Are there any features or aspects of Apple Xcode that could be improved?

There should be a language converter that can convert Objective C code to Swift programming language. Most of the Xcode programmers know Objective C and have been building apps using that language. Apple introduced Swift programming a few months back, and many developers do not yet know how to use it. A translator could be a big help for them to start building apps in Swift. Right now, we have to create two storyboards – one for iPhone and one for iPad. It would be helpful if we could do that in only one storyboard.

Three other relatively minor concerns are the complex process needed to export the app to a device, the lengthy App Store approval process, and the fact that Xcode can only be used on a Mac.

RECOMMENDATIONS

What recommendations or suggestions do you have for other users considering Apple Xcode?

We highly recommend Xcode since it is easily the best tool to build iOS applications. We suggest that to start using Xcode developers should download all Apple documents and manuals for Xcode and follow them carefully.

Finally, we ask that you rate Apple Xcode on a scale of one to five, with five being the best score. What would you give Xcode for functionality?

Four and a half.

What would you give it for ease of use?

Four.

For support, as in the responsiveness of their team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Four.

What is your overall level of satisfaction with Apple Xcode?

Four and a half.

How likely are you to recommend Apple Xcode to a colleague or similar business?

Four and a half.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 4.5 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Aug 14 2015

App Development Company Implements Xcode Rather Than AppCode

5.0

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
Information Technology and Services
 
11-50 Employees
 
Ukraine
iOS Developer, MLSDev
Rostislav D.
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is MLSDev, a mobile and web development company. This client was in need of a reliable integrated development environment, MLSDev uses Xcode to map a user interface layout, perform unit testing, and to submit applications to the App Store. This client chooses Xcode rather than JetBrains' AppCode for iOS development. The client likes that Xcode always is first to release new features, has great support documentation, and is also free for commercial and noncommercial use. The client has used Xcode for multiple development projects and highly recommends it for its ability to create UI unit tests easily.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

MLSDev is an IT [information technology] outsourcing company. We specialize in providing all-in-one solutions in mobile and web development. I am an iOS developer.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for this software?

Development of every mobile application heavily relies on the integrated development environment. A polished and feature-rich IDE can greatly speed up the development process and ensure high quality of final product. In a world of iOS development, Xcode is an industry-accepted IDE and we use it during all stages of iOS application development.

SOLUTION

How does your company implement this software?

Using Xcode, we create the actual code that drives the logic behind an application's UI [user interface]. Also, Xcode is used to help us map a UI layout, perform unit testing, and submit application to the App Store.

Was your company considering other software? Why this software?

The main competitor of Xcode is JetBrains AppCode. It is considered better at code refactoring, but Xcode is Apple's product, so it always gets new features first. Besides, AppCode is paid while Xcode is free both for commercial and noncommercial use. This is why we use Xcode.

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the software?

Xcode is free for commercial use and, thus, we don't pay anything for it.

RESULTS

Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results of your implementation of this software?

Using Xcode, we developed a wealth of successful iOS applications.

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?  

We like most the ability to create UI unit tests easily. The upcoming Xcode 7 really impressed us as it will allow us to make the quality of our products even better.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software that you feel could be added or improved upon?

We are really looking forward to better support of custom UI elements in Interface Builder, which would definitely be helpful. Apple laid the foundation of this functionality in Xcode 6, but some work remains to be done.

Have you had to interact with the software's support team or reference their support resources?

Xcode comes with a great support documentation library. We check it from time to time to get a better insight of its capabilities.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Four.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Five.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Five.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Five.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Five.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 5.0 Ease of Use
  • 5.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Nov 19 2015

What Sets Xcode Apart From Cross Development Platforms

4.0

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
IT Services
 
50-200 Employees
 
Noida, India
Mobile Architect, AppInventiv
Shrikant Srivastava
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is AppInventiv, a mobile and web development agency based in India. The client utilizes Xcode to develop apps on behalf of their customers who want to take full advantage of the capabilities of iOS devices including the iPhone and iPad, by developing on a native platform. The client praised Xcode’s simulator, as well as Playground, an interactive Swift coding environment that evaluates each statement and displays results as changes are made, without the need to compile and run a project. Both of these tools greatly increase the speed with which apps can be developed. The client would strongly recommend Xcode to anyone who is looking to build a feature rich app for iOS devices that is easy to update and maintain. 

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge you were facing that caused you to implement this platform?

As we all know, developing better apps requires enhanced user experience, pixel-perfect UI [user interface], using the latest technology, and a number of other factors as well. Here at AppInventiv, we focus on deep analysis and follow proven methodologies to develop mobile solutions for a variety of purposes including social networking, entertainment, news, and productivity for our clients. While exploring viable solutions for high-end apps, we found the native approach is much better than developing on a hybrid platform. Also, by using a native platform we can develop mobile solutions for wearable devices easily, augmented reality, image processing, and many more technologies and many APIs [application programming interfaces] that hybrid apps do not support. Native application development, as compared to hybrid platform, also allows us to access Bluetooth, camera controls, IoT [Internet of Things], Apple Pay, biometrics, and other features of the iPhone easily.

SOLUTION

Was your company considering other platforms? Why did you choose this one?

We were considering other tools, such as PhoneGap, Xamarin, and Titanium, but they are only for hybrid application development. One of the most important differences between hybrid app development and native app development is the user experience. The UX [user experience] of native apps is much better than hybrid apps. A hybrid app can never match the level of creative user experience that you get in a native app. Hybrid app development has many other challenges as well. For instance, it restrains easy access to Bluetooth, camera controls, IoT, Apple Pay, biometrics, and so on, which native platforms do not. That's why we started working on native rather than hybrid apps to leverage the control of these devices better, and create design and performance-centric mobile solutions, which give better user experience. To meet our business goals and achievements of developing challenging and best-in-class mobile apps, we adopted Xcode as our development tool for iOS apps.

What are the costs of utilizing Xcode?

Xcode is a free development tool. To send updates to our clients during the development cycle, we are enrolled with an Apple Developer account. It cost $99 set up one account, which you allows you to add up to 100 devices to test the apps we are working on.

The startup costs for clients are cheaper with Xcode vs. a hybrid or cross-development platform that you might have to pay to use; however, it ends up costing clients more money because the development process takes longer.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results related your use of this platform?

We have developed many apps through Xcode, which have resulted in a number of high-end and performance-centric apps. A few of our developed apps using Xcode support custom-built, complex, and sophisticated UI controls that resulted in quality deliverables and were greatly appreciated by our clients.

FEATURES

What are the features or tools that most impressed you?  

Xcode provides us with various exceptional tools for developing apps. In my opinion, Xcode's most impressive feature is the simulator, which allows you to see exactly how your application will run on the iPhone or other iOS device. The processing is fast and can simulate any version of iOS or other device of Apple's including the iPad and iWatch. Other useful tools of Xcode include the Interface Builder – Story Board – which allows us to design the canvas of the app and makes it simple to prototype a full user interface without writing any code.

Another tool is AutoLayout. Nowadays, there is much variety in mobile screen size, from the iPhone 4S all the way to iPhone 6+, not to mention the iPad and iPad Pro series, which again varies in screen size. Apple has helped developers by allowing AutoLayout to support various screen sizes and letting developers define constraints to controls on the Interface Builder.

Lastly, Playground is an interactive Swift coding environment that evaluates each statement and displays results as changes are made without the need to compile and run a project. Furthermore, they can be used as an alternative medium for presentations and more.

Are there any areas of the software that are not as strong, and upon which could be added or improved?

Xcode has nailed the ease of native application development. I've been working with Xcode for five years, and I've never had a major issue. But, there is always room for improvement, so I would like to make a few suggestions.

If there was a way so that the compiler could show any warning messages while you are writing the code so that scenarios in which the developer has coded access to a file that does not exist could be addressed sooner rather than later. Currently for these scenarios, the app crashes. Xcode already does this in one form, but only if the files are accessed in interface builder, not if they are accessed by code. 

There can also be improvement in Storyboard to show real-time changes attributed to text on Interface Builder. At present, it is only seen once the app is running on the devices or simulator.

Have you had a positive or negative experience utilizing the platform's support resources?

Xcode is extremely well documented by Apple, and one can find plenty of solutions without accessing traditional support resources.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Four and a half.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Four.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Four.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Five.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Sep 14 2015

Use of Apple's Xcode for 12Rockets App Development Studio

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
IT Services
 
11-50 Employees
 
Serbia
iOS Developer, 12Rockets
Marko Čančar
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is 12Rockets, a mobile design and development firm located in Belgrade, Serbia.  12Rockets's  iOS development team finds Xcode to be a strong and productive tool for development across all of Apple's devices. The client finds Apple's LLVM compiler and LLDB debugger, in addition to the platform's tight integration with Cocoa as crucial tools for fast and reliable coding. Ultimately, the client highlights Xcode's ease of use and expansive development capabilities as reasons for recommendation .

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I work for 12Rockets, a mobile design and development studio specializing in crafting often complicated apps for mobile devices. When building these apps, we always use the latest and the best tools available.

What is your position and responsibilities?

As an iOS developer at 12Rockets, I have various responsibilities. My main task is to take our iOS apps from the idea stage to a final product we are proud to put our name on. This includes brainstorming, building the software architecture, working on app-specific service integrations, developing both the UI [user interface] and the model behind it, and exporting the app to the App Store.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Xcode?

In order to do my job well, I need a few powerful tools. I needed a tool for developing both the UI as well as the database of an app with ease. Having a strong code editor complete with analysis and highlighting is indispensable. Price and ease of use are important factors in evaluating the value of a given tool. Other additional factors such as a modern design can make the difference between a good tool and a great one, but those factors aren't essential.

SOLUTION

Were you considering any other tools, why did you decide upon Xcode?

I have been a software engineer for a while now, and I've worked on many technologies. I've used many tools to do all kinds of work but, honestly, my favorite tool is definitely Xcode. Xcode combines an advanced assistant editor, interface builder, Apple's LLVM compiler and LLDB debugger, full iOS, OS X, watchOS, and tvOS documentation, and a full set of instruments for finding leaks. Xcode is tightly integrated with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, which makes it an incredibly productive environment for building amazing apps for all Apple's devices. You cannot find all this functionality for developing iOS apps on any other platform.

What have you found most impressive about Xcode?

It's very easy to start using Xcode, but what you can do with it is essentially limitless. The first time I saw Xcode I thought it was just a simple text-editing tool with some basic syntax highlighting. As I've had more time to work with it, I am quickly realizing how deep, complex, and powerful Xcode is. It has a simple and elegant appearance with almost no buttons on the dashboard unlike other IDEs [integrated development environment] I have used. It also helps that it's free. 

Are there any areas of improvement?

No, I couldn't ask for a better platform to develop apps on.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 5.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Nov 20 2015

Using Xcode to Build Beautiful Customer-facing Apps

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
IT Services
 
50-200 Employees
 
New Delhi, India
Marketing Executive at NZT Solutions
Anil Patel
 
Verified
The Review

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the technical challenge you were facing that encouraged you to use Xcode?

The fastest and most user-friendly iPhone apps – Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV – can be developed only in Xcode.

SOLUTION

Was your company considering other platforms? Why did you choose Xcode?

We have used several other apps that can develop iPhone apps, such as Xamarin, PhoneGap, and IBM MobileFirst Platform, but the performance on an iPhone when an app is written in Xcode is different from the others. Essentially, for any customer-facing app, I will always recommend that the client build their app natively.

Do you utilize a premium version of this product? If so, what is a general estimate of your monthly spend?

Essentially, you can build apps on Xcode for free, minus some small developer's fees. The primary cost for using Xcode is that it takes more time to build apps with Xcode because you largely have to start from scratch when building a new app.

RESULTS

Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results related your use of Xcode?

We are completely satisfied with the apps we have been able to build using Xcode. Its usability, upgradation, and compatibility are awesome.

FEATURES

What are the features or tools that have most impressed you?  

I would say code completion is the single most powerful feature of Xcode. The instrument and debugging tools are very good as well. Version controlling is built-in in Xcode, which makes it much easier to control the code you're writing. Finally, storyboard and XIB [XML Interface Builder] make UI [user interface] design faster and accurate.

Are there any areas of the software that are not as strong, and could be added or improved upon?

My one criticism is that Xcode is too "heavy" of a software. I feel it unnecessarily takes too much RAM and makes the Mac slow down.

Have you had a positive or negative experience utilizing the platform's support resources?

Absolutely positive – the Xcode community is vibrant

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Five.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Five.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Five.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Five.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Five. I would highly recommend using Xcode if one is developing iPhone apps.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 5.0 Ease of Use
  • 5.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Oct 26 2015

Xcode Development vs. Non-native Development

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
4.5
Support: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
Information Technology and Services
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, IL
CEO, Ethervision
Randall Cross
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The development team is Ethervision a boutique application development agency located in Chicago. Ethervision specializes in creating native mobile application and uses Xcode to deliver iOS applications to their clients. Ethervision created three of the first 50 iOS applications in the Apple Store. Ethervision highly recommends Xcode and native development as opposed to development in third-party platforms stating in the long run "it's the best bang for the buck." Ethervision looks forward to continued improvements in Apple's analytics platform to continue to give developers better visibility of app consumers' usage.

BACKGROUND

Can you provide a brief description of your company?

Ethervision makes mobile applications, websites, and content management systems. We work in enterprise and cloud, but our bread and butter is creating native mobile applications for iPhone, iPad, and Android. 

What role do you play at Ethervision?

I'm the president.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that initiated the need for this platform?

When Apple opened the iPhone and iPod Touch to outside development companies in 2008, there was only one choice for creating software: Apple's native toolset, which includes Xcode at the heart. In other words, if you wanted to create apps, then writing them in Xcode was the only game in town. It was the Wild West back then and a very few number of companies and developers like Ethervision were blazing the trail of this entirely new industry.

SOLUTION

How does your company implement this platform or software?

We have been developing apps since the inception of the App Store and three of the first 50 apps were created by Ethervision. Because of this, we have always stayed within Apple's native Xcode environment. Xcode is made by Apple specifically to make native applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Within Xcode, you now can choose between Objective C or Apple's newest programming language Swift.

Except for games and 3D simulations, we exclusively utilize Apple's tools to ensure the best in performance, stability, and maintainability of an application.

Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?

It is important to understand the difference between developing an application using Apple's native tools vs. using a third party. In our opinion, third party tools such as PhoneGap, Sencha, and Xamarin are useful for creating prototypes, but the apps they produce are not ready for prime time. Most often larger programs feel laggy, almost like a web browser running on a slow internet connection. It is not uncommon to have a delay of several seconds when you push a button before something happens. There is attractiveness to their promise of "write once, run anywhere" but what you end up with is a product that feels mediocre at best.

Although it may be more difficult in the short term, developing with native tools offers the best bang for the buck in the long run. The applications that function the smoothest and interact most seamlessly on iOS devices are built in Xcode.

Besides performance, one real downfall of these tools is your absolute dependence on the third-party company to update quickly when Apple makes a change to iOS. If Apple makes a change that causes your app to start failing, your customers will be out of luck until your tool company does an update to match. Heaven forbid if PhoneGap or Sencha should go out of business, then your entire codebase becomes worthless.

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?

Xcode is free. You can sign up for the free developer account and download Xcode and look at the tutorials and start making apps.

FEATURES

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?  

Apple is making it as easy as possible to utilize every feature supported by the native devices. The integrated test environment and advanced debugging of Xcode are useful. We are excited to see where Apple goes with its new analytics platform to give developers better visibility into understanding consumer usage of apps in the real world.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?

It's hard to say what can be improved on because Apple is always making stuff better. With Xcode, I can say Swift was a major improvement. They looked for –five to six years at the market and created a language that made things simpler. It's still got some bugs here and there. You can't necessarily do everything in Swift yet, but that's changing very quickly. I think Xcode is definitely going in the right direction.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Five. 

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four and a half. 

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Four and a half. 

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Five. 

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Five.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 4.5 Ease of Use
  • 4.5 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Nov 04 2015

Xcode Story Boards Stand Out

3.5

Features: 
3.5
Ease of use: 
3.0
Support: 
3.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
Information Technology and Services
 
51-200 Employees
 
India
Lead iOS Application Developer of Qburst
Visakh Padmanabhan
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The user is a lead iOS developer at QBurst, a software development company. This specific user has limited experience with cross-platform tools, but finds Apple Xcode as a great tool to help his development team storyboard the process of developing an application. This user also appreciates the memory analysis tools of Apple Xcode. This lead iOS developer feels that Apple Xcode could still improve on the plug-ins that are accessible when using Apple Xcode and improve the load time of the storyboards.

BACKGROUND

Can you provide a brief description of your company?

I'm a lead engineer at QBurst, a software development company. My company provides solutions for mobile, web, and human resource-based applications.

What role do you play there?

I work mainly on providing iOS development for clients. I also work with other teams to help provide the same applications for Android as well.

EXPERIENCE

How does your company implement this platform or software?

QBurst prefers to develop native applications, so we use the Xcode framework for iOS and, for Android, we make use of Android Studio. 

Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?

We do use other development tools occasionally based on a clients need, but for iOS, we mainly use Xcode. For cross-platform mobile applications we have used PhoneGap, Cordova and, in the past, Eclipse. I personally haven't worked much with cross-platform tools, but they are great if you want have a single segment of code and want it to be deployed across multiple operating systems like Android, iOS, and Windows.

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?

Xcode is free. 

PROS

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?

Xcode provides many features. For example, Apple Xcode makes it very easy to set up custom storyboards. Storyboards help us to have a detailed overview of the entire application and the workflow required, which was not possible in the earlier versions. If you have a larger screen to work from, it makes it even easier. That is definitely one advantage of working within Xcode. There are also many customization options. The last thing are the code analysis tools they help to make sure that everything is working fine, they help to catch many issues. Xcode is continuing to make it easier and easier for developers and individuals to deploy their applications to the App Store.

CONS

Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?

There are certain plug-ins that could be made available that would make the jobs of developers much easier. For example, if you want to access an object you have to import the files manually. It would be much simpler for developers if Xcode had something like auto completion – when you start typing, it would import that class right away. There are so many other plug-ins like that which would enable us to provide features more quickly. 

I really like the storyboards, but the loading time is slow. You really need a good RAM to get the best out of them. Also, in cases of 13-inch or 15-inch screens, storyboards are really straining to the eye. It's difficult for the developer to go through the entire flow of the storyboard. The auto layout needs improvement as well. You have to update the constraints for the entire use-structure when you're trying to insert a new view. 

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Three and a half. Xcode does provide some interesting features like the storyboard and auto layer. One of the major things I would like to point out is the use of analysis tools. They help developers keep track of the memory usage of an application. That is something important to developers especially when it comes to mobile applications. It's very good, but it can be improved on.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Three.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Three. I haven't had to use Xcode's support much. In the couple of scenarios that I had to, it was good. They do provide good support, but it takes some time for a response.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Three and a half.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Four. Developers don't have many options when it comes to native applications. I would still recommend Xcode for developers, it is the native framework for iOS and provides some great features. Xcode helps developers to understand the Objective language and how an iOS application should be built.

3.5
Overall Score
  • 3.5 Features
  • 3.0 Ease of Use
  • 3.0 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Apr 07 2016

Xcode, the best tool for skilled developers

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
Information Technology
 
2-10 Employees
 
British Columbia, Canada
Owner, FreshWorks
Samarth Mod
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The user is FreshWorks, a mobile app development studio based in British Colombia, Canada. FreshWorks has been working with Xcode for over six years, and highly recommends it for creating high-end consumer apps. FreshWorks highlighted the bug finders and test simulators as specific areas where Xcode excels.

BACKGROUND

Please provide a brief description of your company.

FreshWorks Studio is a highly specialized mobile app development firm in Victoria, British Columbia. We deliver quality mobile apps for both iOS and Android, develop product strategy, create responsive web applications, and provide a memorable user experience [UX] driven by narrative story telling.

We build exceptional mobile apps, and we take what we do very seriously. We are passionate, dedicated, and committed to making the app development process both enjoyable and productive. Our goal is the success of our clients.

What are your role and responsibilities in your company?

I’m the Chief Executive Officer. I oversee iOS app development work and my responsibilities include designing the UX, collaborating with our team and other developers, designing the architecture, developing and managing code, fixing bugs, installing updates, and uploading the app to the Play Store.

Who is the ideal client for an app developed using Xcode?

The ideal client would be someone who believes that a native user experience of the app is critical and important for the success of the product. The UX is fluid and flawless when developed using Xcode.

SOLUTION

What advantages does Xcode have over cross development platforms?

I learned Xcode in 2010—not Objective-C, but the actual application, along with the UIKit framework and the Sketch-like editor called Storyboards. As a designer, dragging and dropping elements felt familiar. And it wasn’t messy. Storyboards doesn’t actually create code, it replaces it. You reference the objects. The styling code is effectively removed from the Class files, allowing cleaner code. Then Swift came along. Objective-C at that time was twenty-years old, and it was reborn into a modern, simple, and safe language. Reading the code is far easier. Apple is doing a marvelous job.

While web tools are far simpler for creating simple pages, it’s much harder to design beautiful transitions and powerful interactions. You have to mix and match a bunch of frameworks coming from different authors. It just doesn’t make sense to build native apps using web tools. Nothing is cohesive.

What are the disadvantages of Xcode?

Well, first of all, Xcode requires a more expensive Mac instead of an inexpensive PC. The price difference is pretty steep if you want a high-performance development system. XCode is basically limited to producing applications for the Apple family of devices, which is a fairly significant limitation considering the number of Windows desktops and Android devices, and all the Linux stuff too!

Another problem is the limitations that Apple puts on publishing your XCode applications. You can create them for personal use, but to publish them for others to use, you’ll need an Apple account and a license for the Apple Developer Program. Then again, you will need this no matter which tool you use, particularly if you target the iPhone or iPad. And since the Mac also uses an app store, the same limitation applies to the Mac.

Apple has never been very good at developing a popular web server, and their hardware is generally considered too expensive to be used as such. It is still possible to do web development on a Mac (my last employer did some of that!) but hosting sites is much easier on a Linux or Windows system.

Consequently, XCode has not been optimized enough for proper web development. The languages that you can use with XCode are Objective-C and Swift. Both languages are very Apple-specific and not really used for Windows or Linux development, but Xcode also supports C, C++, Java, Python and Ruby, plus some third parties have added compilers for Pascal, ADA and C# to it.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

How has XCode improved your development projects and benefitted your clients?

It has been a great experience designing and developing projects on XCode. It gives full control of the app, with all the frameworks and libraries ready to be used. There’s also a high level of device independence when compared to developing hybrid apps. Each mobile platform that the native app is developed for, stipulates its own unique development process.

In the case of web apps or hybrid apps running on a mobile device’s web browser, the problem that arises is that each of these mobile devices have unique features and come with their unique problems as well. They are faster and more efficient as they work in tandem with the mobile device they are developed for. Also, they are assured of quality, as users can access them only via app stores online. This reduces the development time for the minimum viable product.

FEATURES

What are XCode’s features or tools that have most impressed you?   

The native features of XCode are very powerful and help a lot in development. New versions of XCode are always improved and are faster and more fluid than previous versions. Some of the more impressive features include Source Editor and Assistant Editor. Source Editor allows the developer to write code using a professional editor with advanced code completion, code folding, syntax highlighting, and message bubbles that display warning, errors, and other context-sensitive information in line with the code. The Assistant Editor button splits the editor in two, creating a secondary pane that automatically displays files that are most helpful based on the code the developer is actively editing, showing the header counterpart, the superclass, callers, callees or other helpful files.

Xcode’s Version Editor displays a running timeline of commits, helps the developer determine blame, and graphically goes back in time to compare source files, with full support for Subversion and Git source control management [SCM] systems. Interface Builder allows the developer to test the user interface without writing a line of code, then graphically connects the interface to the source within the Xcode editor.

Using the iOS Simulator, Xcode can build, install, run, and debug Cocoa Touch apps in a Mac-based iOS Simulator for a streamlined development workflow, while Quick Help displays shortened application program interface [API] documentation while the developer is programming, including comments that are written for the code. A brief overview is presented during code completion, with more links and references available within the Utility area. Then again, XCTest APIs makes it easy to build unit tests that exercise app functionality and are capable of running on Mac, iPad, iPhone, or the iOS Simulator.

Static Analysis finds bugs in the code before the app is even run, by letting the built-in static analyzer try out thousands of possible code paths in a few seconds, and produces a report of potential bugs that could have remained hidden or are nearly impossible to replicate.

Finally, there are various powerful tools like Instruments, Command line tools, Script languages, UNIX tools, Source Control, Terminal 2, and File Merge.

Are there any areas of the software that are not as strong, that could be added or improved upon?  

XCode takes up a lot of space on a Mac and every build is around 200MB—it all adds up. A new version could be optimized better.

What has been your experience utilizing XCode’s support resources?

I’m very happy with the response from the Apple team. We wanted an expedited review of one of our apps and the Apple team was helpful and fast.      

RATINGS

We ask that you rate the software on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best score.

What would you give XCode for the functionality of available features?

5

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

5

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

5

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

5

Overall, what is your level of satisfaction with Xcode?

5

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 5.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Nov 05 2015

Xcode's Superiority to Hybrid Development

4.0

Features: 
3.5
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
3.5
the reviewer
 
Information Technology
 
11-50 Employees
 
Lima, Peru
Managing Director at Tekton Labs
Kenneth Lopez
 
Verified
The Review

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

I am managing director at Tekton Labs, a software company based in Lima, Peru, focused on mobile and web development. We take a consultative approach to our app development. Before we even talk about technologies, we want to know everything we can about the app. "Who's going to use this? What's its primary function? Only after this process do we begin to talk about what technologies we will use to build the app. Lately, we have tried to move away from developing on cross platforms and are becoming a "native-only" studio.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What led you to decide to switch from using cross-development platforms to just native development?

Right off the bat, developing with a cross-development platform saves the client time and money. However, cross-development platforms have many problems as well. When developing cross-platform apps, we were constantly facing situations where Apple was not willing to accept portions of our app or was giving us many changes to make to the app in order to meet their stringent requirements. The risk of wasting more of our clients' time and money and even being rejected by the App Store or the Android Store convinced us that it was better just to create the apps natively.

In addition, creating custom UI/UX [user interface/user experience] for multiple apps is much easier on native platforms, and they give our clients much more flexibility and usability on the back-end if they want that.

SOLUTION

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?

It is free to develop apps using Apple's Xcode, unlike many cross-development platforms; however, the main cost is that, in certain cases, it can take longer to build these apps.

RESULTS

Are there any results or an example of an app that you created using Xcode and how that app was successful and if you can tie that back to the implementation of Xcode versus a cross platform?

We were designing an app for a client that had a very complex, custom UI/UX. It would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to design this on a hybrid/cross-development platform.

FEATURES

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?

Xcode builds very beautiful apps. A few of the features are the chat features and the ease with which a project can be worked on collaboratively. Also, I obviously like the APIs [application programming interfaces], and easy access to native features of the device are very helpful as well.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?

The review process can be a bit of a hassle. You can build a great app that meets all of the internal testing that you run on Xcode but then, for some reason, it will be rejected in the final stages by the App Store. This can set the timeline of the project back significantly.

Have you had to interact with the platform's support team or reference their support resources?

I would say that the development community for Xcode is not as big as it is for Android Studio; however, it is very active. Generally, you can find solutions to your problems on there.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Four.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Three and a half.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Four.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Four.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Three and a half. It's because of the Apple process. It took too long. It's manual from their end. Apple has a process. They have very high-quality apps. But, they process them manually, and it takes time. It's not something you control. However, when you try to get a hybrid app in there, it's even worse.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 3.5 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 3.5 Willing to Refer