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App Development

6 Most Popular iOS Development Tools for Building High-end iOS Apps

Apple and smart devices have a long history. Many believe that it was Steve Jobs’ pioneering vision to introduce the touch-sensitive innovation to phones that led to the beginning of a new era. Thanks to Steve Jobs and Apple’s continual intuitive upgrades, it has created and captured its own niche market. According to Statista, Apple has generated revenue of 71.6 billion US dollars from the sales of the iPhone in merely the first quarter of 2022.

Apple’s other captivating feature is its App Store which has allowed thousands of developers, individuals and businesses to leverage its powerful SDK and provide users with purposeful applications right in the palm of their hands. In 2008, App Store launched with merely 500 iOS apps, but today the number is in the millions. According to 42 Matters, the App Store today has approximately 1.71 million apps and around 715.87k app publishers.

Apple’s iOS still remains a widely pursued app development platform, and today, it has become even better owing to the additional number of bleeding-edge technologies available for iOS app development. The current technological ecosystem of iOS has some pretty resourceful tools that are more popular among developers. Here, we have discussed the six most popular iOS development tools that are known to make iOS app development more effective, effortless and more creative.

List of Top 6 Popular iOS Development Tools

  1. App Code (IDE for Swift and Objective-C)

A product of JetBrains, App Code is a smart IDE that aids in the app development on iOS and macOS. App Code is the house of numerous useful plug-ins and shortcuts that help developers code faster. It comes with a smart editor which offers smart code completion and formatting. 

Its code generation and refactoring capabilities enable developers to focus on other crucial tasks. Besides code completion and code generation, its other useful features are:

  • Integration of Swift Package Manager
  • Constant monitoring of code quality
  • Better support for VoiceOver
  • Better visibility and organization of notifications with the new Notification tool
  • Automatic imports and optimization of imports
  • Advanced formatting options and availability of multiple caret locations
  1. Flawless (App Designing for iOS)

Flawless is a high-class app designing iOS development tool that is mostly used for iOS and macOS development. Its chief objective is to resolve the ambiguities between developers and designers by helping them with the implementation of polished and tuned designs in their applications and offering a detailed comparison between the original design and the implemented design. 

By allowing developers to compare designs in real-time and identify and rectify the visual issues at early stages, it enhances the overall design quality and the visual appeal of the app. Other pragmatic features of Flawless include:

  • Implementation of design and its comparison right within the iOS simulator
  • Easy integration of current processes without any additional setup or added configuration
  • Ability to capture GIFs and share files with services like Jira and Slack
  • Hassle-free review of only animated screenshots (no need to review the entire app)
  • Empowering designers with Bohemian coding for the creation of dynamic designs and easy resizing of designing elements
  • Support for Zeplin design files for easy transfer of multiple images from Zeplin app to Flawless app with drag-and-drop tools
  1. Swift (Programming Language)

Swift is Apple’s own technology and was first released in 2014. As a core programming language, it holds immense potential and encloses superior features that help developers to build futuristic iOS apps. Compared to other languages like C++ and JavaScript, it is newer and yet is highly influential which is why companies today prefer to hire Swift app developers to make the most out of this platform.

Swift’s chief objective is to cut down coding complications thus making iOS app development swifter for developers. Swift offers developers the following cutting-edge features:

  • Clean syntax and easy maintenance of APIs
  • Advanced safety features like eliminating classes of unsafe code and memory-safe
  • An incredibly fast and easy transformation of Swift codes into optimized native codes with LLVM compiler technology
  • Interoperability with Objective-C 
  • Offers runtime safety and a small memory footprint for app development that includes a new class of modern server applications
  1. Alamofire (Libraries)

Alamofire is a network-based HTTP library that serves as a valuable iOS development tool in macOS and iOS development. It sits atop Apple’s networking stack and offers an interface too. It is completely Swift-based and comes packed with a comprehensive set of features including AlamofireImage, an image library that has custom filters for images, a priority-based downloading system and image response serializers.

It has another intriguing feature called AlamofireNetworkActivityIndicator which helps developers in controlling the visibility of network activity indicators on iOS. Other intuitive features of Alamofire are:

  • Dynamic adaptation and HTTP response validation
  • TLS Certification and network reachability
  • Comprehensive coverage for unit and integration test
  • Availability of additional component libraries like AlamofireImage for adding extra functionalities
  • Support for other useful iOS development tools like Cocoa Pods and Carthage
  1. Mockingbird (Mocking and Testing Framework)

Mockingbird is a framework which makes it easy for developers to mock and test objects during Swift unit tests. There is no need to modify the production code or write a boilerplate, and it can be used for testing objects written in both Swift and Objective-C. It is used by big companies like Amazon, Meta and Twilio.

The syntax of this mocking framework is known for being expressive, readable and safe. Besides the standard features, it comes with advanced features like performing asynchronous code tests, creation of partial mocks and storing and resetting mocks. Mockingbird’s other notable features are:

  • Stubbing and verification of methods with parameters
  • Integration of XCode and argument capturing
  • Prevention of mock generation by unused types
  • Availability of built-in diagnostic tools for debugging the generator
  • Exclusion of problematic sources from getting parsed
  • Addition of extra source files for resolving external type declarations
  1. RayGun (Debugging and App Monitoring)

RayGun is a high-end debugging and app monitoring tool that offers real-time, actionable and useful insights into the performance of mobile and web applications. As its official site claims, RayGun provides ‘instant visibility into the health of your software’. Starting from monitoring and improving front-end performance to an advanced deployment tracking system, RayGun practically has almost everything that is required for creating a flawless iOS application.

This cloud-based software offers support for over 30 frameworks and languages. It has a Raygun4Apple library that is popular amongst iOS developers for its ability to track both Objective-C and Swift applications and get both individual and accumulated crash reports. RayGun’s list of remarkable features also includes:

  • Hassle-free integration with almost all popular development software including GitHub, Slack, Azure DevOps and Zendesk
  • Customizable dashboards with drag-and-drop tools to monitor app performance, view crashes and critical errors and arrange the data in a logical format
  • Availability of Core Web Vitals for rating the overall user experience of websites and 
  • GDPR compliance for personal data protection and use of the highest-possible, default privacy settings
  • Provides real-user insights and monitors end-user experience of front-end performance

Summing Up

Apple holds a huge chunk of the smartphone market and this puts iOS developers in high demand. Therefore, it becomes imperative for them to know and learn as many iOS development tools as possible. The above-listed tools come with advanced technologies and help developers in the development of dynamic, responsive and visually-attractive iOS applications. To make your app more productive, you can hire professional help by joining a renowned iOS app development company.

Read Also:

Best Continuous Integration Tools for PHP Laravel Developers

Albert Smith

Albert Smith is Digital Marketing Manager at Hidden Brains, a leading software development company specializing in mobile & web applications, IoT, Cloud and Big Data services. He provides innovative ways to help tech companies, startups and large enterprises build their brand.

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