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Great iOS Development Tools in 2021 for Incredible iPhone Application

Alekh Verma | February 9, 2023
iOS development tools-1

Do you know which application became the most popular iPhone app on the Apple Store recently? It is Zoom Cloud Meetings app that got the first rank with massive14 million downloads in January 2021. 

But what is the special point to be noted here?

It is the first time in history an app from business category has got on the top rank on Apple App Store leaving behind ever popular apps like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

This proves even a simple looking free app has the potential to beat blockbuster apps in the market, only matters how well your app solves users’ needs.

iOS app development is getting hot day by day with the rising competition. With 1.96 million apps and market revenue of 21 billion USD, iOS continues to outperform in revenue generation.

Yes, the world is ruled by Android apps that is why it is no surprise to see over 2.8 million Android apps running on Google Play Store.

However, Apple is known for its rich customers. They have the highest market share in the U.S. A. and the UK. Therefore, app owners prefer iOS apps over Android in terms of business revenue.

Apple users are very sophisticated and demand great features that work flawlessly. Therefore, when you develop apps for iOS, make sure your developers use the best tools to create an app that meets users’ expectations.

Here, I have listed out important iOS development tools that can help you build an incredible iPhone application in 2021. 

For Programming Languages

1. Objective-C

Objective-C is like C++ and C# that depends on C language. Developers can use this tool if they know C perfectly. However, the usage of Objective-C has reduced in recent times due to the introduction of other language which is our next tool.

Key features of Objective-C:

  • Dynamic typing
  • Expressive message syntax
  • Automatic garbage collection
  • Access to Apple technologies

2. Swift

Swift is the latest programming language that is highly used in iOS app development. Swift is much easier than Objective-C. Its syntax enables developers to write clean code and provides safeguards to prevent errors and improve readability. 

Key features of Swift:

  • Safe
  • Fast Codings
  • Easy syntax

For Editors & IDEs

 

1. Xcode

Xcode is a popular IDE which is employed with Swift. This iOS tool is used for developing apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. Reports show that over 17,300 companies use Xcode including Pinterest, Stackshare, and Instacart. 

Key features of Xcode:

  • Interface Builder Built-In
  • OpenGL Frame Capture
  • iOS Simulator
  • Source Editor

2. AppCode

This is an IDE mac developer tool compatible with multiple programming languages such as JavaScript, Objective-C, C++, and Swift. AppCode can be utilized to develop applications for all iOS platforms. 

It makes code writing and code analysis process smooth and simple. AppCode allows you to timely debug the coding error. 

Key features of AppCode:

  • Editor customization
  • Xcode support
  • Unit testing
  • Refactoring & code generation 

3. CodeRunner

It is one of the top iOS app development frameworks. It allows developers to code easily in any programming language. CodeRunner is lightweight and simple to use. 

You can utilize it for Swift on the IDE level with debugging support and syntax highlighting. CodeRunner comes with advanced code compilation-it allows developers to test codebase without affecting the entire model of the app. 

Key features of CodeRunner:

  • Customizable key bindings
  • Error checking and lining
  • Multiple selections
  • Enhanced highlighting with code tokenizes 

4. Fabric

Fabric is among the top iOS development tools that enable companies to build applications for various purposes in real-time. It contains various modular kits that can be used to build innovative applications. 

Fabric is a lightweight tool that can automate the beta distribution and app deployment method faster. 

Key features of Fabric:

  • Single config file
  • Remote sudo execution
  • Backward compatibility

For iOS App Design

 

1. Hyperion

Hyperion is a design debugging tool which can be integrated into any iOS app. It offers three default plugins: 

One-the slow animation plugin that allows reducing animation speed in-app

Two-the view inspector to check the properties in any view

Three- the measurement plugin to measure the distance between two views 

Key features of Hyperion:

  • Easy to use web interface
  • Easy to create reports and dashboards
  • Proven and scalable architecture

2. Flawless

Flawless tool is a perfect tool for developers who are looking for dynamic iOS development technology that can help them to compare, analyze and implement iOS app design. This iOS tool comes within Xcode and allows developers to compare the old design to new one easily. 

Key features of Flawless:

  • Animated screenshot capture
  • Dynamic design generation
  • Check motion and animation 

For iOS Libraries

 

1. RxSwift

RxSwift is one of the famous iOS development tools in library that allows developers to code dynamic iOS apps. If you want to build a seamless iOS app that communicates with the data, renders an immediate response, and consequent user functions, you should use this iOS library. This tool has got 19.3k stars on Github.   

Key features of RxSwift:

  • Functional programming
  • Reactive programming
  • Reactive programming
  • Functional reactive programming (FRP)

2. CocoaPods

This is the most popular library for iOS on the web for programming in Objective-C and Swift Cocoa projects. Over 3 million apps have used this library in their development projects. 

CocoaPods is an open-source community which has more than 1000 combinations of various code libraries. CocoaPods is an essential iOS development that every developer must have. 

Key features of CocoaPods:

  • Automatic generation of .xcfilelist
  • Support multiple swift versions & Pod Projects

3. Alamofire

Alamofire gives a smooth and composable interface to HTTP network requests. Alamofire does not implement its own HTTP networking; instead, it builds on the top of Apple's URL Loading System. 

It wraps extra APIs to easily use interface and provide a wide range of functionality for modern application development using HTTP networking. 

Key features of Alamofire:

  • Network reachability
  • HTTP methods
  • Parameter encoding
  • Routing requests
  • Statistical metrics
  • Reponses handling, validation, and coding

4. SDWebImage

SDWebImage is an asynchronous image downloading library for iOS applications. It supports GIF, PNG, JPEG, WebP and animated WebP formats along with new image formats for extendable coder plugins such as BPG, HFIF, APNG, and SVG. 

Key features of SDWebImage:

  • An asynchronous image downloader
  • A background image decompression
  • Ensures that the same URL is not downloaded multiple times 

5. PromiseKit

PromiseKit simplifies asynchronous programming and allows you to focus on more important things. This library helps developers to compose code clearer and simpler. 

PromiseKit has excellent Objective-C bridging and delightful specializations for iOS any platform that has a swiftc. PromiseKit has been used by top 100 iOS most popular apps in the world. 

Key features of PromiseKit:

  • Easy to compose
  • Develop highly asynchronous apps without fear of the spaghetti code
  • It is completely thread safe 

For Backend Services

 

1. Firebase

Firebase is a Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform that works as a server, data store, and API at the same time for iOS applications. With Firebase, there is no need to write any backend code. 

It allows you to store and sync data over all your projects in real time. Firebase updates the apps on every device (mobile or web) any time you change data. 

Key features of Firebase:

  • Its file storage is backed by Google Cloud Storage
  • In-built APIs
  • Real-time data
  • Github authentication
  • In-built security at the data node level

2. Parse

Parse is an open source framework for building, hosting, and managing applications. It provides Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform for apps. Parse enables you to save objects in the cloud with a few lines of code. 

This server platform provides a broad range of features to develop backend system easier and faster. Therefore, it is widely used in iOS mobile app development

Key features of Parse:

  • Featured Parse server
  • Provides real-time database and analytics
  • Better server performance
  • Easy third-party integration

Plugins for iOS

 

1. Injection for Xcode

Injection for Xcode is a plugin tool or AppCode that dynamically inserts new shift/Objective-C code into a running app. It speeds up your iOS development process without making any changes to the project. Therefore, its name justifies its action. It basically provides dependency injection. 

Key features of Injection for Xcode:

  • Ease of testing
  • Reusability of code
  • Ease of refactoring 

2. GitDiff

GitDiff is a Git command tool which allows comparing and editing files between revisions using common diff tools. This plugin adds visual information to streamline code edits in Xcode git and highlights deltas against any git repo. GitDiff plugin makes it easier to find out and change lines of code. 

Key features of GitDiff:

  • Improve the basic workflow
  • Fix common mistakes
  • Provide better efficiency

3. Dash

Dash is a code snippet handler and API documentation browser. It allows immediate access to over 200 API documentation sets in offline mode. This iOS tool enables you to create your own documentation sets or compose from ready-made doc sets as per the requirement. 

Along with this, Dash can be also integrated with several third-party sources and plug-ins. On GitHub, Dash has 13.4k stars which make it a highly reliable tool. 

Key features of Dash:

  • Dashboard toolkit
  • Highlighted in-page search
  • Great integration with other applications

4. AllTargets

AllTargets is a plugin tool that is designed to automatically select the new targets when new files are added to Xcode. This is a specific function that will depend on your configuration for each project.

5. MarvinXcode

Marvin is a plugin tool for Xcode. It adds a large collection of deletion commands, text selections, and duplication. This plugin tool ultimately speeds up your coding process. 

Key features of MarvinXcode:

  • It cleans up whitespace on save
  • Adds an LF at the end of the document 

Debugging tools for iOS

 

1. Raygun

Raygun is SDK that provides in-depth error diagnostics. It is a great debugging tool for iOS apps which gives smart grouping and notifications, and works along with your current tools. 

Raygun is an error, crash, and performance monitoring tool that allow to view how users are experiencing your iOS application. Once errors are detected, they appear on the dashboard with detailed reports. 

Key features of Raygun:

  • Deployment tracking
  • Inbound filters
  • Session tracking
  • Detailed reports
  • User tracking

2. FLEX

Flex (Flipboard Explorer) is a combination of in-app debugging and exploration tools for iPhone app development. With FLEX, you can view and rectify every piece of state in your running application. 

Unlike other debugging tools, FLEX works completely inside your application, which means you don't need to be connected to LLDB/Xcode or a different remote debugging server. This iOS debugging tool works well in the simulator as well as on physical devices. 

Key features of FLEX:

  • Dynamically change any properties and ivars
  • View system log messages
  • Inspect and change views in the hierarchy
  • Insert your own simulator keyboards shortcuts 

Conclusion

Developing an iOS application is a difficult and time-consuming task. But it becomes easier and faster when you start using latest iOS development tools. These tools will ultimately help you build an incredible iPhone application that your users will love.

At the same time, you should know there are hundreds of iOS tools available in the market. Choosing the right tool will depend on your project and business goals. 

Therefore, you should consult an iOS app development company that can guide you perfectly. This will help you achieve your business objectives in less time-frame. 

And eSearch Logix is a reputed mobile app development which has been building great iOS applications for iPhone, iPad, macOS, and more iOS devices across the globe. Just drop your query and get a free consultation.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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