You all must have heard about iOS at least once in your lifetime. It is one of the famous and well-known operating systems created by Apple and is used in millions of iOS devices worldwide. High-quality mobile apps are built by using iOS, which will dominate the app development industry in the next few years.
Whether you’ve been coding iOS apps for a long time or you’re just beginning to learn the basics, the right set of iOS development tools can take application coding to the next level. The best tools for iOS developers create innovative and modern apps for iOS devices. A powerful iOS application is built with the best tools, which an iOS app development company knows very well.
1. iOS UI/UX design tools
Here are the most used iOS UI/UX design tools you need to check out if you are an iOS app developer.
Starting with the best of all: Figma. Figma is a freemium tool that works on browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Edge browsers. The chart of Figma’s pricing varies as per the needs of the project.
Talking about Figma’s compatibility, Figma is generally addressed as a collaborative interface design tool. Collaboration is the signature feature of Figma for which it is mainly known for. Figma allows designers to share a design file with other people in order to get feedback regarding the design through comments.
The main features of Figma:
- Team libraries
- Accessibility and collaboration
- Smooth handoff to developers
- Wide range of useful plugins
Flawless is a tool that allows designers to compare their design with implementation inside the iOS simulator. All you need to do is launch an iOS simulator that comes along with Xcode, IDE, for iOS/macOS development and then you can select an image of whatever type (JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, and a sketch file, too works.
The main features of Flawless:
- Check motion and animation
- Create dynamic design
- Capture an animated
Sketch is generally used for designing the UI of mobile applications, web, and wearables. This is a tool for macOS and the files in this tool are saved on their own as a sketch file format. Although these very files can also be checked in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and other software.
The key features of Sketch:
- Sketch allows you to do app prototyping, logo and icon design, design wireframes, design vector illustrations, and all other types of graphics.
- Sketch is also a prior choice of designers when it comes to using more accessible design protocols and modules to obtain faster results.
- Sketch is a good choice for easy collaboration among designers.
This tool gives the designers clarity, and collaboration, and helps them experiment with their design in every which way they want. InVision is commonly known for prototyping, collaboration, and its smooth workflow. Moreover, Invision allows designers to create interactive mockups for their wireframes and designs.
The main features of Invision:
- InVision helps developers with real-time project collaboration.
- InVision consists of some useful testing tools to ensure app visuals and interactions.
- Also, many developers have stated that InVision is one of the best tools when it comes to creating smooth navigation for apps and websites.
2. Programming languages
When we are talking about the best iOS programming languages of all time, we are surely going to refer to Objective-C and Swift. Let’s learn about these two in detail.
Objective-C is one of the most used languages by developers when it comes to developing software for OS X and iOS. It’s known as a superset of the C programming language and helps developers with object-oriented capabilities and a dynamic runtime environment.
The Objective-C language is a simple computer language that was specifically created to enable typical object-oriented programming. In spite of its small extensions, Objective-C is pretty robust to the standard ANSI C language. The additions to C are majorly related to Smalltalk, it’s the very first object-oriented programming language.
Swift is a robust and intuitive programming language which is launched by Apple for developing applications for iOS, Apple TV, Mac, and Apple smartwatches.
Swift is the technology that is basically designed to mitigate the tasks of iOS developers to a great extent. It’s open source and simple to work with the programming language that allows developers to create the best applications if they have a good hand on iOS technology.
3. Editors and IDE
IDE aka integrated development environment is a software that specializes in combining specific tools into a single graphical user interface. Here are certain tools that are highly recommended.
Xcode is a gem of a tool for debugging apps along with testing and developing the same. Apple created this integrated development environment, especially for developing and troubleshooting iOS applications.
Apart from that, Xcode helps developers with a consistent workflow for user interface design, coding, testing, and debugging. And the icing on the cake is Xcode IDE with swift programming that makes iOS app development nothing less than fun and easy.
AppCode is a robust IDE for iOS/macOS development that is compatible with Swift, Objective-C/C++, C/C++, and various other languages through plugins. It builds a default run/debug configuration for each target and names it after the developers’ projects. Developers can also add their own configurations based on available templates.
4. Backend services
Developers are working relentlessly on new features for their iOS applications like real-time database, automatic synchronization, push notifications, accelerating data delivery, and others. Here we are listing down top backend development tools for iOS development, check them out.
Firebase is a BaaS: backend as a service that is known to be quite a versatile platform for iOS developers. It is a backend platform for building Web, Android, and iOS applications. It helps developers with real-time databases, different APIs, various authentication types, and hosting platforms.
Helios is a fully open-source framework for developing iOS applications that can offer a variety of critical backend services. This backend tool assists developers with integrating advanced features like push notifications, in-app purchases, data synchronization, passbook integration, logging, and analytics.
Parse is one of the most versatile tools for all iOS developers out there. It is an open-source framework to create applications backends and debug iOS applications.
Also, this tool helps developers with efficient app development along with decreasing the ample amount of time and effort they otherwise put in while developing an iOS app. Parse is backed by an extensive community of developers and has been rigorously evolving at rapid speed.
5. Game development
Talking about the game development industry, it’s evolving with rapid development with its gripping app features that are majorly possible because of robust backend development and UI. Here we are listing down certain features that play a major role in making the game development industry boom.
Unity is a cross-platform game engine that helps you in achieving multiple types of tasks related to the game production process. It provides game developers with a 2D and 3D platform to develop video games. But that is not the only thing. What makes Unity so interesting for developers is that it’s pretty seamless and easy to use so you do not have to begin with it from scratch.
Buildbox is a no-code development software primarily focused on game development without any involvement in programming, coding, or scripting. If we talk about the core audience of the software, it is entrepreneurs, designers, and other gaming fanatics that are not well-versed in game development or coding criteria.
Well, this software allows you to add effects and animations to the characters of the game. The designers have the flexibility to adjust how the character moves, how it shoots, how it jumps, and how it communicates with the users. They can adjust the sounds for each character’s action, as well. As of BuildBox 2.0, designers and developers now have multiple-character support.
When we talk about the best app development in terms of robust security, iOS tops the list in that. iOS applications are highly known for their app security. But the robust security is also backed by many competent tools that make iOS applications stand out when it comes to highly-secured apps, let’s check them out.
Frida is an absolutely free dynamic instrumentation tool that enables iOS developers to execute their own scripts in software that are traditionally encrypted. Malware analysts make use of this tool with jailbreak and without jailbreak devices. This is known to be one of the most efficient tools when it comes to security of iOS applications.
Ghidra is ideal for scrutinizing the iOS binaries and getting cross references. Moreover, Ghidra is a reverse engineering tool that was developed and launched by the NSA and released in 2019. This tool is mainly known for its sheer brilliance to remove malware activities, malware analysts are well-versed in using this tool. It’s also known as a disassembly tool.
iOS is backed by solid tools and frameworks, out of which we are listing down the most used plugins. Let’s check them all.
Wider is a stereo widening plugin for Mac and iOS. It helps developers expand the stereo image of a mono signal to a surprising amount of width. In addition to that, it can boost the stereo image of any Mono signal up to 200% of full stereo for an extra wide exaggerated effect.
This plugin of iOS is accessible on both iPhone and iPad, LRC5 is a five band EQ. It is a great option if you find GarageBand’s native three band visual EQ a little limited. Neon Silicon could charge for this particular EQ, as it is pretty versatile and a useful addition to your iOS app arsenal.
iOS applications are very well known for their streamlined performance and seamless user experience. For continuing the belief, tools for testing iOS applications are more than important. Let’s learn about these top testing tools for iPhone applications.
EarlGrey is an open-source native test framework created by Google for UI test automation in iOS. The best part is, Google uses this framework as well internally, for testing the functionality of native iOS applications like Google Calendar, Google Photos, Google translate, Youtube, and so on. Not just that, EarlGrey lets QA engineers get access to one-level-up synchronization features to stable the UI testing.
Built-in synchronization is a main feature of this testing tool that regulates test scripts until any specific UI event occurs then only the process of interaction with app UI begins. Also, this tool synchronizes with the UI and network requests.
OCMock is a robust mock object testing library that is used to develop stubs in an iOS application. Mock objects play an important part in software testing as they enable a QA engineer to regulate the behavior of complex, real objects.
Since developers are not able to get built-in support for Mock objects in Xcode. Thus, OCMock is used as a separate library. Also, the OCMock library greatly supports Objective-C. OCMock allows a user to add mock objects in already existing test cases like a cakewalk.
Detox is one of the most used automation frameworks for testing cross-platform mobile applications. The only downside is that it is not able to support testing on real devices for iOS platforms, but does so in the case of Android.
Libraries are one of the most important aspects of iOS app development for app developers out there. Let’s take a look at some of the most used libraries by developers.
Just like a cameraman catches the best spot to capture, the kingfisher catches images from the web. If something like remote images you work on, then you should give a try to the robust, swift library with these impressive additional options.
RxSwift, the swift version of Rx, is a workable and effective library that facilitates simple self-paced operations and events in a separative manner.
With this library, you can match your tested units in iOS with the respective framework. Nimble is the matcher for swift and objective C. It depicts the best practice and ornate features of code in an easily understandable manner.
Spring helps with a unique experience by simplifying iOS animations in Swift. It animates from the beginning state to the end state without putting the iOS app developer in an adverse situation.
Since documentation is a pretty important aspect of the software development life cycle, there are certain tools we are listing down to carry out the same process smoothly.
Jazzy is a prominent tool for building Swift and Objective-C documentation that is beyond analyzing sources with the amalgamation of Source kit and the Clang AST model of the code and comments in order to get the on-point conclusion.
Swift makes sure that the code is clear and efficient. Writing Swift code is interactive and comparatively easier in Swift Playgrounds, playgrounds in Xcode, and REPL. Its documentation is fully auto-generated and isaccessible online. SwiftDoc.org allows developers to browse all types of protocols, operators at a rapid pace.
What tools do iOS developers use?
IOS Developers can use the tools to simplify, perform or enhance specific tasks—Cocoapods to manage external libraries and scale projects; Firebase for database, user authentication, and hosting; Dash for API documentation and code snippet management; to name just a few. Apps can carry out dozens of different activities, from sending you to push notifications to pinpoint your location using GPS; it’s up to each Developer to select the app they need
Is Xcode better than Visual Studio?
Reviewers felt that Visual Studio fulfills their business needs better than Xcode. While comparing the quality of ongoing product support, reviewers think that Visual Studio is the better option. For feature updates and roadmaps, reviewers preferred the direction of Visual Studio over Xcode.
Is Xcode a good IDE?
Xcode is the only supported way to use applications by Apple. So if you’re interested in building iOS or macOS apps, you must use it. Even for beginners, it is the best choice for iOS app development. It has a source code checker that will point out errors while typing and then advise you on fixing them.
What is the best IDE for iOS development?
Xcode 8 is the best IDE for iOS app development that shows automatic completions and complete syntax highlighting for Swift. It has an assistant button that breaks the editors into primary work documents & the assistant editor.
We know that iOS is becoming more popular, and business owners are taking advantage of iOS app development tools to expand their business further. To get the full benefit of Apple developer tools, you must hire an experienced and skilled iOS developer from a reputed IOS development company.
If you want to hire a trusted iOS app developer, your search ends here!
Invedus is one of the leading mobile app development companies known for providing quality services with updated technology to meet clients’ expectations.