8 Essential Tools for iOS Development

IOS is one of the two biggest forces to be reckoned with when it comes to the mobile world. Pitted against Android in the battle of the most significant mobile OS, iOS has made itself a name thanks to its high performance, sleek design, and strong security. Millions of users from all over the world pick the system as their favorite day after day.

Naturally, that popularity also drives developers to be highly interested in iOS. With almost 1.85 million available apps, the operating system offers a lucrative environment for them to work on their mobile solutions. In fact, businesses are very interested in having an iOS presence, which is why they go with those engineers or with an iOS app development services company.  

That doesn’t mean that developing an iOS app is an easy task. Sure, the operating system allows developers to write their apps in Objective-C and Swift, making things easier. But that doesn’t mean that iOS development isn’t without its challenges. Fortunately, there are plenty of iOS tools that mobile app engineers can use to simplify their jobs. There are so many tools available that it’s easy to get lost among the sheer number.

For simplicity, we’ve compiled a rather brief list of the tools that BairesDev’s iOS developers feel are essential for their work. There’s something for everyone here, so be sure to read the entire list, as we are sure you’ll be taking advantage of something you find in it.

8 Essential Tools for iOS Development 1

Mockingbird

Mockingbird is a Swift framework that makes iOS unit testing easier. With it, you can analyze the app even in the early phases of development. This tool is handy during those stages, as it allows us to generate a clickable visual wireframe easily. Thus, iOS developers can align the whole wireframe with high precision and format and edit different collars. 

The main pro of using Mockingbird is that it comes with an embedded domain-specific language, which provides APIs for mocking, stubbing, and verification, all within the tool. The tool’s developers followed three design principles when building Mockingbird: it had to be easy to install, capable of generating fast and robust code and had to include an expressive DSL that’s simple to use. Once you start using Mockingbird, you realize that all of those goals were accomplished. 

1

Jazzy

Some mobile developers don’t think that much about documentation, but the truth is that it is one of the most critical steps in the initial stages of development. That’s why a tool like Jazzy is so useful, as it can let you create thorough documentation for Swift and Objective-C, iOS’ primary languages. Through SourceKit and Clang, and with the help of the AST code representation, you can get highly accurate results with little effort.

The results you get are very similar in look and feel to Apple’s official reference documentation, which is a nice touch. You can customize what’s documented through very easy-to-use commands. By leveraging HTML templating, Jazzy will generate web pages with every part of the code and the accompanying documentation that you can later view through Dash, another staple of iOS development. 

2

Hyperion

Another crucial aspect of development (of any development, not just iOS ) is detecting bugs and fixing them. As any iOS developer can attest, that’s easier said than done, but with the help of Hyperion, things can get pretty straightforward, at least when it comes to debugging the design of your app.

Its working is simple yet very effective. Hyperion puts itself under the app you’re working on always to inspect the code when you need it. It helps you with that process through 3 major plugins. The view inspector allows you to analyze the properties of any view. The measurements let you measure the distance between two of those views. And finally, the Slow Animations plugin allows you to control the animation speed without leaving the app.

3

Raygun

Speaking of debugging tools, Raygun is another fantastic tool that iOS developers swear by and can’t miss in your development toolkit. This is an error, crash, and performance monitoring tool that allows you to check how users are experiencing your apps. It gives you error diagnostic features that can work seamlessly along with any other tool you might have for the same purpose. 

The way Raygun works is a huge part of its charm. Once the tool identifies an error, it pops on a dashboard that lets you check it in detail. The reports it generates are pretty thorough, as they let you check how your users are interacting with your app while also offering the issues tied to their sessions. This provides a whole new level of depth to your insights, which allows you to refine your app for improved performance. 

4

Haiku

There are developers out there who don’t pay enough attention to the app’s design phase. Maybe that’s because it can be challenging, or perhaps they feel that it’s out of their expertise. Be that as it may, design often falls under their responsibility, so it’s always better to have some help to tackle iOS’ rather unique design philosophy. For many iOS developers, that help comes in the form of Haiku.

This tool is excellent for designing animated and interactive UIs with ease. It does so by automatically generating native code as you design, which is then replicated in your iOS apps without further intervention. The best part is that Haiku can work seamlessly with React, Vue, and Vanilla Web codebases without any additional plugin. 

5

Working Copy

Maybe you’re working on your own, so you don’t feel necessary to implement a revision control. If you’re working with a team of developers, doing so is also crucial for the quality of the final product and the overall project success. That’s why you need Working Copy, a Git client for iOS that lets you clone, edit, commit, and push easily and efficiently. 

One of the most robust features of Working Copy is that you can use it with any Git repository, unlike many market alternatives that only let you work with those stored on platforms like Bitbucket or GitHub. Thus, you can work with your entire repositories and even clone them to your iOS device to work on them as you would on your desktop computer. 

6

TestFlight

No app would be complete without a beta testing stage. Fortunately, there’s TestFlight to help you get that right. It is an online service that allows you to install apps over the air and distribute it to internal or external beta testers. Those beta users can then use the same platform to send feedback and inform your work on changes and improvements. 

The best thing about TestFlight: once you introduce the changes and release a new build, all beta testers for your app are notified about it and invited to test the app further, emphasizing the use of the features they should focus on, and enabling new feedback instances. The only caveat about TestFlight is that you need to be a part of the iOS Developer Program to access the beta testers.

7

CodeRunner

Finally, no list of the best iOS development tools would be complete without a powerful IDE as CodeRunner. With this platform, you can access numerous features to write code and run it smoothly. Its more substantial feature is that you can run code in 25 languages out of the box, with the possibility to extend the support to more languages of your choosing.

That makes it perfect for iOS development. It’s not just a comprehensive solution with advanced code completion but also a lightweight editor that allows you to write code and test it easily. Many developers use CodeRunners to test code snippets without creating a new Xcode project, which streamlines the whole development. 

8

There certainly are more tools for iOS development than the ones mentioned here. However, if you are about to start an iOS development project, you’d better have these in your toolkit. The BairesDev team uses them in many iOS projects, and they vouch for them, as these tools have collaborated in the completion of highly challenging projects for different industries. Be sure to try them. 

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