The Big & Essential List Of iOS Development Tools


iOS needs no grand introduction as there would be hardly anyone on the Earth who will ask for it. Such is the popularity of Apple.

With millions of iOS devices, iPhones, iPads, and iPods and millions of iOS apps running on them, the field of iOS app development are plush and full of countless possibilities. To develop a classy and innovative iOS app that can run on the high-end iOS platform requires an equally superior set of tools. So, in this guide, we’ve put together the best tools of all in each category to take your iOS development to a level ahead.

Category 1 – Editors and IDEs

Text editors and integrated development environments (IDEs) are applications for writing code. These applications are the primary user interface for developers to create their own programs.

XCode – The most powerful coding platform, XCode, an official IDE for Swift made by Apple, is designed for a range of products like iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV because it has countless plugins through which you can customize as you want.

Code Runner – It holds the ability to run any language and not just Swift. It is very feasible and you can try its demo version first before buying. Also, it comes with a large number of code templates you can pick from.

Category 2 – Language Resources

Although the two star-languages are Swift and Objective-C, below are the two topmost sites where you can get some of the best tutorials regarding iOS app development. – Focused on the main language for iOS programming, you can get everything you wanted to know about Swift here.

Stanford – Free and made by Stanford, it the best you can get. It is a quality tutorial site with in-depth videos such that you won’t require another tutorial other than this.

Category 3 – Libraries

Since research is important in app development, you must pick the best. We have listed up the best two here that alone can give you access to thousands of libraries.

SwiftToolbox – You will be amazed to see the absolutely huge collection of iOS and OS X libraries in it. With very handy searches and browse functions and a maintained community, SwiftToolbox is undoubtedly amazing.

CocoaPods – Known as the dependency managers for Swift and Objective-C programming, it comes with eighteen thousand libraries. Any doubt why it is an essential tool?

Category 4 – Plugins

Since there are numerous plugins available, if we start praising each one of them, the list won’t end ever. So, we’ve listed the most famous and best ones, but if you don’t find them suitable to your specific requirements, don’t stop looking as remember, the sky is the limit for plugins.

Alcatraz – It is an open source Plugin and package manager that comes with its own discovery engine for plugins, templates and colour schemes.

CocoaPods – This plugin simplifies the use of CocoaPods from within XCode.

Category 5 – Youtube Tutorials

Just reading some stuff won’t help for many developers, they get the satisfaction of learning when they see it for real. For those, there is quite a good amount of Youtube tutorial series on coding in Swift. Following are the few best ones.

A Casual Programmer – Up-to-date and very brilliantly presented videos, Casual Programmer comes with three playlists: Objective-C development, iOS App and iOS game programming. It is apt for beginners as it can give them a good start and provide all the studying they want before starting with programming.

Ben Johnson – The reason this one tops the list is that it starts from the very basic moving to the templates and finally to Xcode, and tends to concentrate more on the performance of the tools than the usage of “build-an-app” style.

Category 6 – Ad Networks

What is the use of developing things and keeping it to yourself, if others won’t come to know? Advertising what you have developed is important as only then the users will fall for your app. But, you should also know where and how to advertise it. Here are the top ad networks in the world according to us.

Facebook – You might not need any justification why we mentioned Facebook, right? Being the leader in mobile advertising across all platforms, Facebook covers all media formats and hence it must be on top of your list of app marketing campaign.

Chartboost – This Gaming-focused platform should be the next on the list for marketing your app because it provides highly targeted ads for a retention rate of 60% higher than the average of the other networks. It covers video, animated, GIF and interstitial ads too.

Category 7 – Others

These are a few resources that didn’t really fit in any of the categories above but are still worth mentioning due to its importance and ability.

NSHipster – A “journal of the overlooked bits in Objective-C, Swift, and Cocoa. It is constantly updated hence you can certainly find some nuggets in there!

Cocoa Manifest – Jonathan Penn stopped writing up his observations and guidelines for Swift in 2014 because he was hired by Apple – so he knew what he was talking about. A great, down-to-earth resource.

Final Thoughts

We know that there is a long list of tools we haven’t mentioned here, but, have tried to highlight the best among each category. We hope you might have found what you were searching for in this guide. Feel free to share which one you think is important and an essential tool apart from the list above.