xcode

Xcode – All You Need to Know

You all must have heard about the first trillion dollars company. If you were thinking about Apple, then you are right, and I am sure that you all must have used their products and might be using right now also. They create some of the best and highest quality products, no matter what type of product it is. You can have a look at their iPhones, MacBooks, Apple Watch or any other thing they produce. They provide the best-built quality, but the thing which is even greater than build quality is its software development.

They have the perfect combination of best build quality with the best software developed for their devices. But have you ever thought of how they could create such an astonishing, user-friendly and feature-loaded applications? Moreover, you might have seen that either it’s Android software or Microsoft, none of them can give a tough fight to the app developed for Apple products.

Where is the difference and what is the reason behind this massive success of Apple software? If you also have this thing in your mind and want to find the answer to it, then with the help of this article, we are going to discuss it only. Do follow this article till the end to know more.

Revealing the Secret

Every platform uses a different type of development software. As in the case of android development, you use Android Studio and the same as that for Apple Software development; you need to use Xcode. If I tell you in short, then this development software is the actual secret because of which Apple can get such outstanding software.

What is Xcode?

Xcode is a complete development environment that provides you with almost every tool you would ever need to use in the production of a software application. The most crucial point about Xcode is that it’s the official Integrated Development Environment by Apple with the help of which you would be able to create and develop an application for Mac and iOS. Moreover, if you are new to Xcode, then you might not feel any difference. But those who are using it from a decent time may have noticed that Apple hasn’t made any difference or changes in the overall design of this software development platform. In contrast, you would be able to see new and updated tools regularly.

Xcode is a kind of faster performing and feature-loaded development environment, and it also offers you the support of almost every iOS version with the help of which you would be able to check your build application on that platform. After which you can apply the changes and make it official once everything is fine and working.

Who created Xcode?

As we have mentioned early also, Xcode is created by Apple itself, and it was released in 2003 with Xcode 1.0. Now it has come up to Xcode 11.3 which was released recently on 13 November 2019 with several enhancements.

How to get started with Xcode?

There are a lot of newcomers on Xcode, which are not aware of how to get started with this development platform. So let us have a look at how to get started with Xcode step by step.

  • Requirements- Let us firstly have a look at the Xcode requirements, and that is Xcode is available for Macs only and the essential element to get started with it is to have macOS 10.14.4 or upgraded versions. As it’s a heavy software, then you would need a 7.6 GB hard drive space.
  • From where to get it- The second most asked question about Xcode is from where you can get it downloaded? So you can directly download Xcode from the Mac App Store. Moreover, you would not be able to use Xcode directly from iPads; this platform is only available for Macs only.
  • A bit about Xcode- When you will get it to download and open Xcode then you would be able to see three panels which are Toolbar, Editor Area, Utility Area, Navigation Area, and Debug Area. You would be able to adjust the size of all these panels manually with the help of your cursor easily. It also offers to hide and view options for these different panels, so when you needed more screen at that time, you can hide these panels and get then back whenever required.
  • How to Navigate in Xcode- Xcode offers its users a highly accessible project navigator. When you are at the main screen on Xcode, you might have noticed a navigator where there are files all around that is known as the project navigator, and you would be able to open required files from that navigation bar. There is an issue navigator with the help of which you would be able to know about any issue or error in your existing code. Whenever you click on an issue, it will directly take you to that code, and you would not have to invest your time in finding the code.
  • Options Available- With the help of this official IDE of Apple, you would be able to develop software for iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS. So there is no need to have any other development software if you are going to do Apple development.
  • Writing Code- As you may know that Xcode uses Swift language for its coding purpose, and you would be doing all the coding work in the editor area. For reaching up to the editor area and write some code you first need to select a particular file based on which the editor file will open. Although there are mainly two files from which you can choose, and those are The Swift File and The User Interface File. In the case of the Swift file, you would be shown the code, while in the case of the User Interface file, you will have a look at the visual editor.
  • Dark Theme- Yes, Xcode is available in Dark Theme, but unfortunately it is available for all those Macs, which are supported with macOS Mojave. If you have previous versions of macOS than Mojave, then you would not be able to take advantage of Dark Theme.
  • Building Interface- The next comes building the user interface, and this interface could be created only with the help of a visual editor. In this place, you would have to work on the overall looks and design of your application. Moreover, with the help of drag and drop feature, your work would be even more accessible.

Although Xcode and Apple’s development is so vast. But this was a bit about the general factors of it.

Why is Xcode best?

There are several reasons because of which we can say that Xcode is best. Here is the list of some of those reasons-

  • The first and most important reason is that you would be able to get direct updates from Apple before than other platforms. This development environment is the official IDE of Apple. Although there are some other platforms also from where you can develop applications for Apple products, with Xcode, you are offered the best value and features.
  • The second important thing about Xcode is its high accessibility. This is because you would be able to get a lot of features, and everything would be adequately managed for your easy access. Some of the points which make Xcode more accessible to its users are the Navigation area, Debug Area, Utility Area, and Editor Area.
  • The third feature that makes Xcode the best is its Auto-Completion feature, and with the help of this feature whenever you are writing code, you will notice it will provide you with several suggestions while writing a particular code. In some cases, it auto-completes the code itself.
  • The fourth feature is that after you write code no matter, it’s written by you or the system automatically completed it. You would be able to notice the results in the playground just after the next second of code completion. This feature states that how fast the working Xcode is.
  • The fifth most important feature is that you are offered a drag and drop functionality with the help of which you can create the user interface of your application.
  • The sixth feature is that no matter what type of problem you are facing in the code or any other section with Xcode, you would be able to found the solution of it online easily. Moreover, there are several online course sellers of iOS development with the help of which you can learn about Xcode thoroughly.
  • The last feature in the list about Xcode that makes it best for work is it’s easy to learn. So if you are a beginner at Xcode, you would be able to learn to code on it within a short time easily. Moreover, you would be able to take advantage of the vast community of Xcode with which you can get rid of all the problems you face during your software application development on Xcode.

Who is using Xcode?

The answer is clear that those who want to develop software applications for Apple products, no matter it’s iPhone, iPads, macOS, watchOS or tvOS. Although there are several alternatives to Xcode and Apple development, Xcode is the best platform, and you would be able to get the most value out of it.

Benefits of using Xcode

There are several benefits of Xcode, let us have a look at them one by one-

  • The first and most important benefit of using Xcode is that you can use it for free as it’s freely available to download from Mac App Stores.
  • The second benefit is that Xcode is very smooth working, and you would be able to jump from one code to another within seconds and without any lag.
  • The next benefit of using Xcode is that its interface is beneficial during development. As we have already discussed that it offers auto-completion feature which makes Xcode even more useful.
  • You would be able to get a direct preview on the playground just after the second you made a change in the code or wrote something new in the editor. It’s a fast working IDE.
  • Moreover, with Xcode, you also get the support of every iOS version and every iPhone with the help of which you can test your application of various iPhones to get a better idea that how is it going to look after once the application work is completed.
  • With the help of high accessibility, you would be able to find anything from the navigation bars easily without any chaos. Moreover, the navigation bars are created in such a way that you will not face any problem in finding the features plus your work will not get disrupted.
  • With the help of Xcode, you can directly test an app on your iPhone just by connection your iPhone with your MacBook.
  • The eighth benefit of using Xcode is that you would be offered several features, which will help you in your application development.
  • The next benefit is that no matter how massive Xcode is, you always would be able to get the best and smooth experience of app development.
  • On other such development platforms, you would not be able to get regular updates, but with Xcode, you would always have the latest features.

These are the top 10 benefits of Xcode.

Some unknown facts about Xcode

Here are some unknown facts about Xcode-

  • The development of Xcode is taken four years altogether, but no one outside Apple even had a hint that they are preparing something big, which is quite impressive.
  • You can use two different languages on Xcode, and those are Swift and Objective-C.
  • You would be able to get the support of programming languages such as Closures, Generics and many more.
  • There are several safety features that you get with Xcode.

Alternatives of Xcode

If a developer is searching for a tool for developing an iOS or macOS app in option to Xcode, here is the list of some alternatives of Xcode-

  • React Native With the help of React Native, you would be able to develop and build native mobile applications with the help of JavaScript and React library.
  • Flutter We can use Google’s own framework Flutter for cross-platform mobile application development to build a simple iOS app in an alternative using Xcode.
  • Xamarin This development platform uses C# for the creation of mobile applications. Not only that you would be able to take these applications on platforms such as Android, iOS, and Windows also.
  • PhoneGap With the help of this platform, you would be able to create hybrid cross-platform applications by using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Electron.js A cross-platform desktop application development framework in JavaScript.

Note:- We have to note that, Xcode is an IDE and not a framework we have listed above. So, alternatives to Xcode in terms of an IDE are Visual Studio, Eclipse, Netbeans, etc.

There are many more alternatives to Xcode, but no alternative would be able to provide you with the number of features and the type of support that you can get with Xcode for Apple software development.

Conclusion

Here we have come to the end of this article. In this article, we have had a look at the development platform with the help of which Apple can provide its users with the best software applications and development experience. At that starting, we discussed Xcode thoroughly; it’s uses and benefits. Moreover also had a look at some alternatives of Xcode.

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