11 Best iOS App Development Tools in 2024

The market of iPhone devices is growing day by day. In fact, according to Statista, in the fourth quarter of 2021, Apple claimed a 23.4 percent global share in the smartphone market.

For developing iPhone apps that sustain in the competitive market of iOS apps, you should know the best iOS app development tools. Whether you are a beginner or intermediate iOS app developer if you want to become an expert, these tools play a key role in the iOS app development journey.

Thus, to help you choose the best iPhone app development tools, we have curated this guide with the help of our experienced iOS mobile app developers.

In this blog, you will learn.

Which different tools are used in the entire iOS app development process?
Why choose these iOS app development tools?
How do these iOS application development tools are helpful?

Let’s start.

11 Top iOS Development Tools

Being a leading iOS app development services provider in Canada, our dedicated iOS development team use these tools to create a custom iOS app solution from idea validation to make it successful.

App IconNameG2 Review & RatingsPriceDownload
xcode logo4.2 (869 reviews)FreeXcode
appCode logo4.3 (17 reviews)USD 199/yearAppCode
Zeplin logo4.4 (97 reviews)
  • Basic – Free
  • Team – $6/month
  • Organization – $12/month
  • Enterprise – Get quote
adobe xd4.3 (349 reviews)USD 9.99/monthAdobeXD
Alamofire logoFreeAlamofire
FLEX logo4.0 (13 reviews)UndisclosedFLEX
FastLane logo4.5 (7 reviews)FreeFastLane
TestFlight logo4.2 (58 reviews)FreeTestFlight
Transporter logoFreeTransporter

IDEs for iOS Mobile App Development

IDE is a software building tool that has all the basic necessity of the different developer tools into a single GUI. Let us check the top two IDEs.

  1. Xcode

  2. Xcode is the official tool by Apple. Xcode helps you to create applications for Apple tvOS, iPad, iPhone, and macOS.

    When you want to make an iOS mobile app, Xcode makes the iOS development process smooth with its various tools like an efficient code editor, compiler, debugging and build system. Primarily, it is known as an IDE (integrated development environment) used for creating and publishing iOS apps on the Apple App Store.

    While developing an iOS application Xcode also allows you to identify errors and suggest corrections with its source code checkers feature. This tool is built on top of Cocoa Touch frameworks. It is a framework provided by Apple to develop custom iOS software applications.

    Why choose the Xcode tool for iOS development?

    • Xcode is an official tool developed by Apple for creating software for different iOS devices.
    • Xcode offers testing tools like XCTest and UI Testing that allow you to solve problems faster.

    What are the top features of Apple Xcode tools?

    • Source editor that comes with advanced code completion, code folding, syntax highlighting, and message bubbles
    • Interface builder to design UI/UX without writing a single code and connect that design source code within the Xcode editor
    • Simulator to run, test, and debug the iOS apps for a streamlined development
    • Open-source LLVM compiler that helps to compile code quickly
    • A graphical debugger to debug your app within the Xcode editor with the Hover effect to dig deeper for checking content and data of the variables

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  3. AppCode

  4. AppCode is the second most popular tool among developers after Xcode because of its ease to use and rich third-party integrations. AppCode is built on the IntelliJ IDEA platform by JetBrains. JetBrains markets AppCode as Smart IDE for Swift/Objective-C for iOS and macOS.

    iOS developers use different supported programming languages that are Objective-C, Swift, C++, and JavaScript. With AppCode, it becomes easy for you to write and analyze the code of iOS applications. AppCode is designed to detect the different coding errors, so it becomes easy to fix issues in a timely manner. Once you understand the AppCode, you also want to know why choose AppCode and its features.

    Why choose the AppCode tool for iOS development?

    • It allows debugging iOS applications in-depth to find bugs and solve them
    • AppCode has more code editing and refactoring features compared to Xcode like Override/Implement, Localization, Intention Actions, and Live templates

    What are the top features of the AppCode tool?

    • Intelligence code assistance to write clean code, easy navigation across the files, code completion, formatting, and refactoring
    • Conduct the unit testing of your iOS mobile app by supporting various testing frameworks, such as XCTest, Quick, Kiwi, Catch, and Google Test
    • Database management functionality from JetBrains DataGrip
    • Integrations with 50+ IDE plugins to make things work easier for developers

Furthermore, we are going to check the design tools for iOS app development.

Tools to Design iPhone Applications

  1. Adobe XD

  2. A well-known designing and collaboration tool for designers. Adobe XD is a powerful and fast UI/UX design tool for websites, and mobile apps. This tool allows you to create prototypes, wireframes, and animations for smartwatches, websites and mobile apps. It is a vector-based UI/UX tool that helps you create designs for any device like Windows, Android and iOS.

    Even at Space-O, our designers use the Adobe XD tool to create the design of mobile apps and websites. It has several features that make designing easier for us and create powerful user experiences for the app audience.

    Why choose Adobe XD?

    • Enables control of the prototype using voice navigation
    • Seamlessly working functionality with the other products of the Adobe
    • Adobe XD is a lightweight tool and doesn’t consume a large number of resources of your computer

    What are the top features of the Adobe XD tool?

    • Allows to make designs in the 3D transforms
    • Create reusable components once and use them across your design
    • Repeat Grid to make copies of elements automatically and arrangement of them in a grid
  3. Zeplin

  4. Zeplin is a famous plugin that works with Sketch, AdobeXD, Photoshop and other designing tools. It works as a collaboration tool that works as a bridge between designers and developers.

    For example, If you get a design from Photoshop, which does not provide a code of design, then Zeplin is useful for developers to get design code snippets, style guides, specs and assets of the iOS app design.

    Zeplin allows you to load wireframes and visual designs directly from Sketch and you can add the designs to your Zeplin project folders. Let us check the features of this Zeplin tool.

    Why Choose the Zeplin tool?

    • Zeplin makes team collaboration easy by providing the needed structure to native apps design files
    • It allows team members to work together from various profiles to deliver the designs

    What are the top features of the Zeplin tool?

    • Publish designs with a single click
    • Integrations with famous project management tools like Slack, Jira, Teams, and Trello
    • Accessibility to UI components in your codebase with links to Storybook, and GitHub

Let’s check two open-source projects that are helpful to you in the iOS app development process.

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Libraries Used in iOS Application Development

  1. SDWebImage

  2. SDWebImage is the SwiftUI library that provides an asynchronous image downloader with cache support. It is a tool for iOS app development that supports JPEG, PNG, and GIFs. The main purpose of using this library is for image processing, downloading, and caching.

    What are the top features of the SDWebImage library?

    • Progressive image loading to load image immediately with low resolution then increases the resolution of the image when an app gets completely loaded that helps to get the app loaded faster
    • It does background decompression to avoid frame rate drop the images
    • It doesn’t allow to same URL download several times
  3. Alamofire

  4. Alamofire is a library based on the Swift programming language. It is made on top of the Foundation networking framework. This library comes with an elegant graphical interface and helps to handle common networking tasks for your iOS app.

    This library helps you to reduce the time required to create networking applications. Alamofire is compatible with URLSession. Apple provides the URLSession and other classes to download information via HTTP. So, you don’t need to use any third-party library and get your code complicated. This library is an open-source iOS development tool that helps to write clean code and is much easier to read. Let us check the features of the Alamofire framework for which it is popular.

    What are the top features of Alamofire?

    • Allows to upload files, data, stream, and multipart form data using via an HTTP request
    • It allows to set chainable request/ responses methods to set requests and responses based on the previous response
    • It provides a method for authentication that works with URLCredential

Next, the best iOS development tools for iOS apps help to find code bugs and fix them.

Debugging Tools to Build Error-free iPhone App Solutions

  1. Instruments

  2. Xcode comes with a free app called Instruments. It is a powerful tool that Xcode offers to iOS developers for analysis and testing of the application code. Instruments tool is useful to iPhone app developers in the following ways.

    • Identify the core errors in the code
    • Analyze the performance of your application
    • Get to know the information about memory usage

    This tool also allows you to automate the testing of iOS mobile applications. To use instruments, you need to initiate the Time Profile for investigating and improving the performance of the iOS apps.

    What are the top features of Xcode Instruments Tool?

    • Data recording to analyze and collect the information of application for further analysis
    • Source view to check data points thoroughly in the application for pinpointing the problem
    • System Trace feature allows Instruments to record the information about all the processes and reveal the performance bottlenecks as the process occurs
  3. FLEX

  4. FLEX is one of the famous iPhone app development tools that allow developers to debug the code of iOS applications. It is also known as Flipboard Explorer. It is famous because of its unique approach to debugging the iOS application on the debugging server. You can directly drop this tool into your iOS project and make nearly any changes in your live application.

    It allows the dynamic modification of the properties and ivars of mobile applications. Even within the live application, you are able to dynamically call instances and class methods. Here are the top features of FLEX.

    What are the top features of the FLEX tool?

    • Select a view in the application and then modify properties and call methods
    • Perform network debugging to view all the networking requests and make modifications as required in the application
    • Offers a file browser to view the file system within the app’s bundle. It shows the file sizes, image previews, and prints .json and .plist files

Once you are done with the testing, you need to make sure that you don’t make any mistakes while uploading your application to the Apple App Store. What if you could automate this task? Yes, that’s possible. Use Fastlane to automate uploading your application on the App Store.

Automation Tool to Upload Your App On the Apple App Store

  1. Fastlane

  2. If you are tired of the tedious process of deploying an app on the App Store, then Fastlane is helpful. Fastlane is an open-source tool that eases the deployment process of iOS applications. This tool is helpful for dealing with complex activities, such as creating screenshots, handling supply profiles, and release of the applications.

    You can automate the task of deploying your build app on the app stores with a single click. Here are the key features and reasons to choose the Fastlane tool to automate your App Store uploading process.

    Why Choose the Fastlane tool?

    • It saves time consumed to take screenshots of the iOS app for the App Store
    • With just a single command, this tool performs four tasks: capture screenshots, build a beta app, upload on the app store, and notify slack.

    What are the top features of the Fastlane tool?

    • Automates screenshots for the app store while uploading apps on the app stores
    • Deploy the builds easily with testers
    • Deploy the app on app stores within a few seconds

Once an iOS app is developed, to conduct testing of the app TestFlight is used.

Testing Tool to Perform User-testing of iOS App

  1. TestFlight

  2. TestFlight is a free service by Apple Inc to perform beta testing of iOS mobile applications. Using TestFlight you can release the beta version of the application and invite up to 10,000 users to test the application.

    How TestFlight help developers in performing testing?
    With the use of TestFlight, developers are able to receive remote logs, crash reports, and tester feedback.

    However, if you want to release your developed iOS app into the Apple App Store, it is recommended by Apple to join the Apple Developer Program. And being an iOS app developer, you get the accessibility to distribution methods.

    Why Choose the TestFlight?

    • It is an official testing service provided by Apple Inc for testing apps before publishing on the App Store.
    • Makes it easy for you to invite internal and external users to test your developed iOS app.
    • Allows you to perform testing of a particular feature of the application.

    What are the top features of the TestFlight tool?

    • Invite testers using the public link for performing testing of the iOS application
    • Create multiple groups of internal testers and add different builds to each one. It allows performing specific testing of the iOS app.
    • Control over the information of the app to let users only have access to necessary information relevant to testing

Moving further, we are going to discuss the uploading tool that helps developers in the uploading process.

Content Uploading Tool for iPhone Apps

  1. Transporter

  2. The Transporter is an easy-to-use content uploading tool for Apple devices. Using this tool, you are able to easily upload the content of the app to the App Store. To get started, you only drag and drop your content in the Transporter. For distributing the content, you will need to set up an account with App Store Connect.

    What are the features of the Transporter tool?

    • Drag and drop feature to upload content on the Transporter tool
    • Upload multiple files at once from your computer device for a faster delivery process
    • Stores the past record of deliveries with the date and time
    • Check delivery progress that includes validation warnings, errors, delivery logs for fixing issues

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FAQ About iOS Application Development Tools

  1. What are the other testing tools used for app development?

  2. A few of the famous iPhone application development tools for testing are following.

    • Appium – It allows you to automate tests for native, hybrid, and mobile web applications.
    • XCUITest – It allows you to perform the user interface testing of native iOS apps.
    • Calabash – It is an automation framework that allows you to enable automated UI acceptance tests.
  3. What are the tools to analyze the ranking of the iOS apps in the app store?

  4. The tools that help to analyze the ranking of iOS apps are the following.

    • Applyzer
    • App Annie
    • Sensor Tower

Choose the Right Tools to Develop an iOS App Solution

We often use these top iOS tools to create a custom iOS app solution for our clients. These tools have helped us to optimize our app development process. So, try these best iOS development tools and ease your iPhone app development process.

Looking to develop a custom mobile app solution with top iOS tools? As a leading iOS app development company in Canada. We have a team of experienced iOS app developers and designers. Let’s connect.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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