The Ultimate Guide to iOS App Development Tools in 2024: Top 10 Picks

iOS App Development

Are you an envious iOS app developer eager to create the next big thing in the App Store? Or maybe you’re a seasoned developer aiming to fine-tune your development process. 

No matter your level of proficiency, having the right tools is rudimentary for success in iOS app development.

iOS holds a significant place in mobile app development.

Its robust ecosystem and high-quality standards make it a best-liked choice for developers.

However, creating an iOS app is no small feat. It requires a broad knowledge of the platform and the right set of tools.

In this guide, we’ll explore the top 10 iOS app development tools that are must-haves for any developer looking to create high-quality, user-friendly apps.

The Pivotal Role of iOS App Development Tools

The best iOS app development tools are vital to the software development lifecycle because they offer developers a standard platform that helps them design, code, test, and deploy applications more readily. It makes development more accessible, resulting in high-quality, safe, and user-friendly applications.

From code editors and debuggers to design and testing tools, each uniquely shapes the final product.

1. Xcode: Apple’s Official IDE

Xcode is Apple’s official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for iOS app development. It provides a comprehensive suite of tools designed to help developers create apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

Xcode’s robust features include the Interface Builder, asset catalogue, and simulators. These tools allow developers to design app interfaces, manage assets, and test apps on different Apple devices without requiring physical hardware.

Key Features

  • Xcode’s Interface Builder simplifies designing a user interface (UI)
  • Developers can visually construct their interface, and the tool automatically writes the corresponding code. 
  • The asset catalogue efficiently manages media assets, while the powerful simulators mimic the behavior of iOS devices for testing purposes.


  • The comprehensive suite of development tools
  • Seamless integration with other Apple services
  • Regular updates with new features and bug fixes


  • Only available on Mac
  • It can be resource-intensive, requiring a sturdy machine for smooth operation
  • The steep learning curve for beginners

2. Swift: The Powerful Programming Language

Swift is a sophisticated and easy-to-use programming language for developing iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS applications. Its purpose is to allow programmers more versatility.

With Swift’s ease of use and open-source nature, anyone with an idea can create amazing things. It generates software that is blazingly quick while still being safe by design.

Key Features

  • Swift has cutting-edge features that programmers adore. 
  • It is simple to learn and has a clear syntax that facilitates writing and reading. 
  • The language also includes dynamic libraries directly uploaded to memory, which reduces the app’s initial size and ultimately increases its performance.


  • Easy to learn with a clean syntax
  • Fast and powerful
  • It is less prone to bugs due to its strong typing system and error handling


  • Swift is still evolving, so developers need to keep updating their knowledge
  • Limited community support compared to older languages
  • Lack of backward compatibility with older versions of iOS

3. Objective-C: For Legacy App Maintenance

Objective-C is the primary programming language for OS X and iOS software. This superset of C provides object-oriented features and a dynamic runtime.

Inheriting syntax, primitive types, and flow control statements from C, Objective-C introduces additional syntax for defining classes and methods. It distinguishes itself by deferring numerous tasks to runtime execution, offering dynamic typing and binding, and providing built-in support for object literals and object graph management.

Key Features

  • Objective-C is a robust and flexible language. 
  • It’s dynamic, meaning it can execute many tasks at runtime, whereas other languages do at compile time. 
  • This gives a lot of flexibility and power to Objective-C, but it also makes it harder to learn and understand.


  • Mature and stable language
  • Large community and vast resources
  • Direct access to C and C++ libraries


  • Steep learning curve compared to Swift
  • Verbose syntax
  • Less safe compared to Swift, more prone to bugs

4. AppCode: Smart IDE for iOS/MacOS Development

AppCode is an intelligent IDE for iOS/macOS development by JetBrains. It supports a wide range of programming languages, including Swift, Objective-C, C, and C++ (with modern C++ standards, libc++, and Boost), as well as JavaScript, XML, HTML, CSS, and XPath

Additionally, it helps streamline your workflow by automating routine tasks and reducing the need for excessive typing. It provides over 60 code inspections for Objective-C, C, and C++ and several for other supported languages. All code inspections are run on the fly.

Key Features

  • AppCode is renowned for its in-depth code understanding and superior coding assistance. 
  • It provides innovative coding assistance, intelligent code refactoring, and deep integration with Xcode.


  • Superior code assistance and analysis
  • Seamless integration with Xcode
  • Supports multiple languages


  • Slower than Xcode
  • High memory consumption
  • Some features require familiarity with IntelliJ IDEA

5. TestFlight: Beta Testing Made Easy

TestFlight is an online tool for testing and installing mobile applications over the air. It’s owned by Apple and is the primary way to beta test your iOS apps.

With TestFlight, developers can distribute and test their apps before releasing them on the App Store. It supports up to 10,000 testers and provides valuable feedback before the final launch.

Key Features

  • TestFlight’s key features include inviting up to 10,000 testers using just their email addresses or a public link and creating multiple groups of testers for different app versions.


  • Easy to set up and use
  • Supports a large number of testers
  • Integrated with App Store Connect


  • Only supports iOS apps
  • Limited testing period (90 days)
  • No support for older iOS versions

6. Sketch: Designing Intuitive App Interfaces

Sketch is a vector-based design tool used primarily for creating user interfaces and user experiences. Due to its simplicity and coherence, it’s a favorite among many iOS app developers.

With Sketch, you can create high-fidelity designs and prototypes. It’s a comprehensive tool that provides assistance throughout the entire design process, starting from the initial idea generation stage to the finalizing of the actual design.

Key Features

Sketch’s key features include a clean and intuitive interface, powerful vector editing, pixel-perfect precision, and hundreds of plugins to extend its functionality.


  • User-friendly interface
  • Extensive plugin ecosystem
  • Excellent for vector editing


  • Only available on Mac
  • No built-in prototyping
  • Requires a subscription

7. Adobe XD: Collaborative Designing for Apps

Adobe XD is a powerful tool for designing and prototyping mobile apps, including iOS apps. As a component of Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, it presents a compelling option, particularly for teams already using Adobe products.

Notably, Adobe XD shines with its collaborative capabilities, encouraging smooth teamwork where multiple members can contribute to a design concurrently. This attribute proves especially advantageous for handling extensive projects with larger teams.

Key Features

Adobe XD offers a range of features, including vector design tools, prototyping tools, and collaboration features. It also integrates seamlessly with other Adobe products.


  • Robust design and prototyping tools
  • Excellent collaboration features
  • Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud


  • Can be overwhelming for beginners
  • Limited third-party integrations
  • Requires a Creative Cloud subscription

8. CocoaPods: Dependency Manager for Swift and Objective-C

CocoaPods is a dependency manager for projects based on Swift and Objective-C Cocoa. It simplifies integrating third-party libraries into your projects, saving developers valuable time.

With over 60,000 libraries and used in over 3 million apps, CocoaPods is a tool that iOS developers can’t afford to ignore.

Key Features

  • CocoaPods offers a simple, efficient way to manage project dependencies. 
  • It is compatible with Objective-C as well as Swift and integrates seamlessly with Xcode.


  • Simplifies dependency management
  • Supports both Swift and Objective-C
  • Large library of third-party libraries


  • Requires Ruby for installation
  • It can be complex for beginners
  • Some libraries may not be available

9. Fastlane: Automate Every Aspect of Your Development

Fastlane is a powerhouse tool that automates tedious tasks in iOS development. It streamlines the building and releasing iOS apps, making it a must-have in your iOS app development toolkit.

From code signing to app deployment, Fastlane handles it all. It’s among the best iOS tools that truly live up to its name, providing a fast lane to app store deployment.

Key Features

  • Fastlane automates several aspects of iOS development
  • It handles tasks like generating screenshots, managing provisioning profiles, and releasing your app.


  • Automates tedious tasks
  • Integrates with existing tools
  • Open-source and highly customizable


  • Steep learning curve
  • Setup can be complex
  • Some features may require advanced knowledge

10. Git: Version Control for Collaborative Development

Git is a distributed version control system that is essential for collaborative iOS app development. It facilitates version control by facilitating association among multiple developers on the same project. It entitles programmers to track changes, revert to previous versions, and create branches for experimenting with new features. 

Git brings organization to collaborative development by preventing conflicts and allowing developers to work simultaneously without interfering with each other’s contributions.

Key Features

Git’s key features include branching and merging, distributed development, and the capacity to effectively handle big projects.


  • Excellent for collaborative development
  • Allows for version control
  • Can handle large projects


  • Complex commands can be difficult to remember
  • Merge conflicts can be tricky to resolve
  • Initial setup can be tough for newbies

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Tools for Your iOS Development Needs

Choosing the right iOS app development tools is paramount for efficient and prolific software development. The tools you take up should correspond to your project provisions, team skills, and overall development strategy.

Remember, the best tools are those that enrich your workflow, improve productivity, and ultimately contribute to the creation of high-quality, user-friendly iOS apps. Always stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in iOS app development tools to ensure your apps remain competitive and relevant in the ever-evolving app market.

As the saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding,” and at TechRev, the best custom iOS app development service provider in the US, our track record speaks for itself. Our team utilizes top-of-the-line iOS app development tools, ensuring that your app meets and exceeds industry standards. With us, you can rest assured that your iOS app will be perfectly built, leaving users in awe.

Contact us to create an App Store masterpiece!