What's good about Xcode

Xcode alternative for iOS and Mac developers with AppCode

If you want to develop for Apple's iOS and Mac OS X platforms, there is no way around Xcode. At the latest, when you want to put your finished application in the App Store, you have to fall back on the development environment developed by Apple itself. This is very powerful, offers an extensive set of features and has certainly played a decisive role in the app boom. Strictly speaking, without Xcode there would be no Instagram, no WhatsApp etc. But lately the criticism of this important developer tool has been growing louder. The application crashes all too often, the refactoring leaves a lot to be desired compared to other popular IDEs such as Visual Studio, Eclipse or Netbeans, as does the debugger.

Practical features for everyday life

The Objective-C IDE AppCode is aimed at developers who are dissatisfied with Xcode. The creators of the IntelliJ Idea development environment, popular among Java experts, offers a high-performance solution that, although not completely replacing Xcode, can in many cases complement it well. For example, AppCode scores with a feature-rich debugger, powerful refactoring and intelligent auto-completion features, as well as various tools for code analysis that simplify the programmers' daily work.

A key benefit is that AppCode projects are compatible with Xcode. This means that you can work on a project with both applications without any problems, without having to worry about configuration errors. However, the price has a disadvantage with AppCode. Because while registered Apple developers can use Xcode free of charge, the JetBrains tool costs 89 euros (individual developers) or 179 euros (companies) plus VAT.


Xcode is a powerful development environment that is also seamlessly integrated into Mac OS X and the app stores. However, many developers - especially those who only entered the Apple world with the iPhone - are dissatisfied with this. For them, AppCode could be just the thing.