Developing any type of software can be tedious, time-consuming, and plain overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be, thanks to a plethora of extra tools out there. Often, they’re real lifesavers.

These tools are brought into existence for two sole purposes. They are here to make the lives of developers easier and let them focus on what’s most important. They allow them to make the final product better.

So, there’s no need to get by using only a basic integrated development environment (IDE).

When it comes to iOS development services, you’re guaranteed to see Xcode (by Apple) and AppCode (by JetBrains) on the list of development tools. But, of course, making an app just using one or the other won’t be productive at all. 

Here are 10 more tools that will make the iOS app development process more efficient and less stressful.

Improve the Development of iOS Apps
Source: unsplash

CloudKit for Apple-Powered Backend-as-a-Service

Pricing: a free basic plan available plus the pay-as-you-go pricing model

Backend can pose huge challenges, especially if you don’t need anything more than its basics. This is why the demand for BaaS (backend-as-a-service) products is on the rise. They allow you to offload managing servers to another company.

In the case of iOS development services, Apple has you covered here with CloudKit. It allows:

  • storing your app’s data in iCloud, including users’ personal data in their own iCloud storage;
  • syncing your app across all Apple devices;
  • overseeing the app’s performance with server logs and telemetry.

Firebase for Google-Powered Backend-as-a-Service

Pricing: a free basic plan available plus the pay-as-you-go pricing model

In case CloudKit doesn’t cut it for your particular needs, there’s an alternative from another tech giant – Google. It acquired Firebase back in 2014 and now powers it as its own BaaS product.

As for the most prominent features, here’s a quick overview of what Firebase has to offer:

  • Cloud Firebase storage for your app’s data;
  • Crashlytics and Google Analytics for monitoring the app’s performance;
  • user analytics and A/B testing.

BrainTree for Payment Gateway Integration

Pricing: a commission fee per transaction (varies depending on the payment method)

Does your app involve any payments on the users’ end? If so, you need to make paying as easy as 1-2-3 for them!

This is where BrainTree comes in. It allows integrating the following payment methods to ensure your users always have plenty of choices:

  • Google Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Paypal
  • Venmo
  • credit and debit cards

Having this kind of choice is essential for swaying users’ impressions in your favor. 

Plus, BrainTree is a PayPal service that has twenty-something years of experience under its belt. All in all, here’s how your iPhone development services can benefit from using it:

  • fraud detection and prevention;
  • integrating all necessary payment methods with a single tool;
  • in-built reporting to gain insights into transactions.

Flutter for Building UIs

Pricing: free

The first (but definitely not the last) open-source project on this list, Flutter’s mission is simple: make creating user interfaces faster and easier. And it does its job outstandingly well.

For starters, Flutter will be a godsend for those developer-designer sessions. Thanks to the hot reload feature, you can visualize the changes in the UI as soon as you tweak the code. No rebooting is needed!

What makes Flutter even more attractive is the “write once, run anywhere” philosophy. Of course, if you deal only with the iOS app development process, it won’t make your life any better. But if you have an Android and/or web app in the works, you need to code the UI just once – that’s a great time saver.

Also, Flutter makes adaptability less of a headache. No matter the size or ratio of the device, you can prepare your app to look gorgeous on any screen.

TestFlight for Beta Testing

Pricing: free for paid developer accounts

When all syntax errors and basic bugs are taken care of, you need to beta test your app. This is the only way you can get real users’ feedback. Nothing can come close to how crucial it is.

TestFlight allows for streamlining this process. Once you have your beta ready, invite up to 10,000 testers via TestFlight. You can do it via email or by sharing a link. What’s more, you can add up to a hundred internal testers within the same workspace.

improve development
Source: unsplash

CocoaPods for Dependency Management

Pricing: free

This is one of those open-source projects that took off and are now used in more than 3 million apps. Created by developers for developers, it resolves one simple yet persisting issue: having to duplicate your code.

With CocoaPods, updating one dependency is no longer time-consuming or exhausting. It’s done with a single command – yes, it’s possible!

GitKraken for Working with Git Repositories

Pricing: a free plan available, paid plans start at $4.95 per user/month

Making revisions and collaborating with teammates was made a lot easier with Git repositories. But on their own, they’re not good enough. In fact, Git can bring in more problems than solutions sometimes.

Cue GitKraken. It makes working with Git a lot more pleasant and productive, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Intuitive user interface: visualized commit history, drag-and-drop features, etc.
  • Merge conflict tool is already included in GitKraken.
  • Integrations with GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket, as well as with Jira, Trello, and GitLab.
  • In-built code editor.

Haiku Animator for Native Animations

Pricing: starts at $15 per month (bulk licenses start at $10.50 per seat/month), free trial available

Making native animations isn’t easy, especially when the developer needs to interpret what the designer wants and turn it into code. To avoid this whole hassle, Haiku Animator will automatically transform your designs into native code.

What’s more, Haiku Animator has a versioning feature to save all your progress. Any of the animations you’ve created can be turned into code for other platforms (Android and web) in a couple of clicks.

Raygun for Error Monitoring

Pricing: starts at $4 per 10,000 events/month (free 14-day trial available)

Users don’t like buggy apps, that goes without saying. But catching those errors one by one is tiresome – and it brings down the overall team’s productivity.

Raygun can take some of the weight off your shoulders. It will monitor your codebase 24/7. Should there be any errors, it’s got a powerful root cause analysis feature to help you fix them in no time.

Here’s a quick overview of Raygun’s most essential features:

  • detailed error and crash reports;
  • user session monitoring in real-time;
  • server-side performance monitoring;
  • deployment tracking.

Jazzy for Generating Documentation

Pricing: free

Last but not least, a project well done is a well-documented one. But don’t rush into typing out all of it in a text processor – Jazzy is here to automate this tedious task.

You can find this open-source tool on GitHub. It’ll work swimmingly with both Swift and Objective-C projects. With it, you can have your documentation ready with just a couple of commands.

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