Whether you’ve been coding iOS apps forever (well, at least since 2008) or you’re just beginning to learn the ropes, the right set of iOS development tools can take application coding to the next level.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up 11 free iOS development tools to help you build better apps.
The de rigueur iOS development tool is the free Xcode, Apple’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for both Mac and iOS apps. The graphical interface used to write apps, Xcode now includes everything needed to write code for iOS 8 with Apple’s Swift programming language.
If you’re looking to add on to Xcode, try Alcatraz. It’s a package manager for Xcode that allows you to install additional plug-ins inside your IDE. Alcatraz is only available for OSX 10.9+ and Xcode 5+.
For the initial stage of development, the iOS development tool Mockingbird can help. The web-based wireframe application works like jotting down a napkin sketch, in that it lets you get your visual ideas onto a digital medium. The app also lets you create multiple pages to build your idea. You can change alignment, color, font size and font color, then share your sketch with others.
Turn sketches into interactive prototypes with the Marvel app. Add paper sketches to the app from your camera, or from Dropbox or the Adobe Creative Cloud. You can even draw directly in the app. Then, add tappable hot spots to your images to link screens together with one of several transitions. Export your demo with a URL that can be installed as a web clip on a home screen.
5. Cocoa Controls
Cocoa Controls is a list of code for use in your iOS apps, including more than 1,000 libraries from the open source community. This resource can be a real time-saver.
6. Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow is a question-and-answer service for programming professionals. You can ask any programming question about any programming language and platform. Search before asking, as your answer may already be there. Or, use the Ask Question button and fire away.
Bjango is a design aid that can save you time when using Photoshop. For example, with one click, you can resize canvases, scale by 50 to 200 percent, or set lighting to 90 degrees.
8. Dribble and 9. Capptivate
Dribble and Capptivate are two places to brainstorm designs. You’ll find inspiration galleries of other designers’ work. Some Capptivate designs include animation, too.
With Sip, you can select from 35 color formats and encode the colors on your screen. With Photoshop extensions and the capability to share color by email, Sip is a good way to collect, organize and share your colors.
Applyzer allows you to see how your applications rank among all of the iTunes stores around the world. Simply create a free account and add your application ID to see the rankings displayed.
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