Eugene Belinski profile pictureEugene Belinski

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My favorite apps for iOS development in 2020

Developers of native iOS apps tend to spend a lot of time in Xcode. From version control to robust debugging tools, Xcode has pretty much everything. Still, there are many third-party tools out there that can further enhance your development workflow. This is a list of my favorites!


  • CodeRunner ($15, also on Setapp) — Hands down one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. CodeRunner let’s you quickly write and run code for Swift and many other languages. I often use it instead of Xcode Playgrounds when writing Swiftly content because it’s just so much snappier. And for other languages, it eliminates the hassle of setting everything up from scratch. Just don’t forget to import Foundation, because unlike Xcode, CodeRunner won’t write it out for you!

  • Asset Catalog Creator Pro ($6, also on Setapp) — What did you do the last time you needed to add an app icon to an Xcode project? Did you try to create each size by hand? Did you use a shady online tool that required your email? After searching high and low, I finally found Asset Catalog Creator Pro. The UI is a bit confusing at first, but it is hands down the best tool out there to convert an iOS app icon image to every single size needed for an Xcode project. It even saves everything, metadata and all, directly into your project. There is also a free version with fewer features.

  • Paw ($50, also on Setapp) — With an elegant interface, Paw lets you test APIs that you plan on using in an iOS app. You can compose requests, inspect responses from the server, and export API definitions. It’s an alternative to Postman, and a very good one at that.

  • WWDC (free) — Five years before Apple announced the macOS Apple Developer app in 2020, Guilherme Rambo launched this gorgeous WWDC videos app. This app is arguably still the best way to watch WWDC talks, given that the official app is a Catalyst port with some awkward UI placement. Better yet, the WWDC app makes it possible to download a talk offline, and access the downloaded video directly, allowing you to easily watch it with your preferred video player.

  • San Fransymbols (free) — Whether you use UIKit, SwiftUI, or AppKit, Apple has provided a rich set of symbols known as SF Symbols. And they released a basic SF Symbols app that lets you browse these symbols. But what if you wanted an app with, you know, features? That’s where San Fransymbols comes in. It lets you browse all SF Symbols, try out different thicknesses and colors, and even copy sample code for both SwiftUI and UIKit.

  • Sublime Text ($80) — While you’ll usually be coding in Xcode, you may sometimes want a standalone text editor. And by sometimes, I mean whenever there is a nasty merge conflict in project.pbxproj. Sublime Text is extendable with themes and plugins for just about anything. And unlike Atom and VSCode, Sublime Text is native, so you can free up more RAM for Xcode to feast on.

  • NativeConnect ($5/month) — As its name suggests, NativeConnect lets you access App Store Connect using a native macOS app. You can use it to view sales and trends for each of your apps, read and respond to reviews, and generate promo codes. (I imagine this is about as much access as the App Store Connect API allows for third-party apps.) At the $5/month price point, this app probably isn’t for everyone, but if avoiding the sluggish App Store Connect website sounds appealing, NativeConnect is worth trying out.

iOS / iPadOS

  • Charles ($9) — This powerful app allows you to run a proxy between all apps on your device and the internet. You can then browse through all of an app’s networking traffic. It comes in handy surprisingly often during app development. I have both this and the pricier macOS version, but I always just use the iOS one.

  • Adaptivity ($5) — The Swiss Army knife of iOS Size Classes, Adaptivity helps developers visualize how different size classes appear on real devices for many types of iOS and iPadOS views.

  • App Store Connect (free) — Apple offers this app for iOS that gives you access to App Store Connect information such as sales, trends data, build activity, and ratings in a nifty native app that offers push notifications. Be warned that it doesn’t provide nearly as much access as the web version, though it does log you out about as much.

  • Apple Developer (free) — This app, formerly named WWDC, allows you to watch WWDC videos on your iPhone or iPad. Not much else to say here. Unlike on Mac, it’s really the only option for these videos.

  • San Fransymbols (free) — Yes, I mentioned this app in the Mac section, but it’s available for iOS too!

What are your favorite apps for iOS development? Let me know on Twitter!