Best IDEs For Swift Developers

By Eddy Chung

Let’s take a look at the best IDEs (integrated development environments) for Swift Developers.

Xcode

xcode

Of course, Xcode, the official IDE from Apple has to be mentioned first. It’s the most widely used IDE by Swift and iOS developers. Although it has it’s problems, Apple has consistently improved it year after year.

The interface builder has come a long way from when it was first released. The code editor has also become smarter and better over time.

This is still the best IDE for most iOS developers.

AppCode

xcode_1

Made by the JetBrains company which brought us IntelliJ. AppCode is a great IDE for Swift developers. Some of its features include:

  • Efficient project navigation
  • Smart completions
  • Reliable refactorings
  • Code analysis
  • Productive unit testing

I only recommend it for more experienced developers because there’s significantly less documentation and tutorials with AppCode.

Project settings are a little more difficult to set in AppCode and you’ll still need to use Xcode for certain things, but overall AppCode is definitely a great Swift IDE.

Code Runner

atom_1

Code runner is a light-weight IDE for macOS.

Here are some of it’s features:

  • Advanced code completion
  • Debugging with breakpoints
  • Large language support

Although it has some pros, it’s hard to justify using Code Runner over Xcode.

Visual Studio (VS) Code

vscode

Visual Studio Code is a free and open source IDE that runs on all operating systems. It comes with IntelliSense which provides smart completions. It has a great debugger and git integration.

Best of all, the community is extremely large and there are loads of plugins and extensions.

Here’s a great extension making Swift work with VS code.

Atom

atom

Atom is a beautiful text editor that has become popular recently. There’s are now packages that allow you to run Swift code inside the Atom IDE.

People love atom because of these reasons:

  • Atom is free and open source
  • It has a large community
  • It is hackable (it’s in their slogan!)
  • Atom has a built in package manager
  • Full integration with git and GitHub
  • Amazing autocomplete

The support for the Swift language in Atom is still growing over time. This package seems to be the most promising development.

Sublime Text

sublime

Sublime Text has been around for a long time. It’s one of the best text editors available and has held that title for many years.

Here are some of the features Sublime Users love:

  • Quick navigation
  • Multiple selections
  • Large package ecosystem
  • Customizable
  • Split editing
  • Great performance

Here’s a Sublime package that adds support for Swift.

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Eddy Chung

I am a professional iOS developer in Silicon Valley. I teach iOS development on ZeroToAppStore.com. If you'd like to learn more about me click here or you can contact me at: eddy@zerotoappstore.com

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