Keeping up with the times gets harder if you don’t use additional tools that give you a head start. App development is no exception, as instead of manually performing some purely mechanical tasks, you can focus on decision making, creativity, and critical thinking of the problem. That’s something many people underestimate when they talk about development. It’s not purely syntaxis. It’s problem-solving. If you can delegate some work to the apps - go for it! And then do things that apps cannot do. Here are the top 5 iOS tools and plugins.

1) X-Code

X-Code is not a separate tool, but rather the whole ecosystem with all the necessary software you or your team will need for iOS development. As soon as it’s Apple’s official IDE (Integrated Development Environment), we’ve decided to put it first. X-Code allows performing many additional types of tasks apart from coding itself. These are testing, configuration, code filtering, interface prototyping creation, etc. Also, it suits all of Apple’s platforms: iPhone and iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. What’s great about X-Code is its user-friendly interface and smart navigation, minimizing the time you have to spend time immersed in the documentation. Also, it’s free.

2) Code Runner

Any coding language + Code Runner = great code completion - that’s what this app’s owners claim. And it is also relatively cheap - $14.99 with you getting a free demo before deciding to make a purchase. With IDE-level code completion at its disposal, as well as numerous code templates, debugging tools, documentation sidebar, and constant software updates, you will build a great iOS app.

3) Jazzy

Apple-style documentation is just one step away from you with Jazzy utility, supporting Swift and Objective-C. The “soulful” docs with contain descriptions of all entities you’ve input into your code: classes, functions, properties, protocols, etc. The tool can be installed by just one command. Afterward, it’s easy to leave comments inside the outgoing document. The documentation is created automatically while you code, which is a great level of convenience.

4) Hyperion

The clear design is a prerequisite of a user’s satisfaction with your iOS app. Just as in the code, design can also contain bugs which deteriorate the perception and raise the desire to only delete an app. Looking for issues manually may be time- and effort-consuming. Here’s where Hyperion comes in! It offers design debugging tools which can help you to check measurements, implement attribute inspector, detect slow animations, etc. While Hyperion automatically shows you the weak points, you have more time to find the most creative ways of how to solve them.

5) Alcatraz

Alcatraz is a package manager for XCode, which means it helps to install, upgrade, and configure it. Basically, it contains different plugins and templates for all purposes that your iOS app would need. The user - you or your developers - won’t have to manually copy files and then install them in the traditional way. Alcatraz does that work. However, it only supports XCode 7.

With the right set of tools, it will be just so enjoyable to build your M-Commerce solution, or marketplace website, or anything you can even think of. However, remember, the good thing about plugins and tools is that they are constantly developing. The bad thing is that you will still have to keep up with them, waiting for the head start. However, that’s how the development works!