XCode is a technical platform also known as an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The platform has been created specifically for Mac Operating Systems that contain a suite of software development tools maintained by Apple. It develops software for iOS, macOS, watchOS, iPadOS, and tvOS. The IDE XCode was first released in 2003, and the latest stable release is version 11.3. The latest version is available through the Mac App Store free of cost for macOS Catalina users. The registered developers can download prior versions and preview releases of the suite from the Apple Developer website.
Some major features of XCode are mentioned below.
Supports Source Code: XCode helps the users support source code for the programming languages Java, Python, Ruby, C, C++, Objective-C, Objective-C++, ResEdit (REZ), AppleScript, and Swift, with different programming models. These programming models include but not limited to Carbon, Cocoa, and Java. Third-party models have added support for Free Pascal, GNU Pascal, C#, Ada, Perl, and D.
Creates Fat Binary Files: XCode can create fat binary files that contain code for multiple architectures in Mach-O executable format. These architectures are called universal binary files, that allow the software to run on both Intel-based (x86) and PowerPC platforms. The suite uses the platforms that include both 64-bit and 32-bit code for both architectures. Using the iOS Software Development Kit, XCode can also be used to debug and compile applications for iOS that work on ARM architecture processors.
Includes the GUI tool Instruments: XCode comprises the GUI tool Instruments, that run on the top of a dynamic tracing framework, created by Sun Microsystems and released as part of OpenSolaris.
The major application of the suite is the XCode, also known as the Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The XCode group includes many of Apple's developer documentation, and built-in Interface Builder, a platform used to build graphical user interfaces.
In XCode 4.1, the XCode suite contained a customized version of the GNU Compiler Collection. From XCode 3.1 to XCode 4.6.3, it contained the LLVM-GCC compiler, with the front ends from the GNU Compiler Collection and a code generator based on LLVM.
In XCode 3.2 and later, it contained the Clang C/C++/Objective-C compiler, including newly written front ends and the Clang static analyzer, and a code generator based on LLVM.
Beginning with XCode 4.2, the Clang compiler was the default compiler. In XCode 5.0, Clang became the only compiler provided.
XCode price is zero, it is free of cost but it costs $99 per year for joining Apple’s developer program and uploading to the app store.
XCode version 11 was introduced on June 3, 2019, at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. A beta version of the suite was released the same day. XCode version 11 announced support for the new features in Swift 5.1 and the new SwiftUI framework. It includes integrated support for the Swift Package Manager and supports building iPad applications that run under macOS.
XCode Version 11 includes all the elements you need to create amazing apps and to use your apps in even more devices. Using this version of XCode, you can take advantage of SwiftUI which is an all-new user interface framework that contains a declarative Swift syntax.