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AppCode or Xcode?

We are often asked if AppCode is a replacement to Xcode. Let's try to answer the possible questions considering different aspects of iOS and Mac OS applications development.
Here is the story in plain text. If you want short answers to particular questions, check out the FAQ below.

AppCode is based on IntelliJ platform that is being developed during 10+ years now and contains a great amount of work and experience about working with code, with big code bases, about debugging code, about working with version controls, etc. And we, first of all, want to bring this knowledge and experience to Objective-C developers. Our goal is not to create an "Xcode killer", we want to help developers do their coding easier, faster and with more pleasure.

Therefore, AppCode relies on Xcode and related dev. tools in the following:

  1. Project Structure. AppCode opens existing Xcode projects and new projects created in AppCode are created in Xcode project format.
    This allows you to switch between AppCode and Xcode without thinking about consequences. Just use what does your current task better.
  2. File Templates. AppCode provides some own file templates and includes all standard Xcode templates so you can add new files without leaving AppCode.
  3. Interface Builder. We think Apple's Interface Builder for iOS does a decent job. So, right now we are not going to create our own, but we integrate with it transparently. Just open an .xib file in AppCode and we'll open it in the Interface Builder (or in Xcode 4). Close it when done and go on coding.
  4. Core Data model files (xcdatamodel) is another file type where Xcode is used for editing.


Q: Do I need Xcode at all?

A: Yes, Xcode is absolutely necessary. AppCode will not run without Xcode available.

Q: What about Interface Builder, Storyboarding, Core Data, etc. Just use Xcode for those?

A: Yes, these tools do their job and AppCode integrates with them, e.g. .xib files are automatically opened in Interface Builder (or in Xcode 4), etc.

Q: Can I use AppCode while Xcode is open with the same project?

A: Yes, AppCode will detect changes in your Xcode project and reload them automatically. Moreover, the changes made in AppCode will be detected in Xcode and it will offer to reload them too.

Q: Does AppCode work with Xcode 3 as well as with Xcode 4?

A: Both Xcode versions are supported.

Q: Why Mac OS X only?

A: You've probably guessed it. AppCode needs Xcode. And Xcode only runs on... right, Mac OS X.

Q: Does AppCode support the workspaces configured in Xcode?

A: Yes, workspaces are fully supported.

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