Interactive playgrounds for iOS app developers

Xcode Playground is an IDE to develop apps for iPhone and iPad devices. The Playground was initially released with Swift, and are designed to be a place to experiment with code. It provides an interactive preview of developed code and layout without the need for Interface Builder. By providing real-time code results, Playground is very much favourite of top ios developers to “see” what your code is doing line by line.

If you are a person who would rather avoid the hassle and mental overhead of creating an Xcode project and having to deal with a myriad of factors, such as device types and resolutions, and build settings. Such decisions can be deferred using playground to first made up the mind whether to go ahead with the core idea or not.

In order to get your hands on Xcode Playground, you need to install latest Xcode edition later than Xcode 6. Once the software is installed, below screen will appear with the first option as “Get started with a playground”, chose that option to go to the next screen to name the playground, set Platform to iOS, and save the playground.

Well that was an introduction of Xcode before you get started, below are some common terminologies that are referred to while building an app in Xcode:

  • UIKit is Apple’s user interface toolkit. It contains items that are used to drive user interaction across the application. Example of UI items are buttons, text boxes, navigation controls and more.
  • AppKit is Apple’s user interface toolkit for macOS. Like UIKit it contains things like buttons, text boxes, and more, although focused on macOS rather than iOS.
  • WatchKit is Apple’s user interface toolkit for watchOS. While UIKit and AppKit have much in common, WatchKit is significantly different — and significantly simpler.
  • Cocoa Touch is the name commonly used for Apple’s vast collection of frameworks for iOS. It includes UIKit to do user interfaces, but most people would say it also includes SpriteKit for making 2D games, SceneKit for making 3D games, MapKit for maps, Core Graphics for drawing, Core Animation for animating things, and much more.
  • Cocoa is the name used for Apple’s framework collection on macOS. Strictly speaking it’s made up of AppKit for user interface, Foundation for basic functionality, and Core Data for object graphs, but like Cocoa Touch it’s often used to mean “all of macOS development.”
  • NeXTSTEP is an operating system created by a company that Steve Jobs founded called NeXT. It was bought by Apple, at which point Jobs was placed back in control of the company, and put NeXTSTEP technology right into the core of Apple’s development platform.
  • iOS Simulator is a tool that comes with Xcode that looks and works almost exactly like a real iPhone or iPad. It lets you test iOS apps very quickly without having to use a real device.

Playground Limitations

  • Playground cannot be used for performance testing.
  • Does not support User Interaction.
  • Does not support On-device execution.
  • Cannot use your app or framework code.
  • Does not support custom entitlements.

The Xcode team seems committed to improving playgrounds as new versions of the IDE are rolled out with integration of latest frameworks and libraries. Above is just a walk over a miniature Swift testing environments that let you type code and see the results immediately. To build an iOS app, get in touch with the best app developers.