Visual Studio vs Xcode

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Visual Studio

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Visual Studio vs Xcode: What are the differences?

Visual Studio and Xcode are both integrated development environments (IDEs) used for software development. While they share some similarities, there are several key differences between the two, which are discussed below.

  1. Programming Languages and Platforms: Visual Studio primarily supports the Microsoft ecosystem, including languages like C#, VB.NET, and F#. It allows developers to create applications for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and web development. On the other hand, Xcode is specifically designed for macOS and iOS development, supporting languages like Swift and Objective-C, making it the go-to choice for Apple platform development.

  2. User Interface and Design: Visual Studio offers a more traditional and customizable user interface with a wide range of tools and features. It provides a comprehensive set of designer tools for creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for various applications. Xcode, on the other hand, follows the Apple design philosophy and provides a sleek and minimalist interface with an emphasis on simplicity. It has a dedicated interface builder that enables developers to create intuitive and visually appealing user interfaces for iOS and macOS applications.

  3. Integration with Development Tools: Visual Studio integrates well with various developer tools and services, including version control systems like Git, continuous integration, and deployment services. It offers a robust ecosystem of extensions and plugins that enhance its functionality and cater to different development needs. Xcode, being tightly integrated with other Apple tools and services, works seamlessly with technologies like Interface Builder, auto layout, and Core Data, providing a streamlined development experience specific to Apple platforms.

  4. Debugging and Testing Capabilities: Visual Studio provides a powerful debugging environment with features like breakpoints, step into/over/out, watch windows, and immediate window. It also includes automatic code analysis tools and unit testing capabilities. Xcode offers similar debugging features along with the ability to inspect the view hierarchy and screen elements during runtime. It also includes a robust testing framework, XCTest, for writing unit tests and UI tests in Swift and Objective-C.

  5. App Distribution and Deployment: Visual Studio provides a comprehensive set of tools for building, packaging, and deploying applications for multiple platforms. It supports creating installers, generating app packages, publishing to app stores, and managing distribution certificates and provisioning profiles. Xcode, being specific to Apple platforms, offers seamless integration with the App Store, enabling easy app submission, testing on simulators, and deploying to physical devices for development and distribution.

  6. Community and Documentation: Visual Studio has a large and active community of developers, with extensive online resources, forums, and documentation available. It offers robust support and regular updates from Microsoft. Xcode, being the official IDE for Apple platforms, also has a strong community and provides comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and sample code directly from Apple. It benefits from Apple's support and consistently updated documentation.

In summary, Visual Studio is a cross-platform code editor that offers extensive language support, customization, and integration with various tools and services. Xcode is a comprehensive IDE that is designed exclusively for Apple developers, offering native app development, seamless integration with Apple’s frameworks, and a powerful debugging environment.

Advice on Visual Studio and Xcode

The problem I have is whether to choose Android Studio or Visual Studio? I have to develop a simple app for a school project that can work on both iPhone and Android.

The most important factors for me are Android and iOS compatibility. Although note that i would like to become a Software Engineer when i finish my course. (I'd like to work for Apple, just saying!)

After that id like easy integration for Google Ads and such if i do develop another app that people actually use to support development. (I'd also like to stick with one easy programming language that's compatible with a wide variety of platforms since i'm a beginner and have only ever used Pascal)

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Replies (1)

First of all - Android Studio and Visual Studio are IDE's. Tools to create code. What you are asking is programming framework. I assume that when you are talking about Android Studio you mean Native Android Development and by Visual Studio you mean Xamarin.

If you want to create crossplatform app then Native Android Development is NOT a way to go. Xamarin might work for you, BUT - you'd rather recommend you to go with Flutter. It's much more performant than Xamarin, programming model is friendlier for developer and technology seems just more refined. It's also officially supported by google, so no worries about support.

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Decisions about Visual Studio and Xcode
Lucas Litton
Founder & CEO at Macombey · | 7 upvotes · 191K views

Expo was a tool Macombey really wanted to utilize from the beginning. I have been working with React Native since 2016 and originally I had to use simulators in Xcode, install pods on top of node packages, configure certificates, and more abundant objectives that take time away from actual development. As a development studio, we have to move quick and get projects to our clients and partners in a matter of months.

Expo made this easy for us. We now have a mobile app for clients to download and test their project on, there is no need to install pods or configure Xcode, and development is super fast and reliable now.

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Pros of Visual Studio
Pros of Xcode
  • 305
    Intellisense, ui
  • 244
    Complete ide and debugger
  • 165
  • 104
  • 93
  • 37
  • 35
    Node tools for visual studio (ntvs)
  • 33
    Free Community edition
  • 24
  • 17
    Bug free
  • 8
    Made by Microsoft
  • 6
    Full free community version
  • 5
    JetBrains plugins (ReSharper etc.) work sufficiently OK
  • 3
    Productivity Power Tools
  • 2
    Vim mode
  • 2
    VIM integration
  • 1
    I develop UWP apps and Intellisense is super useful
  • 1
    Cross platform development
  • 1
    The Power and Easiness to Do anything in any.. language
  • 1
    Available for Mac and Windows
  • 130
    IOS Development
  • 33
    Personal assistant on steroids
  • 29
    Easy setup
  • 17
    Excellent integration with Clang
  • 3
  • 1
    Built-in everything

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Cons of Visual Studio
Cons of Xcode
  • 15
  • 14
    Made by Microsoft
  • 6
    Sometimes you need to restart to finish an update
  • 3
    Too much size for disk
  • 3
    Only avalible on Windows
  • 6
    Massively bloated and complicated for smaller projects
  • 3
    Horrible auto completiting and text editing
  • 1
    Slow startup
  • 1
    Very slow emulator

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What is Visual Studio?

Visual Studio is a suite of component-based software development tools and other technologies for building powerful, high-performance applications.

What is Xcode?

The Xcode IDE is at the center of the Apple development experience. Tightly integrated with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, Xcode is an incredibly productive environment for building amazing apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

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What companies use Xcode?
See which teams inside your own company are using Visual Studio or Xcode.
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What are some alternatives to Visual Studio and Xcode?
IntelliJ IDEA
Out of the box, IntelliJ IDEA provides a comprehensive feature set including tools and integrations with the most important modern technologies and frameworks for enterprise and web development with Java, Scala, Groovy and other languages.
Visual Studio Code
Build and debug modern web and cloud applications. Code is free and available on your favorite platform - Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows.
Standard Eclipse package suited for Java and plug-in development plus adding new plugins; already includes Git, Marketplace Client, source code and developer documentation. Click here to file a bug against Eclipse Platform.
At GitHub, we're building the text editor we've always wanted. A tool you can customize to do anything, but also use productively on the first day without ever touching a config file. Atom is modern, approachable, and hackable to the core. We can't wait to see what you build with it.
Knowing your code through and through, CLion can take care of the routine while you focus on the important things. Boost your productivity with the keyboard-centric approach (Vim-emulation plugin is also available in plugin repository), full coding assistance, smart and relevant code completion, fast project navigation, intelligent intention actions, and reliable refactorings.
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