Visual Studio Code vs Xcode

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Visual Studio Code

164.5K
147.5K
+ 1
2.3K
Xcode

18.3K
13.8K
+ 1
213
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Visual Studio Code vs Xcode: What are the differences?

Visual Studio Code and Xcode are two distinct development environments used by developers. While both serve the purpose of coding, debugging, and building applications, they have key aspects that set them apart:

  1. Language Support: Visual Studio Code supports a wide range of programming languages, including JavaScript, Python, Java, C++, and more. It offers extensive language support through its robust extension ecosystem. Xcode primarily focuses on Apple platforms and provides strong support for languages like Swift and Objective-C.

  2. User Interface: Visual Studio Code features a clean and intuitive user interface, allowing for easy customization and navigation. It provides a minimalist design with various themes available. Xcode, designed specifically for Apple developers, offers a comprehensive interface that integrates multiple tools and utilities for macOS and iOS app development.

  3. Extension Ecosystem: Visual Studio Code has a thriving extension ecosystem that is constantly updated by its community, offering a wide range of extensions that cater to diverse development needs. These extensions provide additional features and improve the functionality of the software. On the other hand, Xcode's extension ecosystem is more limited compared to Visual Studio Code, despite offering some extensions.

  4. Platform Focus: Visual Studio Code is a cross-platform tool, compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it suitable for developers working on different operating systems. Xcode is exclusively designed for macOS, limiting its availability to Apple developers working on macOS and iOS projects.

  5. Debugging and Testing: Both Visual Studio Code and Xcode have debugging and testing capabilities. Xcode provides a more integrated and comprehensive debugging environment specifically tailored for Apple platforms. It includes simulators and debugging tools that facilitate the testing and optimization of iOS and macOS applications.

  6. Interface Builder: Xcode comes with Interface Builder, a handy visual tool that empowers developers to create user interfaces (UI) for Apple apps with ease, thanks to its drag-and-drop feature. However, Visual Studio Code lacks a similar built-in visual UI design tool like Interface Builder.

In summary, Visual Studio Code stands out as a versatile and cross-platform code editor with extensive language support, a user-friendly interface, and a robust extension ecosystem. It caters to developers working on various platforms and offers flexibility in customization. On the other hand, Xcode is a comprehensive IDE exclusively designed for Apple developers, offering native app development capabilities, seamless integration with Apple's frameworks, and a powerful debugging environment. It is the preferred choice for macOS and iOS app development but is limited to the Apple ecosystem.

Decisions about Visual Studio Code and Xcode
Kamaleshwar BN
Senior Software Engineer at Pulley · | 12 upvotes · 1.2M views

Visual Studio Code became famous over the past 3+ years I believe. The clean UI, easy to use UX and the plethora of integrations made it a very easy decision for us. Our gripe with Sublime was probably only the UX side. VSCode has not failed us till now, and still is able to support our development env without any significant effort.

Goland being paid, as well as built only for Go seemed like a significant limitation to not consider it.

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Simon Ibssa
Student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo · | 2 upvotes · 1.1M views

I decided to choose VSCode over Sublime text for my Systems Programming class in C. What I love about VSCode is its awesome ability to add extensions. Intellisense is a beautiful debugger, and Remote SSH allows me to login and make real-time changes in VSCode to files on my university server. This is an awesome alternative to going back and forth on pushing/pulling code and logging into servers in the terminal. Great choice for anyone interested in C programming!

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Pros of Visual Studio Code
Pros of Xcode
  • 337
    Powerful multilanguage IDE
  • 307
    Fast
  • 193
    Front-end develop out of the box
  • 158
    Support TypeScript IntelliSense
  • 142
    Very basic but free
  • 126
    Git integration
  • 106
    Intellisense
  • 78
    Faster than Atom
  • 53
    Better ui, easy plugins, and nice git integration
  • 45
    Great Refactoring Tools
  • 44
    Good Plugins
  • 42
    Terminal
  • 38
    Superb markdown support
  • 36
    Open Source
  • 34
    Extensions
  • 26
    Awesome UI
  • 26
    Large & up-to-date extension community
  • 24
    Powerful and fast
  • 22
    Portable
  • 18
    Best editor
  • 18
    Best code editor
  • 17
    Easy to get started with
  • 15
    Lots of extensions
  • 15
    Built on Electron
  • 15
    Crossplatform
  • 15
    Good for begginers
  • 14
    Extensions for everything
  • 14
    Open, cross-platform, fast, monthly updates
  • 14
    All Languages Support
  • 13
    Easy to use and learn
  • 12
    Extensible
  • 12
    "fast, stable & easy to use"
  • 11
    Totally customizable
  • 11
    Git out of the box
  • 11
    Faster edit for slow computer
  • 11
    Ui design is great
  • 11
    Useful for begginer
  • 10
    Great community
  • 10
    SSH support
  • 10
    Fast Startup
  • 9
    It has terminal and there are lots of shortcuts in it
  • 9
    Powerful Debugger
  • 9
    Great language support
  • 9
    Works With Almost EveryThing You Need
  • 8
    Python extension is fast
  • 8
    Can compile and run .py files
  • 7
    Great document formater
  • 7
    Features rich
  • 6
    He is not Michael
  • 6
    Awesome multi cursor support
  • 6
    Extension Echosystem
  • 6
    She is not Rachel
  • 5
    Language server client
  • 5
    Easy azure
  • 5
    SFTP Workspace
  • 5
    VSCode.pro Course makes it easy to learn
  • 5
    Very proffesional
  • 4
    Supports lots of operating systems
  • 4
    Has better support and more extentions for debugging
  • 4
    Excellent as git difftool and mergetool
  • 4
    Virtualenv integration
  • 3
    Has more than enough languages for any developer
  • 3
    Better autocompletes than Atom
  • 3
    Emmet preinstalled
  • 3
    'batteries included'
  • 3
    More tools to integrate with vs
  • 2
    VS Code Server: Browser version of VS Code
  • 2
    Big extension marketplace
  • 2
    Customizable
  • 2
    Microsoft
  • 2
    Light
  • 2
    Fast and ruby is built right in
  • 2
    CMake support with autocomplete
  • 130
    IOS Development
  • 33
    Personal assistant on steroids
  • 29
    Easy setup
  • 17
    Excellent integration with Clang
  • 3
    Beautiful
  • 1
    Built-in everything

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Cons of Visual Studio Code
Cons of Xcode
  • 46
    Slow startup
  • 29
    Resource hog at times
  • 20
    Poor refactoring
  • 16
    Microsoft
  • 13
    Poor UI Designer
  • 11
    Weak Ui design tools
  • 10
    Poor autocomplete
  • 8
    Super Slow
  • 8
    Microsoft sends telemetry data
  • 7
    Poor in PHP
  • 7
    Huge cpu usage with few installed extension
  • 6
    It's MicroSoft
  • 3
    No built in live Preview
  • 3
    No Built in Browser Preview
  • 3
    Poor in Python
  • 3
    Electron
  • 3
    No color Intergrator
  • 3
    Very basic for java development and buggy at times
  • 2
    Powered by Electron
  • 2
    Bad Plugin Architecture
  • 1
    Terminal does not identify path vars sometimes
  • 1
    Slow C++ Language Server
  • 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 Code?

Build and debug modern web and cloud applications. Code is free and available on your favorite platform - Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows.

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 tools integrate with Visual Studio Code?
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What are some alternatives to Visual Studio Code and Xcode?
Atom
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.
Visual Studio
Visual Studio is a suite of component-based software development tools and other technologies for building powerful, high-performance applications.
Eclipse
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.
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.
WebStorm
WebStorm is a lightweight and intelligent IDE for front-end development and server-side JavaScript.
See all alternatives