Xcode Might Be the Shot in the Arm That iPad Needs


As the iPad has become more powerful than most laptops out there, the gap for first-party professional software on iPadOS has become more evident. As per a new leak, Apple might be working on fixing this by releasing Xcode on the tablet.

Job Prosser, who has a good track record by now with his spot-on leaks for iPhone SE's features and release date, shared this tidbit on Twitter without going into details. He shared that he cannot confirm if Final Cut Pro, Apple's popular video editor, will be coming to the iPad, but he can confirm that Xcode is already working on iOS 14/iPadOS 14. Xcode is Apple's development environment which allows coding apps for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Apple Watch. It is only available on macOS, and its arrival on the iPad would be huge.

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It is not as if there are no professional apps on the iPad. The issue is that there are no first-party complex professional apps from Apple on the iPad. The only app that comes close is Swift Playgrounds which is a tool for users to learn coding, however, it is quite rudimentary. Once Apple creates a professional app like Xcode, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro X, and others will also find their way to the popular tablet. Considering that the iPad has enough horsepower to run such apps, the most interesting thing would be to see how Apple tackles the security and user interface implications for such an app like Xcode.

Xcode needs a flexible layout that developers can setup as they want. Now that iPad supports proper mouse and trackpad input, devs would find it easier to navigate in Xcode using pointer control. Apple would also need to manage its security restrictions on iPad, as current frameworks and APIs in iOS 13 do not allow such an app to exist on the platform. The questions that Apple needs to answer to make Xcode on iPad happen mean that a number of operating system level enhancements will be made, which would be a boon for third-party developers too. It would open the door for apps like Visual Studio and Atom on iPad.

Buzzfeed's Product Marketing Lead Parker Ortolani created some concepts of how he imagines Xcode for iPad might look like, optimized for a touch display and both landscape and portrait layouts.

All of this is just speculation for now. Until more details are shared by Jon Prosser, and the rumors are corroborated by other sources, we will hold back our excitement as we all know that Apple moves at the pace of Titanic, when it comes to introducing features or launching products that users keep asking for.