Setting up the iOS development environment

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This tutorial explains the steps a developer needs to follow in order to develop and test iOS applications. These steps include registering at Apple Developer and installing Xcode.

Support level

  • Xcode 7.1 and later
  • iOS 8 and later

Prerequisite: As you setup your iOS development environment, make sure to also read the Setting up the Mobile Foundation development environment tutorial.


  1. Register as an iOS developer
  2. Inside the Member Center > Programs & Add-ons section register for the appropriate program for your organization

To learn more, visit the Apple Developer support website


To develop either Cordova or Native iOS applications, a Mac workstation needs to be used with Xcode installed.

Xcode provides with it the tools and APIs required to develop applications for the iOS platform, using either Objective-C or Swift programming languages.</p>

xcode IDE

Xcode is an IDE which you can use to:

  • Manage your test devices
  • Use the iOS simulator
  • Install apps on iOS devices
  • Develop, debug, test performance, and more

To learn more, visit the iOS Developer Library website

iOS Simulator

Xcode provides an iOS Simulator to test your application. For a detailed explanation of all available options, see the About Simulator documentation topic in the Apple Developers website.

What’s Next

Now that the MobileFirst and iOS development environment are set up, continue to Quick Start category to experience Mobile Foundation, or to All Tutorials to learn specific aspects of Mobile Foundation development.

Inclusive terminology note: The Mobile First Platform team is making changes to support the IBM® initiative to replace racially biased and other discriminatory language in our code and content with more inclusive language. While IBM values the use of inclusive language, terms that are outside of IBM's direct influence are sometimes required for the sake of maintaining user understanding. As other industry leaders join IBM in embracing the use of inclusive language, IBM will continue to update the documentation to reflect those changes.
Last modified on January 16, 2017