Working on a project this morning in the Tradebox office between all of us, we came across a little problem – the lack of Xcode in The Cloud. Collaborations between multiple people in one office is a common thing in all sectors, and generally there is a tool available to make this as easy as possible. If you need to work on a document, a spreadsheet or a presentation then you have Google Drive, Office 365 etc, but what about building, testing and running apps? As far as we knew, there was no online tool readily available to help people work together on a single project, so we had a look to see what we could find.
We found a healthy collection of HTML cloud based editors around, things like Beanstalk App which looks like a great service with a a lot of incredibly useful tools, which could be used for some of the HTML5 aspects of application development, it doesn’t really look like a solution for app developers.
There is of course GitHub which is brilliant for finding people to work with you on your code. Private plans are available from $7 a month which make your code only available to people you want to have access to it, but there is no emulator with Github which didn’t solve our problem of wanting to edit and launch the apps directly from a cloud solution.
While we couldn’t find any emulators that would let you see apps that had been edited launch on the cloud, we did have the idea of working with an age old collaboration solution – Teamviewer. By granting access to everyone onto a single computer so that everyone could edit the code and then launch it to see it work would almost be a workaround. The problem with this is it lacks things you expect from cloud collaboration tools like tracking who-edited-what.
As far as I could find there is no solution to working with Xcode in the cloud fully. This could be something that Apple should consider soon, following in the footsteps of Adobe with their Creative Cloud service. Adobe moved their entire range of ,traditionally quite prohibitively expensive, creative software onto the cloud for a monthly fee quite recently. Everything is steadily switching across to cloud based solutions so I can only assume it’s going to come eventually, but right now we, for one, are missing out on the service.