My Development Toolbox (2022 Edition)

In 2018, I wrote about My Development Toolbox. I thought I would revisit the subject and write an updated post.

These are tools that I use daily. Some of these have changed since 2018, but many remain the same.


Xcode is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) developed by Apple. Xcode is used to build macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS apps.

Xcode was on my list in 2018 and I still use Xcode every day. Xcode is the workhorse for iOS developers. AppCode is an alternative, but I’m not aware of (m)any others.

In the evenings, I have been tinkering with Swift Playgrounds on my Mac and iPad. But this tinkering is on small projects. Our project at work is probably too large and complicated for Playgrounds.

I would like to give AppCode another shot. If only just to try something new. But for the time being, Xcode is my primary development tool.

Xcode is available on the Mac App Store for free.


Tower is a user-friendly Git client.

I’ve tried a few other Git clients since my 2018 post, but I keep coming back to Tower. Tower just works how I want a Git client to work. It’s the best I’ve seen of existing Git clients.

I would love to see Leitmotif GmbH, maintainers of Versions, and Kaleidoscope make a Git client.

Tower is available through their site for $69 (USD) a year.


Kaleidoscope is a file comparison and merge tool.

Kaleidoscope is new to the list, but I’ve been using it for years. It has helped me with countless Git merge conflicts.

Kaleidoscope can handle more than merge conflicts, it can also compare and merge (text and image) files and folders. But I use it for dealing with Git merge conflicts.

Kaleidoscope (the app) has been moved around a bit over the years. It was originally developed by Sofa, then acquired by Black Pixel, and is now maintained by Leitmotif GmbH.

Kaleidoscope is available through their site for $149.99 (USD).

Dash (with Alfred 5 integration)

Dash is an API documentation browser. Xcode has a documentation browser built in and it’s fine. Dash allows you to install more API dockets than just the Apple-provided ones.

Dash (and Alfred) were on my 2018 list. I still use Dash with the Alfred integration. This integration makes searching for API classes and elements incredibly simple. Just trigger Alfred (I use command + space), type dash {search term}, press enter, and Dash will search for the term.

Dash is available through their site for $29.99 (USD) Alfred 5 is available through their site for free. The Alfred Powerpack is available through the site for £34 (GBP).


Reveal is an app I use to inspect an application’s user interfaces at runtime.

Reveal is another tool I’ve used for years but was not on my 2018 list.

Xcode has something like Reveal built into Xcode via the Debug View Hierarchy button. But it’s not great. Reveal is so much better.

Reveal also has a new(ish) suite of Accessibility (A11y) Workspace. I did a lot of A11y work over the Summer and have grown to appreciate these tools.

Reveal is available through their site for $59 (USD) a year.

What’s Missing?

I did not include a note-taking app or text editor. I use both of those classes of apps every day. However, I’m currently testing out new apps for both and maybe switching.

I’ll list what I’m currently using in both categories below.

Note-Taking App

Right now I’m in between Craft and Obsidian. I’m not a big fan of Apple’s Notes app.

In the past, I’ve used Bear, Agenda, and UpNote. All of these apps are great apps. I always seem to be in search of the perfect note-taking app. I’m not sure I’ve found it yet.

I’ve been using Craft for about a year as my personal note-taking app. At work, I’ve been using Obsidian.

Craft has a beautiful interface. I think that’s what originally got me into the app. Every paragraph in Craft is a block, and I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. I do know that I hate trying to copy/paste something quickly on my iPhone in Craft. It takes more steps than I feel it should.

Obsidian is more utilitarian in design. It doesn’t have a beautiful interface. But it’s got tons and tons of plugins. I’ve been able to simplify a ton of my note-taking needs with plugins.

Craft is available on the Mac App Store for free. Craft has in-app purchases.

Obsidian is available through their site for free.

Text Editor

As far as text editors go, I’m currently in between BBEdit and Nova. Both are excellent text editors.

I’ve been using BBEdit since the 90s on Classic Mac OS. The first copy I bought was in an actual box. BBEdit is like an old friend. I love using it.

Nova is the new hotness though. It looks great. It has some features that BBEdit doesn’t have. I do feel like the development of BBEdit slowed down in recent years and I wanted to try out something new.

I would be happy with either of these text editors. I just haven’t decided which one I want to use as my primary text editor yet.

BBEdit is available through their site for $49.99 (USD).

Nova is available through their site for $99.99 (USD).

Supporting Developers

I still believe in supporting developers. There are plenty of free alternatives for most of these apps. But the developers listed above have made some amazing apps. If you like their work, please support them.

In my 2018 post, I mentioned that I planned on posting about my work area/desk setup. I still plan on doing that, I just haven’t yet, but someday soon™.