At its last WWDC, Apple announced Xcode Cloud, its continuous integration and delivery service (CI/CD) for building apps for all of its platforms into beta. While the company opened up the service to more developers over the course of the last year, Xcode Cloud remained in beta. Now, at this year's WWDC, Apple is taking the beta label off the service and making it generally available to all developers.
The idea behind the Git-based Xcode Cloud is to give developers in the Apple ecosystem a bespoke CI/CD solution that is tightly integrated with the rest of Apple's ecosystem of developer tools. The service is built right into the Xcode IDE, for example, but also features integrations with TestFlight and App Store Connect, as well as XCTest for creating unit and UI tests. It also integrates with the major Git repositories like GitHub, GitLab and Bitbucket.
Image Credits: Apple
Now that the service is out of beta, Apple will offer all developers 25 free hours of usage per month through December 2023. After that, developers will have to pay $14.99 per month for 25 hours, with other plans ranging between $44.99/month for 100 hours and $399.99/month for 1,000 hours.
While developers have a lot of choice when it comes to CI/CD tools. Using these tools, developers are able to automate much of the process of building, testing and deploying code changes. There are not a lot of these tools that specifically focus on the Apple ecosystem since most of them don't focus on the enterprise market, though services like Semaphore, Codemagic and others do offer iOS-specific features, for example. Xcode Cloud, however, offers developers a single tool that can target all Apple platforms.