Apple’s continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) service, Xcode Cloud, out of beta and will now be available to all developers, the company announced at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Monday. Xcode Cloud is available in Xcode version 13.4.1 and in the beta version of Xcode version 14.
Xcode Cloud was first announced at WWDC in June 2021. Since then, Apple has slowly rolled it out to more developers. But now anyone can join. The service is available in several paid plans, but the cheapest – 25 hours at $14.99 per month – will be free until December 2023. More robust plans include 100 hours for $44.99 per month, 250 hours for $99.99 per month, and 1,000 hours for $399.99 per month.
It’s by no means the only CI/CD solution for Apple platform developers on the market, but it promises to offer deeper and easier integration with Apple’s existing developer tools. It is integrated with Xcode, the integrated development environment for creating applications for iPhone, iPad and Mac. It works directly with TestFlight (which allows developers to distribute their apps to users for testing before release), App Store Connect, and more.
The Git-based service is also compatible with common code repositories such as GitHub and GitLab. But, Xcode Cloud is specific to Apple platforms.
Very useful for devs
If you’re not a developer, it’s not very relevant to you. CI/CD facilitates reliable processes for deploying frequent, incremental code changes from developers’ local machines to production, including various stages such as automated testing. This is to ensure quality (i.e. avoid bugs, conflicts, and other failures) when multiple contributors make iterative changes to a project.
But if you’re a developer working within Apple’s ecosystem, Xcode Cloud’s tight integration may be easier for you than other solutions.