If you want to develop iOS apps using a non-Apple personal computer or create cross-platform apps that do not only run on iOS but also Android and other operating systems, LiveCode and Xojo are indeed great choices. Right now, LiveCode and Xojo are among the most popular programming tools used by developers to make iOS apps. Well, these two programming environments are not as well-known as Xcode, but this is not because they are bad. This is simply because Xcode came from Apple itself. LiveCode and Xojo, on the other hand, came from independent companies. So, what do LiveCode and Xojo offer? How do they compare to each other?
Why Use LiveCode/Xojo
Of course, Xcode offers great advantages if you want to develop apps and programs only for Apple’s platforms (macOS, iOS, tvOS, watchOS). However, it does not have the necessary features to develop cross-platform apps and programs. In other words, if you want to make something that can run on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS, you need a different programming tool. (Read also : LiveCode vs Xcode)
This is where LiveCode and Xojo shine. With their features, you can create cross-platform apps programs easily. However, even though they are available in free versions, you will need to buy a license in order to be able to compile. LiveCode has supported iOS for quite a long time and does not add any additional fee; meanwhile, Xojo has just recently supported iOS and you may need to pay an extra fee for the iOS support.
Comparing LiveCode and Xojo
LiveCode uses a particular programming language called Transcript. An experienced developer may find this language difficult to understand because it is quite different from common programming languages. However, a complete beginner may actually find it easy to learn because the syntax is relatively simple. Xojo, on the other hand, uses a proprietary object-oriented BASIC dialect. If you know some Visual Basic, you will find that Xojo is very easy to use.
Even though we said that both LiveCode and Xojo are the options for cross-platform projects, there is still a crucial difference between the two. LiveCode can create apps and programs for Android. Meanwhile, so far, Xojo does not support Android.
Finally, even though both support iOS, they don’t come with similar features. LiveCode has supported iOS for a longer time, so it is not a surprise that the tool has more iOS features, such as date picker, busy indicator, notifications, location tracking, photo library access, file sharing, vibration, and sensor reading. Xojo currently has very limited iOS features.
|- Uses the Transcript programming language||- Uses a proprietary object-oriented BASIC dialect|
|- Can make Android apps||- No Android support|
|- Great iOS features||- Very limited iOS features|
|- Does not add an additional fee for iOS support||- May charge an additional fee for iOS support|
In general, the reason to choose Xojo is because its programming language is more familiar – it is similar to Visual Basic. That is one reason why many experienced developers stick with Xojo. The lack of Android support and many iOS features is not an issue if those two platforms are not your focus. On the other hand, LiveCode may take some time to learn. But LiveCode should be your choice if you want to develop apps for Android and iOS.