I started working in my spare time a week or so ago on building my first iPod/iPhone app using Apples Xcode and App Builder tools, and right off the bat I noticed something unique about these applications; they are intuitive and well developed. The interface for both applications is clean, and uncluttered, cut down to a very minimalistic view of what is important. This is a big departure from many of the applications I use on a daily basis on my PC; both at work and at home.
Apple seems to have put a lot of time and thought into the refinement of both of these tools over the years, and after the work that I have done, it appears to have paid off. Granted, all I have accomplished so far is very simplistic tutorial oriented work to get me into a new language and development application, but I was off and running very quickly, something I distinctly remember not being the case when I first dove into Flash, and to some extent, Dreamweaver.
It makes me wonder if there is some equivalent on the Windows side that I am unaware of. I mean, I have used Visual Studio, Visual Studio Express, and Blend and they are nowhere near as refined as Xcode. Blend has some very nice features, some in fact that I wish Flash had, but overall all of these tools have one thing in common; inconsistent quality.
Anyway, I really can’t prattle on too much more about how great the Apple Developer Tools are since I have probably only spent about 20 hours or so in them, but I am really impressed so far – and it makes me eager to spend more time developing apps for the various Apple platforms.