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Apple on Wednesday released Xcode 4, the latest version of its IDE for iOS and Mac OS X. The new release, in beta for nearly a year, combines several previously separate development tools into a single window interface. It also leverages new underlying tools such as the latest LLVM compiler and LLDB debugger and offers several time-saving features like automatic code checking. And while Xcode remains free to registered developers, Apple is now making Xcode available to any Mac OS X user via the Mac App Store for $4.99.
Apple's developer tools used to consist of two separate applications—Interface Builder for designing user interfaces, and Xcode for writing, debugging, and compiling code. With Xcode 4, Apple has essentially integrated Interface Builder into Xcode itself. Along with the integration, Apple has morphed Xcode into a single window app, using tabs to switch between design, code, and debugging views. Separate panes allow access to various source files, error logs, code templates, interface objects, and other media.