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What’s new in Xcode 13

Published at 17:00 GMT, 10 Jun 2021
Written by: Sean Allen

Let’s take a look at some of the key features that are new in Xcode 13. As with every major release of Xcode, there’s a ton of new stuff. If you want to really dive in, then check out the full Xcode 13 Beta Release Notes.


Xcode 13 has an updated project navigator design that includes icons for different file types. File extension names are now hidden by default for a much cleaner look and feel. Of course, you can choose to show them if you wish.

Autocompletion improvements

Autocompletion has been improved in key areas, such as filling in cases within switch statements, unwrapping optionals, and within for loops. Xcode 13 even automatically imports the proper framework if you forget to. For example, if you try to create a SwiftUI view but haven't imported SwiftUI yet, then Xcode 13 will insert the required import statement for you.

Column breakpoints

Xcode 13 enables you to place column breakpoints, which is great for when functions are chained together, such as when using higher order functions or Combine. Now you can set a breakpoint before a certain part of that chain to debug it.

VIM keybindings

You can now enable VIM-style keybindings in Xcode 13.

Xcode Cloud

Xcode Cloud is a great addition for collaborative teams that allows cointinuous integration and delivery, parallel testing across multiple device types, and to automatic push your app to TestFlight to easily get your latest build to your testers.


The Documentation Compiler (DocC) is a great new way to improve the user experience of your codebase or library. DocC enables you to create documentation, articles and interactive tutorials for your codebase that integrates with Apple’s existing documentaiton viewer.


Xcode 13 has a lot of quality of life upgrades with its autocompletion improvements, VIM keybindings, column breakpoints, error minimization, and more. It has also received some pretty big additions in the form of Xcode Cloud and the Documentation Compiler (DocC) that are sure to be great additions for many teams.

What do you think? What are some of your favorite features in Xcode 13? Let me know on Twitter @seanallen_dev.

Written by: Sean Allen

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