This is another interesting idea, if only to ask why? A lot of developers have a habit of doing things “because.” It’s not a bad thing, it’s usually out of curiosity or because it’s a fun challenge. Now, I don’t believe this is why we’d get Xcode for iPad, but initially it felt that way.
The obvious question is “Who is this for?” At first I thought it was a silly idea, but after letting that question stew for a while I decided it wouldn’t target Professional Developers, it would target hobbyists.
Imagine if you will an Xcode stripped down to Swift only, hopefully with a new Swift based framework for modern development. Playgrounds would be a bright spot for curious folks. There’s no need to go whole hog with all of Cocoa and Objective-C, give everyone a clean slate environment for the creation of iOS Apps.
If you look at all of Apple’s recent hardware creations they have their own operating systems. Each operating system is honed for the platform and each in the mold of iOS, not the more open OS X model.
If you remove OS X as a development target and only target Arm based architectures the idea of a trimmed down Xcode begins to make a little sense. You should be able to build all targets on an iPad Pro. Keep in mind the A9x performs really well.
I still believe for serious development you’ll need a keyboard and mouse. We will see if Apple ever finds it necessary to create what I’ve dubbed macOS or do developers shoe horn their workflows into a less capable workflow?
According to John Gruber we may find out at WWDC 2016. I hope I will be able to attend.
— John Gruber (@gruber) November 12, 2015