How to Navigate the Organizer Window for iOS App Development

The Organizer window is helpful because it enables you to do supplemental tasks for your iOS app project. These tasks include things such as accessing documentation and managing devices, archives, and project-related metadata.

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To display the Organizer window, choose Window→Organizer from Xcode’s main menu. The Organizer window includes three individual organizers, which enable you to do the following:

  • Devices organizer: Provision a device, manage your developer profile, install iOS on the device, and manage your app and data on a device.

  • Projects organizer: Lets you locate your projects without having to remember where they are in the file system and offers snapshots — a Save feature that enables you to save different versions of your projects.

  • Archives organizer: Submit your app to the App Store or testers and manage your product archives.

The Projects organizer shows a list of projects at the left. When you select a project, you can see its location on disk, snapshots that you may have taken or that Xcode has taken, and perhaps most importantly, derived data that has been generated by Xcode.

To create a snapshot, choose File→Create Snapshot. To revert to a snapshot, choose File→Restore Snapshot. This will take you back to that version of your project. This provides similar functionality to the Source Control menu that lets you work with Git or Subversion.

Derived data is a feature to remember. Xcode caches some intermediate values during its build process. It actually caches two sets of values. When you make modifications to your project, you can use Product→Clean to remove many of the cached values. (In fact, some developers routinely use the key combinations to Clean and Build their projects all at once. They are Control+Shift+K and Control+B.)

In addition to cleaning your project, you can remove the second cache of values — the derived data. If you make a change to your project and don't see anything different, clean and purge derived data: Often that will do the trick.

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