iOS Dev Tools

The greatest iOS development tools, including websites, desktop and mobile apps, and back-end services.
Updated daily by Adam Swinden.

If you have any suggestions for tools that you would like to see added to the list, please let me know by email, Twitter or Facebook.

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New Avocode

A tool for Mac, Windows, and Linux that helps you turn your designs into code. Avocode lets you open and inspect PSD & Sketch designs, before giving you tools to export native code for a variety of platforms including iOS (Swift), web (CSS), Android, and React Native. You can also select any layer and export as a PNG, SVG or JPG up to @4x resolution. Version control keeps track of all your revisions, and collaboration tools such as sync plugins and Slack integration make it easy to share designs with your team.

New Icon Slate

A macOS app for composing, importing and exporting icons in many formats for desktop and mobile. Icon Slate supports multiple icon formats including iOS, Apple Watch, Android, macOS, and more. Once you've imported your icons, you can customise sizes and filenames to use for each format, save format configurations, optimise PNGs, and drag and drop one or several images to compose your icon. You can also preview the icons in various layouts including the iOS home screen and Apple Watch.

New Bluepill

A tool created by the developers at LinkedIn that lets you run iOS tests in parallel using multiple simulators. In its simplest form, Bluepilll will run your tests on 4 simulators in parallel, producing a JUnit report when the test run completes. It will automatically pack tests into groups with similar running time, and can run in headless mode to reduce memory consumption. You can also supply a config JSON file to customise how your tests are run, including options to specify how many simulators to run, which device to use, how to handle failures, output formatting, and more.

New Injection

An Xcode plugin turned standalone app that allows you to inject changes to class method implementations into a running application in the simulator or a macOS app. Injection has been recreated as a standalone app after plugin support was removed from Xcode 8. It works by "swizzling" the new method implementations onto the original class so they take effect immediately without having to relaunch the app. It also includes the Xprobe viewer for browsing an app's memory or creating a memory snapshot that can be exported as a standalone web page for later analysis.

A Nice Red

A super simple website for generating UI colours that complement your brand. A Nice Red lets you simply type in the hex code for your primary brand colour or pick it from the pop-up colour palette, and it will generate three colours that should fit nicely with your brand; a green for success states, a red for errors and an amber for warnings. Clicking a generated colour will copy the hex code ready to be pasted into the Xcode colour picker.

Spine

An animation tool for Mac, Windows and Linux for creating 2D animations for games. Spine lets you create animations using the skeletal or cutout technique where images are attached to animatable bones, giving you much more flexibility and efficiency. Your animations are loaded and rendered in your games using one of several Spine Runtimes. Official runtimes are available for several platforms including Unity and cocos2d, as well as generic runtimes for Objective-C. There are even third party runtimes for SpriteKit.

The iPhreaks Show

A weekly podcast about iOS development and related technology by development veterans. The iPhreaks Show started back in April 2013 and is now approaching 200 episodes. It uses a group discussion format with a handful of regular hosts and a special guest each week to discuss a relevant topic related to iOS, Apple, tools, practices, and code. Episodes are typically around 45 minutes long and have recently covered topics such as React Native, Swift 3 migrations, Xamarin, protocol oriented programming, and more.

Eject

A command line tool for converting Interface Builder files into Swift layout code. Eject aims to help when Interface Builder reaches its limits and starts getting in the way, by providing an easy path to transition to full programatic view layout. It looks through xib files and generates code based on the views and layout constraints it finds, using user labels for variable names. The output should be good quality Swift code ready to be pasted into the loadView method. You can also use Eject for free on the web as it is hosted as a Vapor application.

The Perfect Assistant

A companion Mac application for the Perfect server-side Swift framework. The Perfect Assistant is a set of convenience tools designed to help Server Side Swift developers start, manage, compile, test, and prepare for deployment more easily. You can set up new projects and get access to ready-to-roll project templates; manage dependencies; create simultaneous macOS and Ubuntu builds on your local machine; push projects up to EC2 servers; and it can integrate the Linux build process directly into Xcode.

Bugsee

A free SDK for bug and crash reporting of iOS, Android and the web. Bugsee allows you to report a bug directly from the app by just clicking the screenshot. Reports include video of the last minute, full events log, console logs and network traffic along with all environment details. In the case of a crash, Bugsee will auto report the video leading up to the crash, including the reason, method, and the file and line number that caused the crash. Everything is available to view online with video synchronised with all system events and logs.

Expressions

A super simple app for playing with and testing regular expressions. Expressions is probably the best looking regex app with a beautiful minimalistic UI, fullscreen support, automatic dark and light modes, and an editor that gives you full regex syntax highlighting and a live preview of your expression's results. You can choose between highlighting entire matches or just a single group within your match and easily switch between matched groups with a keyboard shortcut of menubar item.

PlayAlways

A menubar app to quickly create new iOS or macOS Swift playgrounds. With PlayAlways once you've set the path of where you want to save them, you can create iOS, macOS or tvOS playgrounds with a single click or keyboard shortcut. It also includes an Xcode extension that will create a playground from your currently selected Swift code, making it even easier to quickly test an idea in Swift before using it in your apps.

simMagnifier

A mac app that gives you easy access to the latest run apps on your iOS Simulators. simMagnifier lets you explore Core Data content in the Simulator's Documents folders and will try to detect your Core Data configuration automatically. Once loaded you can add new instances, delete or edit current ones, filter entities, explore relationships, and execute fetch requests. It also gives you quick access to important Simulator folders, like Documents, Application Support, App Bundle, and more, and you can check data stored in NSUserDefaults.

Server-Side Swift

A new book that teaches you Swift for the server and web development through real-world projects. Server-Side Swift takes you from beginner to intermediate with IBM's Kitura framework for server-side Swift using 12 practical projects. The course covers everything from sessions, databases, and logging, to templating, user authentication, and more, all in the latest version of Swift. You'll end up with a huge library of finished projects you can develop further or use as the base for something entirely new.

AppCodes

An online ASO tool that helps you check and improve your app's visibility in the App Store. AppCodes gives you up to date rankings for up to 200 App Store search queries to see the effectiveness of your app's keywords. You can also track your competitors including their press mentions and keywords from their App Store descriptions. You also get access to tools that can help you identify new keywords and measure phrase popularity and competitiveness, to improve your ranking with your next app update.

Snowflake

A swift library that adds support for SVG images to iOS and Mac apps. Snowflake supports a number of SVG features including paths, circles, lines, rects, and more, converting each of them into native UIBezierPaths and CALayers. As with SVGs, the loaded shape data is infinitely scalable without losing detail making it perfect for resolution independent in app graphics. The great thing about using CALayers is that you can add animations to any SVG element to bring your images to life.

FBSimulatorControl

A Mac OS X library for managing, booting and interacting with multiple iOS Simulators simultaneously. FBSimulatorControl is built by the engineers at Facebook and can simultaneously launch iPhone, iPad, watchOS and tvOS simulators, making if perfect for running end-to-end tests. It can boot Simulators via Xcode's Simulator.app or by launching directly with CoreSimulator. Direct launch supports video recording and fetching screenshots and crashlogs.

Sourcery

A tool that helps you avoid repeating yourself with duplicate code for common iOS development tasks. Sourcery scans your source code, applies your personal templates and generates Swift code for you, allowing you to use meta-programming techniques to save time and decrease potential mistakes. It saves you time and errors for tasks such as adding NSCoding support, JSON serialisation, or adding Equatable or Hashable conformance. It also features built-in daemon support, allowing you to write your templates in real-time side-by-side with generated code for immediate feedback.

needless

A simple command line tool that can help you write better, more concise Swift APIs by removing needless words from function names. needless can process text from STDIN or files specified in a list of paths and will attempt to apply the Swift API Design Guidelines by printing out function names with needless words such as repeated type information and will even suggest an alternative. You can also add it as an Xcode build phase that will generate warnings to highlight wordy functions in the source files.

Refactorator App

The app version of the Refactorator Xcode plugin for refactoring Swift. Now that Xcode 8 has removed plugin support, Refactorator App supplies the same renaming functionality in a standalone app. In addition to being able to rename public or internal vars, functions, enums etc it can now also generate a complete standalone static website of navigable code from your Xcode project with linked entities between files.

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