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.

Sponsor

Most developers debug their apps from logs generated by the application. If you've ever received bug or issue reports from users, you'll know they can be hard to replicate.

Bugfender is the simplest way to collect your app's usage data from real users on real devices. It's easy-to-use SDK can be setup in under 60 seconds, which sends logs to our online storage service. You can filter through logs, devices and even individual users to help identify issues, fix bugs and provide even better customer support.

Sponsor iOS Dev Tools.

Sort by Category

Sorted by Date

New Bugfender

A remote logger for iOS and Android apps. Bugfender stores logs created by your app and sends them to their server, which you can then view in real time on the online console. You can set tags and levels for each line logged to later search and filter entries within the log viewer, and you can get information about the device for each logging session and review OS versions and device features. You can get started for free with unlimited app installs, app users and sessions, or sign up to a paid plan to remove logging restrictions.

New Swiftify

An online tool for automatically converting Objective-C to Swift. Swiftify can convert everything from a small code snippet to an entire project, and supports most of the main features of both languages. They've also recently created an Xcode extension available on the Mac App Store that lets you convert Objective-C to Swift without even leaving Xcode. The generated code might not be guaranteed to be perfect but it could save you a lot of time when converting your projects. You can use the tool online for free with a few restrictions or pay an monthly or annual fee to unlock all the features.

New LottieFiles

An online collection of free, high quality animation files for the Lottie animation framework. LottieFiles lets designers and animators share their animations created in Adobe After Effects for developers you use in their iOS and Android apps. All animations can be previewed on the site before downloading the JSON file ready to be used by Lottie. Some are also supplied with the original AEP file so you tweak the animation and re-export for the exact effect you're looking for.

New Lottie

A library for iOS and Android from the developers at Airbnb that parses Adobe After Effects animations and renders the vector animations natively on mobile. Lottie can handle animations exported as JSON using the bodymovin plugin and as the animations are backed by JSON they can be complex without being huge in size. Best of all, as the animations are rendered as vectors they can be resized, looped, sped up, slowed down, and even interactively scrubbed without any loss in quality.

Kite Compositor

A powerful animation and prototyping application for Mac & iOS. Kite Compositor provides a full suite of powerful tools that let you build complex interfaces on a WYSIWYG canvas. You can create elaborate animations using the integrated smart timeline which allows you to drag and edit animation durations, keyframes and curves. You can also import your designs from Sketch as native Kite layers, and preview your designs on iOS with the companion app. They're even working on a KiteKit framework to embed and play .kite documents right from within your own iOS or macOS apps!

Expo

A mobile app development tool built on React Native that enables you to build and deploy native iOS and Android applications using JavaScript. According to the creators, Expo is to React Native as Rails is to Ruby. Writing an Expo app is like writing a React Native app, except you never need to open Xcode or Android Studio, or write any native code. The Expo SDK provides access to system functionality such as contacts, camera and social login. It also provides UI components to handle a variety of use-cases that are not part React Native core including icons, an image lightbox, a loading overlay and more.

BuildTry

A simple online over-the-air app distribution service. BuildTry provides a super simple free alternative to the more complex distribution services such as TestFlight, Crashlytics, HockeyApp, etc. No need to manage user groups, or wait for processing, you just upload your IPA or APK and it gives you a link to share with your testers. Links expire after 15 days and allow 25 installations per app, and uploaded apps must be under 400MB.

Textpuff

A simple widget that helps convert your website visitors into App Store downloads. Textpuff lets your website visitors text themselves a smart download link from your website. Clicking the link takes them to either the App Store or Google Play Store based on the device they are using. From the TextPuff dashboard, you can track how many website visitors converted to app downloads, from where and how many times the links that are sent are clicked.

appure

An online service for generating customised, annotated and localised screenshots for the App Store and Play Store. appure lets you select your platform, add multiple screens, choose between 16 built-in fonts, customise shadows, device position and more. You can also add custom fonts to style your annotations for unique looking screenshots, and configure your annotations in 28 available languages. Once finished, you can export your screenshots in the right format ready to be uploaded straight to iTunes Connect.

Auto Layout for Sketch

A Sketch plugin that lets you define layout constraints similar to Auto Layout on iOS helping you design interfaces for all device sizes. Auto Layout for Sketch uses simple pins to anchor elements to a edge or centre, or more advanced constraints that allow your designs to adapt to size changes in your artboards. Once your constraints are defined you can quickly create previews at a number of different standard screen sizes for most major platforms including iOS, Apple Watch, Android, Windows Phone 8, and more.

AppSight

A online service that lets you search for SDKs and third party code used by popular apps on the App Store. AppSight lets you pick an app and view all the SDKs used to create it, along with some additional details such as device requirements, requested permissions, URL schemes, and version history. You can also view the data the other way by picking an SDK and viewing a list of the apps that currently use it, along with related SDKs and quick links to the code on Cocoapods, GitHub, Twitter, etc.

Apple UI Design Resources

The definitive iOS design resources created by the designers at Apple. The Apple UI Design Resources include Photoshop and Sketch templates, and other UI materials for quickly designing iOS apps. They include templates and guides, colour palettes, and the official San Francisco typeface. The included icon and glyph production files have even been preconfigured to automate asset production using Sketch slices or Adobe Generator for Photoshop CC.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Next