iOS Dev Tools

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

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Graphics & Animation
screenshot of CPPlay

CPPlay

A C++ interpreter with OpenGL and OpenAL integration. CPPlay brings a Playgrounds style REPL to C++ with an editor that lets you see the results of your code as you write. CPPlay is built on top of LLVM and Clang making its JIT compiler very fast – code you write with CPPlay executes at near native speed, and the native code you call executes at exactly native speed. It integrates with OpenGL and OpenAL so you can import assets such as images and use GLSL shaders to quickly test out your graphics and animation ideas. […]

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Graphics & Animation
screenshot of TilemapKit

TilemapKit

A tilemap game development framework that natively supports all of Tiled Map Editor√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s map types, settings and features. TilemapKit reads and writes TMX files, does all the nitty-gritty math for you, and then offers advanced features such as creating grids for pathfinding, flexible tile animations, normal-mapped lighting support and an optimized, multi-threaded renderer. TilemapKit is a source code product compatible with SpriteKit, Cocos2D and custom Objective-C engines, and it will soon be available for Cocos2D-X/C++ engines. […]

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Graphics & Animation
screenshot of Codea

Codea

An app that lets you create games and simulations on your iPad using Lua. Codea is a great app for learning about building games, quickly testing out a new graphics idea, or just having fun. It comes with a complete code editor with intelligent syntax highlighting and auto-completion, and visual elements for setting colours, images and sounds. You can use the full physics engine, a fully featured 2D and 3D renderer, and live GLSL shader editor to make your games before running them live on the device. You can even export your finished projects to Xcode to produce real iOS apps. […]

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Graphics & Animation
screenshot of Core Animator

Core Animator

A new OS X app that allows you to visually create animations for iOS and Mac apps and export them to Objective-C or Swift code. Core Animator provides powerful key framing options to enable you to make specific property changes over time. Easing splines appear between keys so that you can visually see the animation ease path at a glance. As the name suggests, it creates animations using the Core Animation framework so requires no third-party dependencies. Best of all, Core Animator is currently on launch sale at 20% off. […]

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Graphics & Animation
screenshot of AsyncDisplayKit

AsyncDisplayKit

An iOS framework from the developers at Facebook that aims to keep complex user interfaces smooth and responsive. It’s built to go hand-in-hand with Pop’s physics-based animations, but also works with conventional app designs and UIKit Dynamics. The framework centres around AsyncDisplayKit Nodes that provide a thread-safe abstraction layer over UIViews and CALayers. You can construct entire node hierarchies in parallel, or instantiate and size a single node on a background thread. Comes with drop-in replacements for UIImageView, UITextView and UITableView. […]

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Graphics & Animation
screenshot of QuartzCode

QuartzCode

A powerful Mac app that turns vector drawings and animations into Objective-C Core Animation code. With QuartzCode you can create shapes using the vector drawing tools provided or import existing assets from SVG or images. You can then apply animations to layers using more than 25 animation keypaths and edit the animations in real-time. Animations can be combined or sequenced and you can choose between linear timing functions, ease in, ease out or create custom timing functions using a graph to create dynamic feeling animations. iOS or OSX Objective C code is generated in real time while you make your changes ready to be pasted into Xcode. QuartzCode is a great tool for learning and mastering Core Animation. […]

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Graphics & Animation
screenshot of Avocado

Avocado

An open source interaction design toolbox for Quartz Composer built on top of Facebook’s Origami framework. Avocado provides ready-to-use patches that can be easily combined to create fully-customized interactive prototypes without writing a line of code. While Origami provides some much-needed low-level functionalities (for instance, a Color Transition, a Switch, and so on), Avocado provides ready-to-use interaction models and animations. Examples include: Carousel – creates a swipeable carousel of images; Bistable – makes an element snap to two positions; Flip – creates a card that can be flipped back and forth; and iOS Keyboard – provides an interactive keyboard. […]

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Graphics & Animation
screenshot of Schwartz

Schwartz

A “shell” for the Quartz 2D graphics programming API. You can use Schwartz as a sandbox in which to explore and learn Apple’s graphics APIs using the Python programming language. Your Python scripts have access to the Quartz 2D graphics API. Drawing performed in Python is rendered in the Canvas area on the right. An integrated Python debugger allows you to set breakpoints and step through your graphics code for improved learning and debugging. Schwartz also features full syntax highlighting, code auto-completion with fuzzy matching, and tabs for writing your scripts; project-wide search and replace using regular expressions; and an integrated documentation browser. […]

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Graphics & Animation
screenshot of tPacker

tPacker

An online texture generator for creating sprite sheets, texture maps and icons. tPacker is free to get started (there is a monthly subscription to unlock all features) and is compatible with many popular games engines including Unity and Cocos2d. It supports creating texture maps from images and animation sprite sheets from individual frames including previewing the animation before exporting. It also offers generation of icons for both Android and iOS in all sizes. […]

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Graphics & Animation
screenshot of Flux

Flux

An OS X app for visually creating animations & transitions for iOS. With Flux you can drag layers onto a document and set their size, colour and position then add multiple animations in the timeline editor to affect the scale, rotation and position over time. A timeline slider allows you to scrub over the timeline to show a preview of your animation as it will appear on the device. Once you are happy with the animation, Flux will generate all the Objective-C ready for Xcode. […]

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