App Launch Guide

A free and open source guide to launching an app. The App Launch Guide covers everything you need to know from planning, pre-launch, marketing, and product development to QA and launch. It aims to combine the concrete product development schedule with an equally concrete marketing schedule into a single timeline, so that you can plan for both the marketing and product cycle in tandem. The complete guide is open source on GitHub to the author is also accepting contributions if you have something to add.


A review trading service that helps you get more genuine, quality reviews for your apps on the App Store. With ReviewsMotion, you earn points for every app you rate, which will allow you to receive reviews for your own apps. In order to register a review properly, you have to take a screenshot of it and upload it onto the platform. Once uploaded, you will receive 1 point. When someone reviews one of your apps, you lose one point. In other words, for each app you rate from other users, you will get one review for yours. Simple.


A useful utility that helps you get insight from your users' App Store reviews. CrowdChunk scores apps by what reviewers actually have to say. They've processed every English language app review ever submitted to the Google Play and iOS App stores and given scores based on the positivity and negativity expressed by reviewers about several key qualities such as performance and value. CrowdChunk also lets you view your app's score over time to find trends in your customers' opinions.

A huge list of contact details for the places where you might be able to get press coverage for your app. lists over 300 different publications and websites, each with a link to their main website, twitter username, follower count and Alexa rank. Many of the publications also include a direct link to their submit pages and are tagged by category, region and platform. Contacting any of the sites listed doesn't guarantee press coverage but this list may be a good place to start if you are looking to generate a bit of buzz.


A site for creating great looking landing pages for your apps for free. All AppLandr requires is your App Store URL and it will automatically take all the data it needs directly from the App Store, so your page will always be up to date. The generated pages look really professional and include everything you would want on a marketing page including big screenshots, price, app description, ratings and links your your other apps. You might not want to use AppLandr as your permanent marketing site, but it's a great option to get something up really quickly.


An OS X app for creating cleaned up Apple Watch screenshots. WatchScreenshotMagic lets you quickly generate perfect App Store ready Apple Watch screenshots by just dragging and dropping a screenshot from the 42mm simulator. It will automatically remove the charging indicator from the status bar and change the clock to read 10:09. If you provide it with a Glance or Notification screenshot it will cleverly use a colour mask on black content to overlay the screenshot on the blurred watch face.


An app for OS X that provides a widget that displays your iTunes Connect download figures right in Notification Centre. DailySales works locally and downloads your download figures to your Mac directly with no third-party servers involved. DailySales makes use of the official API that Apple provides for iTunes Connect. The DailySales widget can be customised in many ways including sorting by units, proceeds or percent change, changing the colouring, and hiding less important products.

App Store Review Guidelines History

With all the recent stories of apps being removed from the App Store, rejected and then allowed back in, it's difficult to keep track of what is allowed in and what's not. App Store Review Guidelines History is a site that keeps track of all the changes made to Apple's App Store Review Guidelines. Currently, the history goes back as far as March 30, 2014 with each update made to the guidelines highlighted green for additions and red for deletions. You can also sign up to receive an email whenever they make an update.

Top Hat

A simple new OS X menubar app from Supertop that gives you quick access to your App Store sales figures. Top Hat shows up-to-date daily sales figures for your apps. Revenue from In-App Purchases is aggregated to give you a single total for each app, with weekly figures available by holding ⌥ as you click the Top Hat icon. Top Hat is brilliantly simplistic and is certainly the fastest way of checking how much money your app is making.

Docracy Mobile Privacy Policy

An open source, standardised privacy policy for mobile app developers to use and customise. If your app is for children, offers user registration or a keyboard extension, or uses HealthKit, HomeKit or Apple Pay you are now required to provide a privacy policy, and it's recommended for everyone else. Docracy's Mobile Privacy Policy is provided by experts as a a good starting point for many common app types that you can customise for your app. Docracy can also host your completed privacy policy and provide you with a mobile URL to include in your App Store details.


A drop in replacement for UIWindow that adds circular views to the screen as visual representations of all touch events. SmudgeKit is ideal for creating app preview videos or screenshots so that viewers can see exactly where touch events are happening. There is practically no implementation needed to use SmudgeKit - you just need to replace your root UIWindow with SmudgyWindow. If necessary you can also change the appearance by editing the SmudgeLayer implementation.


A command utility to quickly add device frames around your iOS screenshots. You just have to navigate to your folder of screenshots and run 'frameit' to add a perfect device frame to every screenshot in the folder. FrameIt currently supports iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s and iPad Air in portrait and landscape for both black and silver devices. There are also couple of other setup steps you need to take to download the device images from Apple as they are not pre-packaged for legal reasons, but the steps are simple and only need to be done once.


A command line utility that dramatically speeds up the process of creating localised App Store screenshots. Snapshot lets you create hundreds of screenshots in multiple languages on all simulators. To configure which screenshots to include just profile the app with the Automation Instrument. From then on you can run 'snapshot' from the command line to recreate all your screenshots in all supported languages. Snapshot even automatically waits for network requests to be finished before taking a screenshot and generates a web page, which shows a preview of all screenshots on all devices.


A website that lets you create an alternative landing page for your iPhone app using the info you've already submitted to the App Store. Just paste in your App Store URL and a page will be created with you app icon, description, screenshots and average rating. You can then either copy a shareable URL or fork the page on GitHub ready to host on or your own domain. The page even includes a Smart App Banner when displayed in Safari on iOS. If you are yet to release the app to the App Store, the creator has provided instructions and scripts to get the data from iTunes Connect.

TechSmith AppShow

A Mac app that helps you create app preview videos, tutorials, and explainer videos for your app. AppShow works in the same way as QuickTime for creating app previews - you just need to connect your device to your Mac, but AppShow makes the process of creating a professional looking video much easier by breaking a complex process into bite-size pieces. You can choose a template that fits your app, record into each segment, and you’ve got an amazing App Preview video. AppShow can also add music, transitions, and touch events. AppShow is currently in beta but most of the features are already working.

Review Kit

An iPhone app to monitor reviews and ratings for iOS and OS X apps, iBooks and podcasts on the iTunes Stores from all countries. Review Kit is free to download but a monthly subscription is required for most features including saving favourite apps, viewing all available reviews from iTunes, background review refreshes with alerts, filtering by rating, translating reviews and more.


An app review exchange service where developers can get free and unlimited reviews for their apps. SmoothReviews supports free and paid apps, and you can get started with up to 2 apps for free. Once you've signed up, visit SmoothReviews on your iOS device and start reviewing the apps shown. For each review, you earn a point. Your app will then show up for another developer to review, and you'll have spent the point.


A marketing tool that helps you find out where your users are coming from. Tapstream provides a drop-in SDK that allows you to track which clicks or impressions were responsible for app installs, app engagement and even in-app purchases. You can also use Onboarding Links to reduce your app abandonment rate by enabling the app to respond differently to users from different channels.


A Mac app for managaing your apps in iTunes Connect. iTunes Connect is pretty terrible - it requires multiple page loads to update the data you want and often fails causing you to lose your udpates. Jack is a native app that allows you to edit your description, drag and drop screenshots, and add a price changes in a much better interface than iTunes Connect. Also, it uses the iTunes Connect Transporter command line tool to communicate with iTunes Connect so doesn't use any unreliable site scraping and seems to be pretty stable.

App Store Description Previewer

A simple but really handy utility from Bjango that lets you preview how your App Store description will be truncated on the iPhone and iPad App Stores. It's useful to know how your description will appear on iOS so you can make sure potential users get everything they need to know about your app without having to tap the "more" link.


A super simple menu bar app for creating quick screencasts. You just select the area of the screen you want to record then capture up to 5 minutes. Once finished the screencast is automatically uploaded to Recordit and a URL is copied to the clipboard. You can also create animated GIF versions of your screencast - great for creating quick demo promo videos for your app.


A service that helps your free app get more reviews in the App Store. AppReviewMe works using a karma system where to get reviews for you app you have to earn karma points. To earn karma points you review other developers apps. Therefore, the developers that give the most back to other developers receive the most reviews. It's a simple system but should be a better way of getting more honest reviews that bugging your users in the app.


A free service that helps you get your app noticed in the App Store. MobileDevHQ will monitor the App Store Top Charts and search rankings and send you daily email reports with your app's progress against competitors you choose. The paid plans extend this by including keyword suggestions to help your ranking. The MobileDevHQ blog is also worth checking out as they regularly post good App Store optimisation advice.


Turns your computer into a AirPlay receiver so you can wirelessly mirror your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch screen to any Mac or PC. Reflector allows you to make recordings of your iOS device including realistic looking frames so it's great for making walkthroughs of demo videos for your apps. It also lets you mirror multiple devices at once or add password protection to limit access.


A service that helps you create attractive product screenshots in realistic environments. You can choose from over 200 "stages" that cover a range of different devices before uploading your screenshot to include in the image. You can also create animated GIFs to simulate workflows in your app and they have a Mac app. Prices start at free for low resolution but you can pay if you need higher.


A service that helps you create a fully hosted custom landing page for marketing your mobile app. You just enter your app details and screenshots in the simple form and it creates and hosts a fully responsive web page for your app. You can also use your own custom domain name or the default subdomain.


An App Store analytics and conversion tracking service. Once you've signed up for a free account you can track downloads, revenues, rankings, reviews, and ad revenues using the website or app. You can also use AppLinks and the drop-in SDK to start conversion tracking. AppLinks provide a cross platform download link that you can share, creates a nice app landing page and redirects to the App Store. Distimo also offer a service (for a fairly hefty fee) that provides tracking of estimated downloads and revenues of any app in the App Store. They claim that 54% of apps are estimated with a margin of error below 3%, 95% are estimated with a margin of error below 10%.


A simple tool that makes distributing multiple promo codes to unknown recipients (such as a giveaway) a little more "civilized". You just upload the file you receive from iTunes Connect and you get a single, private url to share via email or on Facebook, Twitter or Your users get to request a code without trying multiple times only to find out that they've all been used.


Turns your Mac or PC into an AirPlay receiver. Not strictly a development tool as it is advertised for education, gaming, home entertainment and business, but I use it to make screen recordings of apps running on my iPhone and iPad. Great for making promotional videos for your app's website.


Recently updated from AppViz 2, the all new AppViz 3.0 is a Mac app for tracking sales, rankings, reviews, and ad data for your apps. The app is free to download and the new pricing model allows you to track one app for free, with very reasonable subscription rates if you need more.

Average App Store Review Times

Another useful treat from Dave Verwer, this site tracks the average App Store review times for both the iOS and the Mac App Store using data crowdsourced from iOS and Mac developers on Twitter using the #iosreviewtime and #macreviewtime hash tags. You can also follow the Twitter account for a daily tweet with the latest averages.


A free service that emails you your daily App Store reviews & features. You can track apps and publishers to view stats for any app in the Mac and iOS App Stores. You can view stats and reviews on the website and also get a customisable widget so you can display your App Store reviews on your website or Panic's Status Board app.


Promotee is a Mac app to create professional looking promotional artwork for iOS, Mac and Android apps. You can drop your app screenshots onto one of the many templates or add your own templates. Promotee is great for creating images for the App Store or your app website.


A really neat little Mac app that makes generating, sharing and tracking App Store promo codes really easy and convenient. It means you don't have to deal with iTunes Connect anymore for generating promo codes and it's makes it really simple for reviewers to redeem the codes as well.

Status Magic

A mac app for adding perfect status bars to your iOS App Store screenshots. Import screenshots from your iOS device and Status Magic will either overlay a clean status bar on top with options for all the icons and indicators or allow you to easily remove the status bar all together.

App Annie

Tracks ranks for every app on the App Store. Without an account you can see the current ranks for every app. Signing up gets you access to historical data and ratings data. Providing access to your iTunes Connect account (creating a custom account with limited permissions is recommended) enables tracking of your apps' downloads and revenue.


Tracks sales, rankings, reviews, and ad data for your apps. You need to give them access to your iTunes Connect account, but this concern can largely be mitigated by creating an account with limited permissions. Sales tracking is free, although you'll have to manually sync reports. The other services require a subscription.

iOS Dev Tools - The Greatest iOS Development Tools

iOS Dev Tools

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

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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A tool that lets you manage your TestFlight testers and builds from the command line. pilot is another addition to the fastlane set of tools but can also be used independently. With a few simple commands you can manage all the important features of Apple's TestFlight using your terminal, including: upload new builds and distribute them to all testers; list all available builds; add and remove beta testers; get information about testers, like their registered devices; and export and import all your testers.

Other Similar Tools


A simple tool that let's you upload hundreds of different and localised screenshots, metadata and app previews to App Store Connect with a single click. AppManager lets you drag and drop in all your screenshots and it will figure out device sizes, ordering and localisations based on file name. Metadata can also be uploaded for multiple localisations in a simple CSV or JSON format. All your screenshots get saved on AppManager's servers so in case App Store Connect is not available it will automatically retry uploading your screenshots and you'll get a notification once all screenshots are uploaded.


A cloud-based continuous integration and delivery platform that helps you release defect-free mobile apps. Nevercode will automatically detect and configure your iOS, Cordova and Ionic projects from GitHub and Bitbucket. Then the code signing collector will fetch all signing files for you. You can run UI and unit tests using Appium, XCTest or KIF, and target real devices or multiple simulators, or catch potential bugs with static code analysis. You can also share your build status with your team instantly via Slack, HipChat or Email and deploy to iTunes Connect, HockeyApp, Crashlytics and Testfairy.


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.

fastlane Plugins

A new, modular way to create and distribute actions for fastlane. fastlane Plugins allow actions to be added faster because they aren’t bundled into the main fastlane repository, giving everyone the power to invent, share, and deploy new plugins without waiting for PRs to be approved and gems to be updated. Developers can find new and existing plugins right from fastlane with the 'search_plugins' command and quickly add them your workflow with the 'add_plugin' command.


Embeddable and hosted TestFlight beta sign-up forms. Boombox lets you quickly and easily set up a form that makes it really simple for your users to sign up as TestFlight beta testers. After authenticating with iTunes Connect you are given a form that you can embed in your own site, and a hosted version in case you don't have a site. You can also optionally add a URL to which users are redirected after they successfully sign up, and there's Mailchimp integration to automatically add your new beta testers to a email list. Boombox is currently free while in beta.


An app distribution platform for iOS and Android. InstallFish lets you choose your URL, from which your clients or testers can download & install your app directly to their device. You can password protect the whole process, prompt for installer details or omit all that and let them get the app with a single click. Accounts start at free for unlimited installs of up to 5 apps, but you can pay to get access to extra features such as customisable branding, logo and background, or a complete branded App Store. It also integrates with Slack, HipChat, email and the command line.


A mobile continuous integration and continuous delivery platform for iOS and Android. With Buddybuild, a git push to Github, BitBucket, GitLab or any other git server automatically kicks off a new build and runs any tests for your app. It can also deploy builds to users while managing UDIDs, iOS provisioning profiles and signing identities automatically, or submit to TestFlight using the built-in iTunes Connect integration. The visual bug reporter can capture annotated screenshots and sends them right to buddybuild or your favorite bug tracker, and crash reporting is build in to the drop-in SDK.


A self-hosted CI/CD platform that gives you control over your development workflow. Buildkite supports any language or platform including Xcode builds, and can run on various environments including OS X and Linux. You can configure powerful pipelines that run steps in parallel across multiple build agents, and take advantage of automation tools to share data between build steps and across agents. There's a complete API that lets you access your data and control your pipeline, or you could use the Boxkite app by Reformed Software to manage your Buildkite builds from your iPhone and Apple Watch.


A tool to automatically create and maintain iOS code signing certificates. cert is part of the fastlane set of tools but can also be used independently. With a few simple commands you can create a new private key, create a new signing request, generate, download and install the certificate and import all the generated files into your Keychain. It will also check if any of the available signing certificates are already installed on your local machine so will only create what it needs to.


A tool that aims to simplify code signing by syncing your certificates and profiles across your team using git. match introduces a new approach to code signing by sharing a single code signing identity across your entire development team, simplifying your code signing setup and preventing code signing issues. It will handle all the heavy lifting of creating and storing your certificates and profiles, and encrypts everything using OpenSSL and a passphrase to keep everything secure.


A simple standalone tool for OS X that shows a notification once your newly uploaded build was successfully processed by iTunes Connect. WatchBuild keeps an eye on the apps you've submitted to iTunes Connect so that you don't have to. As the processing time varies from a few minutes to multiple hours, it's easy to forget to check iTunes Connect to see if the build is ready, so a simple notification is a helpful reminder. You can also directly click on the notification to open the build on iTunes Connect.


A tool that lets you create new iOS apps on iTunes Connect and Apple Developer Portal using the command line. produce is another addition to the fastlane set of tools but can also be used independently. With a few simple commands you can create new apps on both iTunes Connect and the Apple Developer Portal, modify Application Services, create App Groups and associate apps with App Groups. As with all fastlane tools, it's really simple to use and could save you loads of time.


Continuous Integration and Delivery for iOS, with dozens of integrations for your favourite services. Bitrise lets you stick to the services you know and have used before, but instead of requiring you to jump between browser tabs to set up a build, testing and deployment, Bitrise lets you configure and run your workflow in one place. There are currently nearly 40 supported integrations including Amazon S3 deployment, HipChat and Slack messages, Xcode build, analyse and test, fastlane, and more are being added.


A command line tool that builds and packages iOS apps for you making it easy to generate a signed ipa file. gym is another addition to the fastlane set of tools but can also be used independently. Using gym you can created an Ripa with just a single command thanks to sensible defaults that automatically detect the project and its schemes. It'll help you resolve build errors such as code signing issues, provides inline build output and saves time with 30% faster builds than other similar tools.


A Mac app that lets you prepare, re-sign and deliver iOS apps to your testers. AirSign can load any .ipa or .xcarchive file and display its properties, such as Bundle Identifier, Marketing and Build Version and even Required Device Capabilities. You can then edit properties and override identifiers including URL Schemes and Bundle Identifier before verifying that the app is not breaking basic rules which could cause upload to the App Store to fail. Your modified app can then be resigned and distributed to your testers using Dropbox or S3, or exported back to Xcode as an .xcarchive file.


A tool to instantly create a simple signup page for TestFlight beta testers. boarding is the latest addition to the fastlane set of tools but can also be used independently. Once deployed to Heroku, boarding only requires your iTunes Connect credentials and your app's bundle identifier to get set up. There are additional options to protect the signup page with a password or to temporarily disable enrolment with a simple message to visitors. Like all the fastlane tools, boarding is a real timesaver.


A Ruby library that exposes the Apple Developer Center API. Spaceship is fast, well tested and supports all of the operations you can do via the browser. From the creators of fastlane, Spaceship was written to improve the speed of the fastlane tools by removing front-end web scraping. With Spaceship, sigh is now up to 90% faster! Spaceship provides resistance against front-end design changes of the Dev Portal due to its fast communication using only a HTTP client, and gives object oriented access to all resources.

A drop in SDK that lets you react to production issues in real time. lets you remote-control your user's app settings and parameters, as well as fixing or containing errors and issues in real time while the app is in production - without waiting for a full release cycle. You can access your app's functions and patch them using pre-defined solutions or use in-app alert messages to keep your users in the loop. Additional features include UI changes (buttons, images, etc), creation of analytics events on the fly, and advanced logging and debugging.


A Safari extension for iOS developers using Apple’s TestFlight. Every time you submit a new beta for review, there is a “Beta Information” section that has to be filled out. All of the fields are blank even though you’ve filled out all of the same info before, possibly dozens of times. BetaFill lets you quickly save that info so you can fill it in with one click next time.


An open source tool for defining and running deployment pipelines to automate deployment for all your build environments. fastlane lets you define multiple 'lanes' for your different build environments, such as test, beta or App Store, which connect together all your build tools into a single automated workflow. fastlane includes pre-defined actions for CocoaPods, xctool, snapshot, sigh, deliver, frameit, HockeyApp, Slack and more, or you can create your own custom actions or scripts. fastlane is a great tool to speed up your deployment process.


A hosted continuous integration platform for automated building, testing, and deployment for iOS apps. Distiller connects with your GitHub and Bitbucket repositories and will automatically rebuild and retest with every new commit you make. It also integrates with Testflight & Hockey so you can automatically deploy any green build with zero engineering support. You can get started with Distiller for free with a 14 day trial and there are a selection of price plans after that.


A tool that lets you manage all your iOS provisioning profiles from the command line. With just one command, Sigh can download the latest provisioning profile for your app, renew a provisioning profile, repair a provisioning profile when it is broken and create a new provisioning profile if it doesn't exist already. It supports App Store, Ad Hoc, Enterprise and Development profiles as well as multiple Apple accounts, multiple teams and storing your credentials securely in the Keychain. Sigh is a better option than letting Xcode manage everything as it gives you control and can easily be integrated into your CI-server.


A command line tool that will create a .pem file containing your push notifications certificate ready to be uploaded to your server. PEM manages the whole push provisioning process - by running one command it will create a new signing request, create a new push certificate, download the certificate and generate a new .pem file in the current working directory. You can also pass optional parameters to specify a particular app or to create a development certificate instead. Very simple, but a real time-saver.


A command line utility that brings continuous deployment to iOS. Deliver automates the whole process of updating your iOS app by allowing you to upload IPA files, app screenshots and more to the iTunes Connect backend with just one command. After installing, running 'deliver init' from the command line will create a new Deliverfile that contains all the configuration including where to find IPA files and screenshots along with iTunes metadata. Once configured, you can run 'deliver' to deploy a new app update. You can even configure Deliver to give you a PDF preview of the fetched metadata before uploading the app metadata and screenshots to Apple.

A new service that lets you run iOS simulators directly in the browser. You can use for many purposes, including debugging and testing your apps, sharing with colleagues and clients, or anything else you can think of. Simply upload a zipped up simulator build of your app via the website or API. You will then immediately be able to run your app in the browser, or embed it as an iframe anywhere else. Supports both iPhone and iPad, device rotation, custom launch params, and more. Currently free and in beta.


A humble replacement of Apple’s iPhone Configuration Utility for installing ad hoc apps on iOS devices. As the app installation feature of iPhone Configuration Utility is broken on Mavericks there aren't many simple ways of installing an ad hoc build directly onto a device. AppStaller can solve this problem until Apple get their act together.


A small and simple menu bar app for getting fast access to your iPhone Simulator apps. SimPholders provides options to open folders in Finder, reset library and documents, and delete the selected apps. The menu shows recently changed apps and displays the app icon, name, bundle identifer, version number and bundle size.

CocoaDeveloper Quicklook Plugin

A Quicklook Plugin for previewing application and provision information. It displays app and provision information for ipa, iOS mobileprovision and OSX provisionprofile files including app icon, name, version, bundle identifier and device names from the Developer Portal. Simple but very useful.

iOS App Release Checklist

A very thorough pre-flight checklist for submitting an app to the App Store compiled by Dave Addey. It covers feature testing, device coverage, network conditions and locale settings. You can download the checklist as a Pages document or a PDF, but there is also a copy in a GitHub repo that's accepting contributions.

Sim Deploy

A useful little Mac utility that deploys builds to the simulator. It's helpful when trying to deploy simulator builds to non-techie people as it is just drag and drop. You can also install builds from remote URLs using the custom URL scheme and it integrates with your continuous integration strategy as well.

iOS Support Matrix

The definitive iOS version/device matrix chart. It includes all the data you need including hardware specs, minimum and maximum supported iOS versions, retina display support and even Geek Bench ratings. Very handy!


A really useful Mac app that helps you identify unavailable, deprecated and obsolete API usage in your Xcode projects. Helped me spot crashing bugs on several occasions.


A Mac app that scans your Xcode projects to find unused resources with the goal of reducing the size of your app. Also finds other problems such as missing @2x images and duplications.