Ten Tools For Every iOS Designer and Developer

There are a lot of great tools out there for iOS Designers and Developers. At Raizlabs, there is no shortage of them since we make apps all day everyday. Some of these we couldn’t live without, so check out the list and let us know about others in the comments.

Slow Motion Animations in the iOS Simulator

SlowMoNext time you’re running an app in Simulator, check out the Hardware Dropdown, select Simulate Hardware Keyboard, and press Shift 3 times quickly. You should see “Simulator slow-motion animations are now on”. With slow motion animations enabled, you can more easily see how your animations transition. Awesome!


Mocking up an interface but just don’t know if it will feel right on a device? Sick of exporting PNG’s, emailing them to yourself, opening it on device, saving it to photos, etc etc. Enter LiveView from Nicholas Zambetti.

LiveView is a specialized remote screen viewing application intended as a tool to help designers create graphics for mobile applications.

Install the Mac App on your Mac, download the free app for your iPhone or iPad, then simply open both apps. You’ll see a draggable depiction of an iPhone or iPad on your Mac and whatever is beneath the device will show up on your mobile device!


Sick of bouncing back and forth between windows to get back to the terminal? TotalTerminal is a no-brainer. Set up a hot key and you’ll always have access to your terminal regardless of what is on the screen. For a bonus, if you use git, add this to your .bash_profile for some awesome syntax highlighting of your branches:

export PS1='[33[01;32m]u@h[33[01;34m] w[33[31m]git branch 2>/dev/null|cut -f2 -d* -s[33[01;34m]$[33[00m] '


SQLVue is an awesome tool if you’re looking to get a jump on a SQL Database but you’re by no means a “SQL-Guru”. Creating a database takes no time and figuring out the calls you need to make to query the database is just as easy thanks to some handy code completion of common SQL Keywords. If you don’t want to learn the ins and outs of SQL, but you need to use it, this is for you!


 Unretina (or Unretiner as it is now called due to a notice from Apple regarding Trademark infringement)is another handy tool for designers that can save you the hassle of exporting both @2x and regular PNG images when designing for iOS. Just drop it in toUnretina and let it do the busy work of downsizingyour images. It’s a simple script and a simple app, but if you’re slicing up images every day you’ll easily make up for the time you spent downloading it.


A big source of bugs in applications is low network connectivity. This is often hard to test on a development machine because internet connectivity isn’t as sporadic as on a phone. If you’re looking to simulate low network connectivity, a slow network, no network, or all of the above, SpeedLimit.

Icon Maker

Icon Maker by Quirco is an online tool for generating an iPhone/iPod or iPad icon in seconds. Add any image and it will spit out a nicely rounded icon with roudned corners, gloss, and drop shadow if you want. It may seem trivial for the seasoned designer, but it sure is helpful when you want to spend a minimal amount of time on a proof of concept. Check it out here.

Charles Proxy

We use Charles all the time at Raizlabs to help with debugging the back and forth between server and application.


Charles is an HTTP proxy / HTTP monitor / Reverse Proxy that enables a developer to view all of the HTTP and SSL / HTTPS traffic between their machine and the Internet.

Not only does it let you view all of the requests coming in and out of your app, but you can even intercept, modify, and pass along requests so that while debugging you are one step further from the code.

iPhone Simulator Screenshot

Generating the necessary screenshots for marketing and the App Store preview images is often put off to the last minute and can be an unwanted hassle. If you’re looking to save yourself the trouble of taking a screenshot, cropping out the status bar, resizing, etc, check out Curious Time’s iOS-Simulator Cropper


It’d be wrong if I didn’t mention AppBlade. Full disclosure, AppBlade is a Raizlabs product. With that being said, I use AppBlade every single day and its only getting better. If you’re a developer and looking for a one stop solution for distributing your apps over the air (to testers or enterprise clients), look no further!

Honorable Mentions

SimFinger – a great tool for replacing your computer’s mouse icon so that you can better film Screen Captures.

Fone Monkey a cool way to automate user interface driven testing in your applications.

Do you have a project in mind? We’d love to work with you. If you’d like an opportunity to work on projects with us, check out our Careers page. We’re hiring!

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