iOS Thanksgiving 2017: Tools & Libraries We're Thankful For

It’s that time of year where we gather with friends and family to ask who got the iPhone X give thanks! 😅 📱

At Realm we’re incredibly thankful for you – our awesome community and users! We’re humbled and awed by all the awesome tools, libraries, and apps you build that make our lives as developers better, and all the learning resources you share.

In that spirit, we asked some friends and leaders in the iOS community to share the tools and libraries they’re most thankful for this year!

Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

iOS devs give thanks!

Jesse Squires, iOS @ Plangrid

“I really appreciate the improvements in Xcode 9 — in particular, the refactoring tools and the various sanitizers. The address sanitizer, the thread sanitizer, and main thread checker have been great tools to help me catch bugs. And they’re super easy to use. Xcode still has a lot of problems, but it has improved so much over the last year.”

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Sommer Panage, Mobile dev @ Chorus

“I am super grateful for Cartography by Rob Böhnke. It lets you set up Auto Layout constraints with clear, declarative code. It looks more like some very simple linear equations than anything else, which I love. It’s easy to explain to new folks in our code base, and it’s fast to write!”

Craig Clayton, Founder and CEO of Cocoa Academy

“I am thankful for IGListKit. I am a huge fan of using Collection Views over Table Views, and this library shows the power of Collection Views. Collection Views can become super complex, but IGListKit takes all of the complexity away.”

Michele Titolo, Mobile & web developer

“The tool I’m most thankful for this year is actually not an iOS tool but one that I use in my JavaScript work – Gulp. It’s a Javascript tool for executing workflows. Since I moved to a backend team I’ve been doing a lot of Node.js work and Gulp has made it possible for me to reliably do certain things, like creating a package to deploy. I didn’t realize how spoiled I was with Xcode – run a specific command and get a shippable binary. I’ve used Gulp to create that for me in Javascript and it’s made my life a lot easier.”

Krzysztof Zablocki, Lead iOS @ NYTimes

“I’m thankful for Danger because it allows me to automate code review chores, I have a lot of open source projects and commercial ones, and by leveraging Danger I can focus on what matters - the bigger picture and not nitpicking on code style, missing changelog entries etc.

The other lib I’m thankful for is Quick. It makes testing a breeze and having clear test cases is crucial to me as I do a lot of BDD.”

Marin Todorov, Author, Product engineer @ Realm

“I’m thankful for RxSwift - async programming is hard to do well and even harder to test. When I use RxSwift in my own app, I know I’m relying on code millions of people test each day by using some of the well known apps on the App Store. RxSwift saves me so much time that I can also contribute back and help the community.”

Greg Heo, iOS & Swift nerd

“Pretty sure Thanksgiving was last month, but better late than never right? 🇨🇦

Tweak All The Things! Part of efficient development and building things quickly is avoiding building when you can — I mean “build and run” in Xcode of course, which can eat up a big chunk of your day as you change a few values, build, change some more values, re-build, and so on.

Enter Swift Tweaks, a Swift version of the Tweaks project from Facebook. Wrap those magic numbers and boolean values and colors in tweaks, and then you and all your non-Xcode-wielding internal testers will be able to adjust values from inside the app without recompiling. Swift Tweaks is invaluable for fast iteration, thorough on-device testing, and minimizing time spent staring at progress bars in Xcode.”

Brett Koonce, iOS developer

“I’m thankful for keras! First, I can build and train neural networks using python, which makes experimentation with TensorFlow easy. Then, by combining keras with with Apple’s coremltools library, I can deploy my models easily to mobile devices using iOS 11. Finally, I can use my phone to classify what I am eating at Thanksgiving, freeing up valuable brain cycles for pie and conversations with my family!”

Nikola Irinchev, .NET developer @ Realm

“This year I’m thankful for Chameleon by Vicc Alexander. It’s an extremely easy to use color framework for iOS that makes it a breeze to bootstrap a very decent-looking app in no time. Additionally, it makes demos look super professional - like a well thought out and carefully crafted app, and not something I frantically put together half an hour before a talk (which obviously never happens :sweat_smile:)!”

Rob Norback, iOS @ Chime

“My favorite tools are the ones that allow you to completely change your experience as a developer. No matter what app I’m working on Flawless changes the game. It allows me to see exactly what the designer had in mind and make their ideas into pixel perfect reality. I also avoid going back and forth with my project manager 4 times over the size of an emoji 🙈.

Flawless works directly in the iOS simulator and overlays designs onto whatever screen you’re working on. And when the app stopped working for me, the creators Ahmed and Lisa worked tirelessly until the problem was solved.

Most recently I’ve been working in React Native, and I can still use Flawless! I love it.”

Next Up: Explore Realm Studio for managing local and synced Realms on Mac, Linux, and Windows!

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Realm Team

At Realm, our mission is to help developers build better apps faster. We provide a unique set of tools and platform technologies designed to make it easy for developers to build apps with sophisticated, powerful features — things like realtime collaboration, augmented reality, live data synchronization, offline experiences, messaging, and more.

Everything we build is developed with an eye toward enabling developers for what we believe the mobile internet evolves into — an open network of billions of users and trillions of devices, and realtime interactivity across them all.

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