As an iOS developer there are many products, services and libraries that you must consider when building, testing, launching, marketing and monitoring your apps.
Here are the ones I have chosen to use currently.
Crash reporting is essential. Knowing when you’ve introduced bugs and getting stack traces should be top of your list.
There are a wide variety of services to use for this, but the one I think stands head and shoulders above all others is Crashlytics (acquired by Twitter). The web interface design I find a little over the top, but the initial setup and email alerts are amazing.
I have tried a lot of analytics services (even our own). At the moment I have settled on Google Analytics. It’s super simple to integrate and if you are tracking web and/or Android it’s all right there in one location. The live functionality is fun during launches and updates.
Reviews & Features
I made AppBot so of course I think it’s the best 🙂 You need to know what people are saying about your app, you may not always like it, but good reviews are essential for a successful app. The best way to improve reviews is to read them and accept feedback.
Get a daily email digest of reviews for your apps from all countries. Once a week any Apple features of your apps in the store (e.g. Editors Choice) will be email to you.
Sales & Downloads
Of course we all want to know how are apps are going, pick any one of the following they all get the job done.
- iTunes Connect iOS App : https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/itunes-connect-mobile/id376771144?mt=8
- App Figures (Paid) – http://appfigures.com
- App Annie – http://www.appannie.com
For testing I really like http://www.usertesting.com you can create an ad hoc build of your app and get videos of people using them.
A really useful looking service that I am yet to try is http://www.testelf.com, a full service mobile app testing site.
You have built your app and want to send it to friends and family to check out. There are two services that stand out:
- Hockey App – http://hockeyapp.net – reliable and solid. Paid.
- Test Flight – http://testflightapp.com – Most regular app testers (and review sites) are already on here, so they could find it a bit easier to install your app.
I hope your app is in source control, it’s saved me many times as a backup and it’s a great collaboration tool. My source control of choice is git (and also most open source software).
There is two services I recommend:
- GitHub (Paid) – https://github.com – the choice of most open source software.
- Bitbucket (Free for small teams) – https://bitbucket.org – A great option if you have a small team with lots of repositories.
Custom Web Service Hosting
If I need to use a custom web service for my application (which I write in Ruby on Rails) I current use two different hosting options depending on the size and budget of the app.
- Amazon Web Services – http://aws.amazon.com – AWS has an amazing amount of products, great support (both paid and on the web) and is great to scale with. But it isn’t cheap, I use it for larger projects.
- Digital Ocean – https://www.digitalocean.com – For smaller projects and personal hacks I have recently began using Digital Ocean, amazingly cheap and has been solid so far.
Collaboration & Project Management
I really like Trello http://trello.com. Free, simple and a great iPad app.
AppbotX – http://www.appbot.co/appbotx
Software, Frameworks & Libraries
CocoaPods – http://cocoapods.org is “the best way to manage library dependencies in Objective-C projects”. Use it.
I absolutely love AFNetworking (https://github.com/AFNetworking/AFNetworking). Use it for any networking and study the code for how to write simple and clean Objective-C.
HUD / Progress
MBProgressHUD is a great drop in component for showing modal progress.https://github.com/jdg/MBProgressHUD.
I’m not a fan of side menus (like in Path & Facebook), but a lot of people are. More than likely you are going to have to implement one at some point. The best I have found is ViewDeck (https://github.com/Inferis/ViewDeck).
CocoaControls – https://www.cocoacontrols.com – Is a great site to look for controls you might need.