Thoughts, stories and ideas.

Getting started with a blank iOS Project

Everytime I start a new Xcode/iOS project, there are few rituals I perform, quite religiously.

Disable Storyboards

I dislike storyboards and xibs with passion. Fiddling around a clunky Xcode interface to get layouts to work, with uncertainty of how they will behave on different resolutions, is quite annoying. And in large team settings which I worked in before, its quite frankly useless.

What's needed for doing it?

  1. Delete files Main.storyboard and Main-iPad.storyboard
  2. Delete the "Main Interface" setting found in
    -> Project Settings -> Targets (select) -> General -> Deployment Info -> Main Interface.

Setup the AppDelegate

Now that the storyboards are gone, we need to configure the app delegate as to what view controller is to be shown

I often end up doing this


- (BOOL)application:(UIApplication *)application didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:(NSDictionary *)launchOptions {

    // Instantiate the VC    
    MainViewController *vc = [MainViewController new];
    // Instantiate the navigation bar
    UINavigationController *nav = [UINavigationController alloc] initWithRootViewController:vc];

    // Instantiate window
    self.window = [[UIWindow alloc] initWithFrame:[UIScreen mainScreen].bounds];
    // Set the root vc
    self.window.rootViewController = nav;

    // make the window visible
    [self.window makeKeyAndVisible];
    return YES;

Solid UINavigationBar

I find the the default navigation bar that comes along with translucent background useless. Majority of all apps end up either with a solid color or a subtle gradient.

Sometimes I prefer to subclass UINavigationController and other times, I just configure it directly. Either case the essential snippet of code is this:

// Disable translucency 
navViewController.navigationBar.translucent = NO;  
// Set it to something jazzy
navViewController.navigationBar.barTintColor = [UIColor orangeColor];  

Setup MainViewController

When a view controller is added to a UINavigationController stack, it doesn't flow from below the navigation bar, but from underneath it (from iOS 7~). This again seems quite pointless.

The sane default I follow is to set the edgesForExtendedLayout property

MainViewController -viewDidLoad

self.edgesForExtendedLayout = UIRectEdgeNone;  


Auto Layout: Although it tends to be more verbose, I prefer writing code that declares how interface objects look and behave proportional to the screen size, than use Storyboards or XIBs.

Manual Layout: Sometimes I don't mind setting the frames manually for simpler things.

Libraries: Most times I end up adding these as well

  • Flurry and Google analytics for analytics/tracking
  • Additional classes to enable use of a file based, simple key value store.
  • Shorthand functions Eg: UIColor* RGBColor(r,g,b)
  • UI Utilities that allow me to do this view.top = 20;

More on these later.