Some iOS resources

by iamchrisc

Objective C Style guide from NYTimes

Particularly, I found the following bits are helpful personally.

CGRect Functions

When accessing the xywidth, or height of a CGRect, always use the CGGeometry functionsinstead of direct struct member access. From Apple’s CGGeometry reference:

All functions described in this reference that take CGRect data structures as inputs implicitly standardize those rectangles before calculating their results. For this reason, your applications should avoid directly reading and writing the data stored in the CGRect data structure. Instead, use the functions described here to manipulate rectangles and to retrieve their characteristics.

For example:

CGRect frame = self.view.frame;

CGFloat x = CGRectGetMinX(frame);
CGFloat y = CGRectGetMinY(frame);
CGFloat width = CGRectGetWidth(frame);
CGFloat height = CGRectGetHeight(frame);


CGRect frame = self.view.frame;

CGFloat x = frame.origin.x;
CGFloat y = frame.origin.y;
CGFloat width = frame.size.width;
CGFloat height = frame.size.height;


Constants are preferred over in-line string literals or numbers, as they allow for easy reproduction of commonly used variables and can be quickly changed without the need for find and replace. Constants should be declared as static constants and not #defines unless explicitly being used as a macro.

For example:

static NSString * const NYTAboutViewControllerCompanyName = @"The New York Times Company";

static const CGFloat NYTImageThumbnailHeight = 50.0;


#define CompanyName @"The New York Times Company"

#define thumbnailHeight 2

Enumerated Types

When using enums, it is recommended to use the new fixed underlying type specification because it has stronger type checking and code completion. The SDK now includes a macro to facilitate and encourage use of fixed underlying types — NS_ENUM()


typedef NS_ENUM(NSInteger, NYTAdRequestState) {

Private Properties

Private properties should be declared in class extensions (anonymous categories) in the implementation file of a class. Named categories (such as NYTPrivate or private) should never be used unless extending another class.

For example:

@interface NYTAdvertisement ()

@property (nonatomic, strong) GADBannerView *googleAdView;
@property (nonatomic, strong) ADBannerView *iAdView;
@property (nonatomic, strong) UIWebView *adXWebView;


Image Naming

Image names should be named consistently to preserve organization and developer sanity. They should be named as one camel case string with a description of their purpose, followed by the un-prefixed name of the class or property they are customizing (if there is one), followed by a further description of color and/or placement, and finally their state.

For example:

  • RefreshBarButtonItem / RefreshBarButtonItem@2x and RefreshBarButtonItemSelected /RefreshBarButtonItemSelected@2x
  • ArticleNavigationBarWhite / ArticleNavigationBarWhite@2x andArticleNavigationBarBlackSelected / ArticleNavigationBarBlackSelected@2x.

Images that are used for a similar purpose should be grouped in respective groups in an Images folder.


Since nil resolves to NO it is unnecessary to compare it in conditions. Never compare something directly to YES, because YES is defined to 1 and a BOOL can be up to 8 bits.

This allows for more consistency across files and greater visual clarity.

For example:

if (!someObject) {


if (someObject == nil) {

For a BOOL, here are two examples:

if (isAwesome)
if (![someObject boolValue])


if ([someObject boolValue] == NO)
if (isAwesome == YES) // Never do this.

If the name of a BOOL property is expressed as an adjective, the property can omit the “is” prefix but specifies the conventional name for the get accessor, for example:

@property (assign, getter=isEditable) BOOL editable;

Text and example taken from the Cocoa Naming Guidelines.


Singleton objects should use a thread-safe pattern for creating their shared instance.

+ (instancetype)sharedInstance {
   static id sharedInstance = nil;

   static dispatch_once_t onceToken;
   dispatch_once(&onceToken, ^{
      sharedInstance = [[self alloc] init];

   return sharedInstance;

This will prevent possible and sometimes prolific crashes.

Xcode project

The physical files should be kept in sync with the Xcode project files in order to avoid file sprawl. Any Xcode groups created should be reflected by folders in the filesystem. Code should be grouped not only by type, but also by feature for greater clarity.

When possible, always turn on “Treat Warnings as Errors” in the target’s Build Settings and enable as manyadditional warnings as possible. If you need to ignore a specific warning, use Clang’s pragma feature.

Other Objective-C Style Guides

If ours doesn’t fit your tastes, have a look at some other style guides:

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