Tag Archives: info.plist

What is the NSPhotoLibrary Usage Description key?

Since iOS 10 and Xcode 8, Apple have added (yet another) security check for our apps. This time it’s about our apps accessing the user’s photo library.

While it was a courtesy to ask the user for permission to use the library before, since iOS 10 we have to add a special key to the app target’s Info.plist file and give a reason why we want to have access.

Here’s how to do it:

Navigate to your project’s target and select the Info tab at the top. In the long list below, hover over any row and click on the little plus icon that comes up. This should add a new row to the table (or in other words, add an entry to the Info.plist file).

Now type in NSPhotoLibraryUsageDescription. It should automatically turn into “Privacy – Photo Library Usage Description”.

On the right hand side of your new row we can add a string value, which will become the description in the dialogue shown in the screenshot above. It seems that we’re free to add whatever we want here, explaining briefly that your app needs access to the user’s photos.

That’s it!

On this note, there are two other keys that may come in handy for accessing the user’s camera and microphone respectively:

  • NSCameraUsageDescriptionKey
  • NSMicrophoneUsageDescriptionKey

Just as with photos, add these keys and a brief description if your app needs access to either the camera or the microphone. Something like “for image sharing” should do nicely. Here’s what that message looks like in context when iOS presents the dialogue to the user:

The dialogue is shown only once, not every time when the user wants to share an image. Should the user decline, or should s/he want to change this, we should explain to them that this can be done under iOS Settings – Privacy – Photos.

Demo Project

I’ve updated my Demo Project on GitHub with the relevant changes so that it now runs correctly under iOS 10:

For an extensive list of other useful NSkeys, check out this Stack Overflow thread:





How to fix http load errors in your apps since iOS 10

In 2016, Apple have implemented a new rule that won’t let us load data from unsecured websites anymore. That’s those beginning with http:// instead of https:// (the latter ones are secured with an SSL certificate, and hence traffic is encrypted).

When you load an unsecured source, you’ll get an error message like this:

App Transport Security has blocked a cleartext HTTP (http://) resource load since it is insecure. Temporary exceptions can be configured via your app's Info.plist file.

If a secured source of the data is available, it’s probably the easiest method to change the feed. However, if that’s not an option, we can convince Xcode to let our apps download what’s known as data from “arbitrary” sources. Here’s how to do it.

First, in Xcode, navigate to your project’s target and find the Info tab. The target is the one that has your app icon showing, NOT the blue Xcode icon (top left, in the Project Navigator).

Now right-click on any of the many lines and select “Add Row”. This adds a value to your Info.plist file. Notice a list that comes up. Either select “App Transport Security” (if you can find it), or type NSAppTransportSecurity (it usually auto-completes). The entry will change into App Transport Security.

Let’s add the appropriate values to this new entry now. Hover over your new row now and select the little plus icon that comes up, then choose “Allow Arbitrary Loads” from the list. Alternatively, type in NSAllowsArbitraryLoads. Again this value will change to Allow Arbitrary Loads. Notice that this entry is a BOOL, and it needs to be set to YES on the right hand side. Go ahead and do that.

This will be enough to allow HTTP loads inside your app from any URL. You can restrict this to only certain URLs or hosts by adding another entry to the App Transport Security line, namely “Exception Domains”. Add each domain to its own line, and only data from those will be allowed to load via HTTP. If you want to use restricted domains, make sure to set the Allow Arbitrary Loads value to NO.





How to remove the gloss effect from iOS Logos

While you’re in info.plist, go to the bottom of the list and add an item (right-click on the empty space and select “Add Row”). Then call it UIPrerenderedIcon. Now the item changes into “Icon already includes gloss effect”, giving you the option to select YES or NO (NO means gloss is switched on, YES means it will be switched off).

As of Xcode 4.3 there is now a handy tick box on your target called “Prerendered”. Tick it to remove the gloss effect:

If you’re previously had your app running with the gloss effect the non-gloss version may not show up until you delete the app from your simulator/device and run it again from Xcode.





How to rename your iOS App in Xcode 4.x.x

  • Find the info.plist file (in the Supporting Files folder). Say your app is called MyApp, then you’re looking for a file called MyApp-info.plist
  • Say hello to a scary list of key/value pairs
  • In here, find the Bundle Display Name
  • Change it from the default ${PRODUCT_NAME} to your title
  • Build and see your title underneath your logo

I had forgotten that I’ve already written this down last year: http://wpguru.co.uk/2011/08/how-to-rename-your-ios-app-in-xcode-4-and-remove-the-gloss-effect-from-your-logo/