iOS Xcode project

Host Platform Support (Platform support)













When generating an iOS project, Briefcase produces an Xcode project.

Icon format

iOS projects use .png format icons. An application must provide icons of the following sizes:

  • 20px

  • 29px

  • 40px

  • 58px

  • 60px

  • 76px

  • 80px

  • 87px

  • 120px

  • 152px

  • 167px

  • 180px

  • 640px

  • 1024px

  • 1280px

  • 1920px

The icon will also be used to populate the splash screen. You can specify a background color for the splash screen using the splash_background_color configuration setting.

iOS projects do not support installer images.


iOS allows for some customization of the colors used by your app:

  • splash_background_color is the color of the splash background that displays while an app is loading.

Additional options

The following options can be provided at the command line when producing iOS projects:


-d <device> / --device <device>

The device simulator to target. Can be either a UDID, a device name (e.g., "iPhone 11"), or a device name and OS version ("iPhone 11::iOS 13.3").

Application configuration

The following options can be added to the<appname> section of your pyproject.toml file.


A property whose sub-attributes define keys that will be added to the app’s Info.plist file. Each entry will be converted into a key in the entitlements file. For example, specifying:

info."UIFileSharingEnabled" = true

will result in an Info.plist declaration of:


Any Boolean or string value can be used for an Info.plist value.


Briefcase cross platform permissions map to the following info keys:

  • camera: NSCameraUsageDescription

  • microphone: NSMicrophoneUsageDescription

  • coarse_location - NSLocationDefaultAccuracyReduced=True - NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription if fine_location is not defined

  • fine_location - NSLocationDefaultAccuracyReduced=False - NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription

  • background_location: - NSLocationAlwaysAndWhenInUseUsageDescription - NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription if neither fine_location or coarse_location is set - UIBackgroundModes will include location and processing

  • photo_library: NSPhotoLibraryAddUsageDescription

Platform quirks

Availability of third-party packages

Briefcase is able to use third-party packages in iOS apps. As long as the package is available on PyPI, or you can provide a wheel file for the package, it can be added to the requires declaration in your pyproject.toml file and used by your app at runtime.

If the package is pure Python (i.e., it does not contain a binary library), that’s all you need to do. To check whether a package is pure Python, look at the PyPI downloads page for the project; if the wheels provided are have a -py3-none-any.whl suffix, then they are pure Python wheels. If the wheels have version and platform-specific extensions (e.g., -cp311-cp311-macosx_11_0_universal2.whl), then the wheel contains a binary component.

If the package contains a binary component, that wheel needs to be compiled for iOS. PyPI does not currently support uploading iOS-compatible wheels, so you can’t rely on PyPI to provide those wheels. Briefcase uses a secondary repository to store pre-compiled iOS wheels.

This repository is maintained by the BeeWare project, and as a result, it does not have binary wheels for every package that is available on PyPI, or even every version of every package that is on PyPI. If you see any of the following messages when building an app for a mobile platform, then the package (or this version of it) probably isn’t supported yet:

  • The error “Cannot compile native modules”

  • A reference to downloading a .tar.gz version of the package

  • A reference to Building wheels for collected packages: <package>

It is usually possible to compile any binary package wheels for iOS, depending on the requirements of the package itself. If the package has a dependency on other binary libraries (e.g., something like libjpeg that isn’t written in Python), those libraries will need to be compiled for iOS as well. However, if the library requires build tools that don’t support iOS, such as a compiler that can’t target iOS, or a PEP517 build system that doesn’t support cross-compilation, it may not be possible to build an iOS wheel.

The BeeWare Project provides the Mobile Forge project to assist with cross-compiling iOS binary wheels. This repository contains recipes for building the packages that are stored in the secondary package repository. Contributions of new package recipes are welcome, and can be submitted as pull requests. Or, if you have a particular package that you’d like us to support, please visit the issue tracker and provide details about that package.