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Updating iOS Applications with GroundControl

The idea behind GroundControl is simple, the application fetches a remote property list and updates its NSUserDefaults with the contents of the property list. Even though many applications download data from a dedicated backend to dynamically update their contents, the strategy that I will lay out in this article is ideal if a dedicated backend isn't an option or exceeds your application's requirements.

The setup discussed in this tutorial is lightweight and inexpensive. Not only is it inexpensive, it is also easy to maintain, which is a factor often overlooked by both clients and developers.

It is important to emphasize that property lists are ideal for small chunks of data and shouldn't be used as a replacement for a dedicated backend. If an application needs to be updated on a daily basis with new content then the strategy dicussed in this tutorial won't cut it.

To illustrate how all the different pieces fit together, we will build an iOS application appropriately name…