ProMotion is a RubyMotion framework that makes iPhone development less like Objective-C and more like Ruby. Star this repo to keep tabs on our progress!
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ProMotion Build Status

A new way to easily build RubyMotion apps.

ProMotion is a RubyMotion gem that makes iOS development more like Ruby and less like Objective-C.

Table of contents

  1. Tutorials
  1. Getting Started
  1. What's New?
  2. Usage
  1. Reference
  2. Help
  3. Contributing


Version 0.3 tutorial, will be updated soon but most of it still applies:


Video tutorial with 0.4.

Sample Apps

ProMotion Tutorial

Sample app here:

Apps Built With ProMotion

BigDay! Reminder App

Check out the free BigDay! Reminder app on the App Store to see what's possible. ClearSight Studio built the app for Kijome Software, a small app investment company.

TipCounter App

TipCounter was built by Matt Brewer for bartenders and servers to easily track their tips. Used ProMotion and the development was a lot of fun!

Getting Started

ProMotion is designed to be as intuitive and Ruby-like as possible. For example, here is a typical app folder structure:



Create a new RubyMotion project.

motion create myapp

Open it in your favorite editor, then go into your Rakefile and add the following to the top:

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
require 'motion/project'
require "rubygems"
require 'bundler'

Create a Gemfile and add the following lines:

source ''
gem "ProMotion", "~> 0.5.0"

Run bundle install in Terminal to install ProMotion.

Go into your app/app_delegate.rb file and add the following:

class AppDelegate < ProMotion::AppDelegateParent
  def on_load(app, options)
    open true)

Create a folder in /app named screens. Create a file in that folder named home_screen.rb.

Now drop in this code:

class HomeScreen < ProMotion::Screen
  title "Home"
  def on_load
    self.view.backgroundColor = UIColor.whiteColor

Run rake. You should now see the simulator open with your home screen and a navigation bar like the image below. Congrats!

ProMotion Home Screen

What's New?

Version 0.5

Version 0.5 is mostly a documentation and consistency release. It should be backwards-compatible with 0.4.

  • on_return fires after animation complete on modals now
  • Added tests ... run with rake spec (thanks @macfanatic)
  • Rearranged internal folders to make a lot more sense
  • More complete API documentation
  • Refactored camelCase methods and configs to under_score
  • Set should_autorotate to true by default
  • Changed open_screen to open (open_screen still works for backwards compatibility)
  • add_element is now add (and remove_element is remove)
  • Removed built-in app (will release some sample apps soon, including a "Kitchen Sink" one)

Version 0.4

  • Screens are now UIViewControllers (they used to contain UIViewControllers, but that got too funky) so you can do normal UIViewController stuff with them
  • Screen functionality can also be inherited as a module in your own UIViewController, but you need to provide your own methods for viewDidLoad and whatnot.
  • Tons of headlessCamelCaps methods are now properly_ruby_underscored (with an alias to the old name for compatibility)
  • open_screen and close_screen can now just be open and close respectively
  • Attempted to keep 100% compatibility with 0.3.x but no issues, please!
  • Revamped the internal folder structure of the gem...more work on this to come
  • Built in a few helpers that were external before, like content_height(view)
  • More consistent calling of on_load (sometimes doesn't get called in 0.3.x)
  • fresh_start SomeScreen is now open_root_screen SomeScreen
  • Removed set_view_controller as we don't need it anymore
  • Better documentation (still needs work), better error messages
  • Deprecation warnings EVERYWHERE for older apps (upgrade already!)


Creating a basic screen

class HomeScreen < ProMotion::Screen
  title "Home"

  def on_load
    # Load data
  def will_appear
    # Set up the elements in your view with add
    @label ||= add UILabel.alloc.initWithFrame(CGRectMake(5, 5, 20, 20))
  def on_appear
    # Everything's loaded and visible

Loading your first screen

# In /app/app_delegate.rb
class AppDelegate < ProMotion::AppDelegate
  def on_load(app, options)
    open true)

Creating a tab bar

Creating a tabbed bar with multiple screens. This will set the tab bar as the root view controller for your app, so keep that in mind. It can be done from the AppDelegate#on_load or from a screen (that screen will go away, though).

def on_load(app, options)
  @home     = true)
  @settings =
  @contact  = true)
  open_tab_bar @home, @settings, @contact

For each screen that belongs to the tab bar, you need to set the tab name and icon in the files. In this example, we would need add the following to the three files (my_home_screen.rb, settings_screen.rb, contact_screen.rb):

def on_load
  set_tab_bar_item title: "Tab Name Goes Here", icon: "icons/tab_icon.png" # in resources/icons folder
  # or...
  set_tab_bar_item system_icon: UITabBarSystemItemContacts

To programmatically switch to a different tab, use open_tab.

def some_action
  open_tab "Contacts"

Add navigation bar buttons

These two methods add the buttons to the top navigation bar of a screen. The action: lets you specify a method to call when that button is tapped, and you can pass in a UIBarButton style using type:.

set_nav_bar_right_button "Save", action: :save_something, type: UIBarButtonItemStyleDone
set_nav_bar_left_button "Cancel", action: :return_to_some_other_screen, type: UIBarButtonItemStylePlain

Opening and closing screens

If the user taps something and you want to open a new screen, it's easy. Just use open and pass in the screen class or an instance of that screen.

def settings_button_tapped
  # ...with a class...
  open SettingsScreen

  # ...or with an instance...
  @settings_screen =
  open @settings_screen

You can also open a screen as a modal.

open, modal: true

You can pass in arguments to other screens if they have accessors:

class HomeScreen < ProMotion::Screen
  # ...

  def settings_button_tapped
    open some_user)

class ProfileScreen < ProMotion::Screen
  attr_accessor :user

  def on_load
    self.user # => some_user instance

Closing a screen is as easy as can be.

# User taps a button, indicating they want to close this screen.
def close_screen_tapped

You can close a screen (modal or in a nav controller) and pass back arguments to the previous screen's "on_return" method:

class ItemScreen < ProMotion::Screen
  # ...
  def save_and_close
      close(model_saved: true)

class MainScreen < ProMotion::Screen
  # ...
  def on_return(args = {})
    if args[:model_saved]

Adding view elements

Any view item (UIView, UIButton, custom UIView subclasses, etc) can be added to the current view with add. add accepts a second argument which is a hash of attributes that get applied to the element before it is dropped into the view.

@label = add UILabel.alloc.initWithFrame(CGRectMake(5, 5, 20, 20)), {
  text: "This is awesome!",
  font: UIFont.systemFontOfSize(18)

@element = add UIView.alloc.initWithFrame(CGRectMake(0, 0, 20, 20)), {
  backgroundColor: UIColor.whiteColor

The set_attributes method is identical to add except that it does not add it to the current view.

@element = set_attributes UIView.alloc.initWithFrame(CGRectMake(0, 0, 20, 20)), {
  backgroundColor: UIColor.whiteColor

Table Screens

You can create sectioned table screens easily with TableScreen, SectionedTableScreen, and GroupedTableScreen.

class SettingsScreen < ProMotion::GroupedTableScreen
  title "Settings"

  def on_load
    add_right_nav_button(label: "Save", action: :save)
    set_tab_bar_item(title: "Settings", icon: "settings.png")
  # table_data is automatically called. Use this format in the return value.
  # It's an array of cell groups, each cell group consisting of a title and an array of cells.
  def table_data
      title: "Your Account",
      cells: [
        { title: "Edit Profile", action: :edit_profile, arguments: { id: 3 } },
        { title: "Log Out", action: :log_out },
        { title: "Notification Settings", action: :notification_settings }
    }, {
      title: "App Stuff",
      cells: [
        { title: "About", action: :show_about },
        { title: "Feedback", action: :show_feedback }

  # This method allows you to create a "jumplist", the index on the right side of the table
  def table_data_index
    # Ruby magic to make an alphabetical array of letters.
    # Try this in Objective-C and tell me you want to go back.
    return ("A".."Z").to_a 
  # Your table cells, when tapped, will execute the corresponding actions 
  # and pass in the specified arguments.
  def edit_profile(args={})
    puts args[:id] # => 3

You can provide remotely downloaded images for cells by including the CocoaPod "SDWebImage" in your Rakefile and doing this:

  cells: [
      title: "Cell with image",
      remote_image: { url: "", placeholder: "some-local-image" }

Using your own UIViewController

Sometimes you want to inherit from a different UIViewController other than that provided by ProMotion, such as when using Formotion. RubyMotion doesn't currently allow us to override built-in methods when including them as a module. And we really need to override viewDidLoad and others.

Fortunately, there's a workaround for that.

class EventsScreen < Formotion::FormController # Can also be < UIViewController
  include ProMotion::ScreenModule # Not TableScreenModule since we're using Formotion for that

  # Required functions for ProMotion to work properly

  def viewDidLoad
    self.view_did_load if self.respond_to?(:view_did_load)

  def viewWillAppear(animated)
    self.view_will_appear(animated) if self.respond_to?("view_will_appear:")

  def viewDidAppear(animated)
    self.view_did_appear(animated) if self.respond_to?("view_did_appear:")
  def viewWillDisappear(animated)
    self.view_will_disappear(animated) if self.respond_to?("view_will_disappear:")
  def viewDidDisappear(animated)
    self.view_did_disappear(animated) if self.respond_to?("view_did_disappear:")

  def shouldAutorotateToInterfaceOrientation(orientation)

  def shouldAutorotate

  def willRotateToInterfaceOrientation(orientation, duration:duration)
    self.will_rotate(orientation, duration)
  def didRotateFromInterfaceOrientation(orientation)



Method Description
is_modal? Returns if the screen was opened in a modal window.
self Returns the Screen which is a subclass of UIViewController or UITableViewController
has_nav_bar? Returns if the screen is contained in a navigation controller.
set_tab_bar_item(args) Creates the tab that is shown in a tab bar item.
Arguments: { icon: "imagename", systemIcon: UISystemIconContacts, title: "tabtitle" }
on_appear Callback for when the screen appears.
will_appear Callback for before the screen appears.
This is a good place to put your view constructors, but be careful that you don't add things more than on subsequent screen loads.
will_disappear Callback for before the screen disappears.
will_rotate(orientation, duration) Callback for before the screen rotates.
on_opened **Deprecated** Callback when screen is opened via a tab bar. Please don't use this, as it will be removed in the future
Use will_appear
set_nav_bar_left_button(title, args = {}) Set a left nav bar button.
set_nav_bar_right_button(title, args = {}) Set a right nav bar button.
should_autorotate (iOS 6) return true/false if screen should rotate.
Defaults to true.
should_rotate(orientation) (iOS 5) Return true/false for rotation to orientation.
title Returns title of current screen.
title=(title) Sets title of current screen.
You can also set the title like this (not in a method, though):

class SomeScreen
  title "Some screen"

def on_load # ... end end

add(view, attrs = {}) Adds the view to the screen after applying the attributes.
(alias: `add_element`, `add_view`)
Example: add UIInputView.alloc.initWithFrame(CGRectMake(10, 10, 300, 40)), { backgroundColor: UIColor.grayColor }
remove(view) Removes the view from the superview and sets it to nil
(alias: `remove_element`, `remove_view`)
bounds Accessor for self.view.bounds
frame Accessor for self.view.frame
view The main view for this screen.
ios_version Returns the iOS version that is running on the device
ios_version_greater?(version) Returns true if 'ios_version' is greater than the version passed in, false otherwise
ios_version_greater_eq?(version) Returns true if 'ios_version' is greater than or equal to the version passed in, false otherwise
ios_version_is?(version) Returns true if 'ios_version' is equal to the version passed in, false otherwise
ios_version_less?(version) Returns true if 'ios_version' is less than the version passed in, false otherwise
ios_version_less_eq?(version) Returns true if 'ios_version' is less than or equal to the version passed in, false otherwise
app_delegate Returns the AppDelegate
close(args = {}) Closes the current screen, passes args back to the previous screen's on_return method
open_root_screen(screen) Closes all other open screens and opens screen as the root view controller.
open(screen, args = {}) Pushes the screen onto the navigation stack or opens in a modal
Argument options:
nav_bar: true|false (note: this has no effect if you're already in a navigation controller)
hide_tab_bar: true|false
modal: true|false
close_all: true|false (closes all open screens and opens as root)
animated: true:false (currently only affects modals)
in_tab: "Tab name" (if you're in a tab bar)
any accessors in screen
open_tab_bar(*screens) Open a UITabBarController with the specified screens as the root view controller of the current app
open_tab(tab) Opens the tab where the "string" title matches the passed in tab


Has all the methods of Screen

Method Description
self Returns the current UITableViewController (not UITableView)
searchable(placeholder: "placeholder text") Class method to make the current table searchable.


Method that is called to get the table's cell data and build the table.
Example format using nearly all available options.
Note... if you're getting crazy deep into styling your table cells, you really should be subclassing them and specifying that new class in :cell_class and then providing :cell_class_attributes to customize it.

Performance note... It's best to build this array in a different method and store it in something like @table_data. Then your table_data method just returns that.

def table_data
    title: "Table cell group 1",
    cells: [{
      title: "Simple cell",
      action: :this_cell_tapped,
      arguments: { id: 4 }
    }, {
      title: "Crazy Full Featured Cell",
      subtitle: "This is way too huge..see note",
      arguments: { data: [ "lots", "of", "data" ] },
      action: :tapped_cell_1,
      cell_style: UITableViewCellStyleSubtitle, 
      cell_identifier: "Cell",
      cell_class: ProMotion::TableViewCell,
      masks_to_bounds: true,
      background_color: UIColor.whiteColor,
      selection_style: UITableViewCellSelectionStyleGray,
      cell_class_attributes: {
        # any Obj-C attributes to set on the cell
        backgroundColor: UIColor.whiteColor
      accessory: :switch, # currently only :switch is supported
      accessory_view: @some_accessory_view,
      accessory_type: UITableViewCellAccessoryCheckmark,
      accessory_checked: true, # whether it's "checked" or not
      image: { image: UIImage.imageNamed("something"), radius: 15 },
      remote_image: {  # remote image, requires SDWebImage CocoaPod
        url: "", placeholder: "some-local-image", 
        size: 50, radius: 15
      subviews: [ @some_view, @some_other_view ] # arbitrary views added to the cell
  }, {
    title: "Table cell group 2",
    cells: [{
      title: "Log out",
      action: :log_out
  <img src="" />
update_table_data Causes the table data to be refreshed, such as when a remote data source has been downloaded and processed.


Method Description
log(log, with_color:color) Class method to output a colored console message.
Example: ProMotion::Console.log("This is red!", with_color: ProMotion::Console::RED_COLOR)


If you need help, feel free to ping me on twitter @jamonholmgren or email, or open a ticket on GitHub.


I'm really looking for feedback. Tweet me with your ideas or open a ticket (I don't mind!) and let's discuss.

Submitting a Pull Request

  1. Fork the project
  2. Create a feature branch
  3. Code
  4. Update or create new specs
  5. Make sure tests are passing by running rake spec
  6. Submit pull request

Primary Contributors