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TypedDefaults is a utility library to type-safely use NSUserDefaults.


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TypedDefaults is a utility library to type-safely use NSUserDefaults.


The talk Keep Calm and Type Erase On by Gwendolyn Weston at try! Swift 2016 is great and it inspired me to apply the technique Type Erasure for actual cases in app development.


  • Install with CocoaPods

    platform :ios, '8.0'
    pod 'TypedDefaults'


  • iOS 8.0+
  • Swift 4.0
  • Xcode 9


  • Custom types can be type-safely stored in NSUserDefaults
  • Dependency Injection support


Custom types

Custom types can be type-safely stored in NSUserDefaults.
Custom types only need to adopt DefaultsConvertible protocol as described later. No need to inherit NSObject.
Therefore, Swift native Class Struct and Enum are available for custom types.(Of course, subclasses of NSObject are available.)

DefaultsConvertible protocol

public protocol DefaultConvertible {

    static var key: String { get }

    init?(_ object: Any)

    func serialize() -> Any

Custom types are stored in NSUserDefaults as AnyObject.
serialize() is called when saving and init?(_ object:) is called when getting from NSUserDefaults.

It's assuemd each custom type and one configuration used in app is one-to-one relation.
Therefore, key is prepared as type property in order to assign key to one custom type.

Example of custom type

This is an example of the custom type with flag for saving photo to CameraRoll and Photo Size as camera configuration.

struct CameraConfig: DefaultConvertible {
    enum Size: Int {
        case Large, Medium, Small

    var saveToCameraRoll: Bool
    var size: Size

    // MARK: DefaultConvertible

    static let key = "CameraConfig"

    init?(_ object: Any) {
        guard let dict = object as? [String: Any] else {
          return nil

        self.saveToCameraRoll = dict["cameraRoll"] as? Bool ?? true
        if let rawSize = dict["size"] as? Int,
         let size = Size(rawValue: rawSize) {
            self.size = size
         } else {
            self.size = .Medium

    func serialize() -> Any {
        return ["cameraRoll": saveToCameraRoll, "size": size.rawValue]

Saving custom type to NSUserDefaults

PersistentStore is the class to save custom types to NSUserDefaults.
Below is the sample of how to use it.

/// Specify a custom type when initializing PersistentStore
let userDefaults = PersistentStore<CameraConfig>()

// Make an instance of CameraConfig
var cs = CameraConfig([:])!

// Set
// Get
userDefaults.get()?.size // Medium

/// Change the size
cs.size = .Large

// Set
// Get
userDefaults.get()?.size // Large

Dependency Injection support

NSuserDefaults is not Unit Test friendly because it persistently stores data on file system.
TypedDefaults has the types InMemoryStore AnyStore for Dependency Injection in order to test types which behave differently depending on custom types stored in NSuserDefaults.

InMemoryStore adopts DefaultStoreType protocol as well as PersistentStore.
However, InMemoryStore retains custom types only on memory, which is different from PersistentStore.
As for AnyStore, it is the type to abstract PersistentStore and InMemoryStore.


This is the example to use InMemoryStore and AnyStore instead of PersistentStore at Unit Test.

There is a class called CameraViewController which inherits UIViewController.
It has a property config to retain a custom type saved in NSuserDefaults. To support Dependency Injection, set AnyStore as the type of config.

class CameraViewController: UIViewController {
    lazy var config: AnyStore<CameraConfig> = {
        let ds = PersistentStore<CameraConfig>()
        return AnyStore(ds)


Because the type of config is not PersistentStore but AnyStore, it can be replaced with InMemoryStore at Unit Test as below.

class CameraViewControllerTests: XCTestCase {
    var viewController: CameraViewController!

    override func setUp() {
        viewController = CameraViewController()

        let defaultConfig = CameraConfig([:])!
        let ds = InMemoryStore<CameraConfig>()
        ds.set(defaultConfig) //
        viewController.config = AnyStore(ds)

Release Notes



TypedDefaults is released under the MIT license. See LICENSE for details.