Ben Gottlieb, iPhone Developer in Chicago, IL, United States
Ben Gottlieb

iPhone Developer in Chicago, IL, United States

Member since June 11, 2018
Ben has been an iOS developer for the entire life of the platform and has worked on mobile devices for more than 20 years. He designed, built, and has maintained the most popular Crosswords app in Apple's AppStore for the last 10 years. He's done work on Apple's foundation OS code, designed Salesforce's internal REST framework, and written large-scale deployed apps for companies like Home Depot and Zimmer.
Ben is now available for hire


  • Stand Alone, Inc.
    REST, JavaScript, Xcode, Objective-C, Swift, iOS
  • Real Talk LLC
    iOS, Swift, SwiftUI, UIKit, Mobile UI, APIs, Architecture
  • Coinlytics
    iOS, SwiftUI, WatchOS UI, Apple Watch, User Experience (UX)...



Chicago, IL, United States



Preferred Environment


The most amazing...

...project I got to work on was with Roger Ebert on his iOS Movie Guide. We were able to distill decades of film criticism down to an iPhone sized package.


  • Lead iOS Engineer

    1993 - PRESENT
    Stand Alone, Inc.
    • Built and maintained the first and most popular crosswords app in the store, with over 3 million downloads.
    • Managed the relationship with Apple's App Store team to get Crosswords into the store on day 1.
    • Maintained Crosswords through 10 iOS versions.
    • Released Crosswords as the Apple & Starbuck's app of the week in 2012.
    • Oversaw a transition from Objective-C to Swift as our primary iOS language.
    • Developed numerous internal tools and libraries to assist in iOS development.
    Technologies: REST, JavaScript, Xcode, Objective-C, Swift, iOS
  • Lead iOS Developer

    2022 - 2022
    Real Talk LLC
    • Built a back-office app for Speech Pathologists to manage both their clients and sessions with those clients.
    • Collaborated with the rest of the team to create and evolve the server API that talks to an iOS app.
    • Created a minimum viable product (MVP) that met or exceeded all initial requirements in time for the client to use it in a trade show presentation.
    Technologies: iOS, Swift, SwiftUI, UIKit, Mobile UI, APIs, Architecture
  • Lead iOS Engineer

    2021 - 2022
    • Built an iPhone, iPad, and watchOS app from zero to shipping.
    • Integrated with a custom API to provide up-to-date cryptocurrency information to the user's home screen using widgets.
    • Developed a complex widget customization framework with dozens of themes and an enormous amount of customization, which supports thousands of currencies.
    Technologies: iOS, SwiftUI, WatchOS UI, Apple Watch, User Experience (UX), User Interface (UI), Swift, Swift 5, StoreKit, App UX, Apple, UIKit, APIs, Networking, Widgets
  • Mobile Developer

    2021 - 2022
    Lavngarde PBC
    • Took over the development of a POC that had already been started and built it into a shipping product.
    • Interfaced with various third-party APIs to build a powerful background checking system.
    • Integrated with Firebase to store user information and make simple and easily accomplishable admin tasks without having to access the code.
    Technologies: Swift, iOS, Firebase, API Integration, Mobile UX, SwiftUI, App UX, Apple
  • Lead iOS Developer

    2020 - 2021
    Strongest AI
    • Designed and built a detailed CrossFit application for iPhone and Apple Watch using SwiftUI, Core Data, Combine, and numerous other Apple and third-party technologies.
    • Created a flexible data model to encompass the breadth of CrossFit exercise programs and workouts.
    • Implemented a detailed phone and watch UI that allows athletes to easily monitor their workout and keep them motivated and informed.
    Technologies: SwiftUI, Core Data, Swift, Intercom API, Mixpanel API, iOS, Networking, WatchOS UI
  • Senior iOS Developer

    2018 - 2020
    Nomadic Tribe
    • Built out the Nomadic Tribe mobile application, designing much of the app's architecture and implementation.
    • Created a flexible and lightweight internal networking stack using protocols for easy extension.
    • Designed an application architecture with minimal reliance on outside code, enabling short build times and fast iteration (all dependencies were managed using the Swift Package Manager).
    Technologies: UIKit, Git, Bitbucket, Jira, Xcode, Swift, iOS
  • iOS Developer Volunteer

    2016 - 2017
    • Designed and developed the 5calls app iPad interface.
    • Redesigned the iPhone UI for use on larger screens.
    • Coded and built out the entire iPad interface.
    Technologies: Swift, Xcode, iPad, iOS
  • iOS Contract Developer

    2015 - 2016
    • Built an iPad app to showcase PG&E's Zero-Net-Energy house.
    • Architected and coded the iPad app, integrating augmented reality, location-awareness, and 3D imaging components.
    • Implemented a pre-ARKit Augmented Reality experience using the iPad as a virtual window.
    Technologies: Bluetooth, Xcode, Augmented Reality (AR), Swift, iOS
  • iOS Contract Developer

    2010 - 2016
    • Built the first mass-deployed iPad marketing tool at Zimmer (at the time of its release, it was the largest deployed iPad app in the world).
    • Designed and coded Salesforce's initial REST toolkit for implementing iOS apps based on their platform.
    • Built The Home Depot's paint color simulation tool, Color My World, a tap app in the App Store.
    • Created the Monsanto Seedsman Digital Sales Assistant iPad app.
    • Developed the Allergan, Kimberly Clark, Abbot Vascular, and Diageo DSA iPad apps.
    Technologies: iPhone, iPad, Salesforce, REST, Objective-C, iOS
  • iOS Contract Developer

    2011 - 2015
    Roger Ebert
    • Built Roger's iOS Great Movies app.
    Technologies: Objective-C, Xcode, iOS
  • iOS Contract Developer

    2013 - 2014
    • Built the crosswords playing component for the LaPresse newspaper app.
    • Converted our existing Crosswords app into an embeddable library.
    • Worked with the LaPresse team to embed the crossword functionality into their existing app.
    Technologies: Objective-C, iPhone, iPad, iOS
  • iOS & Palm OS Contract Developer

    2002 - 2013
    • Built Handmark's Express software client for both Palm and iOS.
    • Owned the development of one of the keynote iPhone apps (Handmark was brought on stage for the initial iPhone SDK introduction for this app).
    • Built up the Palm client as the initial client for Handmark's Express news service.
    • Transitioned the client to iOS after the release of the iPhone.
    • Oversaw Palm and iOS development until Handmark's acquisition by Sprint in 2013.
    Technologies: XML, Xcode, C++, Objective-C, Palm OS, iOS
  • iOS Contract Developer

    2010 - 2012
    Apple, Inc.
    • Architected and coded a discussion board component for Apple's internal Apple Store sales tool, Retail Me.
    • Took existing designs and translated them into working application features.
    Technologies: iPad, Objective-C, iOS, Xcode


  • Crosswords

    This is the first and the most popular crosswords app in the App Store. It's been there since day one, featured by Apple. It has also been a Starbucks Pick of the Week, winning numerous accolades. I designed and built the iOS client.

  • Nomadic Tribe

    A Swift app for exploring native cultures around the world, learning about them, and scheduling trips to visit and live among them. I worked with a globe-spanning team with members on three continents and a half dozen time zones. We designed and built the app to help what we call nomads to expand their worlds by connecting with the nomadic tribes worldwide.

  • The Home Depot | Project Color

    I was in charge of the iOS component of this app, though not the actual color mapping. We started with a series of wireframes and comps and implemented the entire app. I was in charge of application architecture and implementation.

  • Ukrainian Poetry | Аркуші—українська поезія

    A SwiftUI app for exploring Ukrainian poetry on your phone. We designed and built the app as an early exploration of a fully SwiftUI app on iOS. We eschewed all UIKit controls and code and built it entirely in SwiftUI. I worked with a talented and dedicated Ukrainian designer to build a beautiful app that expressed both the poetry of the Ukrainian language and the flexibility of SwiftUI.

  • USAToday Crosswords

    I developed this back in 2009, and they've not maintained it, but, for a while, it was one of the most popular iOS Crossword apps. I designed and implemented the entire application.

  • Twitter + OAuth

    Here's an open source library I created to make it easier to log into Twitter via OAuth. I designed and coded the Oauth components that enabled secure login to Twitter's services.

  • ASDetect Autism Detection App

    I built the iOS component for this app, including most of the design and all of the coding. I worked with a team distributed over three continents and six time zones to build an award-winning app to help parents detect autism in their young children.

  • Collusion: Nearby Device Networking with MultipeerConnectivity in iOS (Publication)
    Traditionally, connecting devices for peer-to-peer communications has been a tedious task: An application needs to discover what’s around it, open connections on both sides, and then maintain them as network infrastructure, connections, distances, etc. Realizing the difficulties inherent in these activities, in iOS 7 and macOS 10.10 Apple introduced its MultipeerConnectivity framework. Join Toptal Freelance iOS Developer Ben Gottlieb as he explains what MultipeerConnectivity is, and teaches us how to use it.


  • Languages

    Objective-C, C, Swift, JavaScript, XML, C++, Swift 5
  • Frameworks

    SwiftUI, Core Data, Cocoa, UIKit, iOS Frameworks, Vapor, ARKit, StoreKit
  • Tools

    Xcode, Interface Builder, Jira, Bitbucket, Git
  • Paradigms

    Agile, Prototype-based OOP, MVC Design, UI Design, REST
  • Platforms

    WatchOS, iOS, MacOS, Apple, Firebase, Salesforce, Apple Watch, Mobile
  • Other

    User Interface (UI), iPhone, iPad, Bluetooth, Networking, Architecture, API Integration, Mobile UX, Palm OS, Augmented Reality (AR), WatchOS UI, Mobile UI, APIs, App UX, User Experience (UX), Widgets
  • Storage

  • Libraries/APIs

    Intercom API, Mixpanel API


  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics
    1991 - 1995
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Troy, New York

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