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

iPhone Developer in Chicago, IL, United States

Member since March 22, 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




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 AppStore team to get Crosswords into the store on Day 1.
    • Maintained Crosswords through 10 iOS versions.
    • Released Crosswords as 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: iOS, Swift, Objective-C, Xcode, Javascript, REST
  • 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: iOS, Swift, Xcode, Jira, Bitbucket, Git, UIKit
  • 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: iOS, iPad, Xcode, Swift
  • 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: iOS, Swift, AR, Xcode, Bluetooth
  • 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.
    • Built the Monsanto Seedsman Digital Sales Assistant iPad app.
    • Built the Allergan, Kimberly Clark, Abbot Vascular, and Diageo DSA iPad apps.
    Technologies: iOS, Objective-C, REST, Salesforce, iPad, iPhone
  • iOS Contract Developer

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

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

    2002 - 2013
    • Built Handmark's Express software client for both Palm and iOS.
    • In charge of 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: iOS, Palm OS, Objective-C, C++, Xcode, XML
  • 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: Xcode, iOS, Objective-C, iPad


  • Crosswords (Development)

    The first (and most popular!) Crosswords app in the App Store. It's been there since day one, has been featured by Apple, been a Starbucks App of the Week, and won numerous accolades. I designed and built the iOS client.

  • The Home Depot: Project Color (Development)

    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.

  • USAToday Crosswords (Development)

    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 (Development)

    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.

  • Grablr - Last Minute Deals (Development)

    I was brought in to maintain and update an existing iOS application. I took over an existing codebase, and was in charge of coding and implementing new features.

  • ASDetect Autism Detection App (Development)

    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, C++
  • Frameworks

    Core Data, Cocoa, UIkit, iOS Frameworks, Vapor
  • Tools

    Xcode, Interface Builder
  • Paradigms

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

    iOS, MacOS, watchOS
  • Other

    iPhone, iPad, Bluetooth
  • Storage



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

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