Cloudinary's iOS SDK provides simple, yet comprehensive image and video upload, transformation, optimization, and delivery capabilities that you can implement using code that integrates seamlessly with your existing iOS application.

In this guide you'll learn how to get started with the iOS SDK, but if you are not familiar with Cloudinary, we advise reading How to integrate Cloudinary first for a high-level overview of integrating Cloudinary into your code, and an introduction to the main concepts.

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This guide relates to the latest released version of the Cloudinary iOS library.

For details on all new features and fixes from previous versions, see the CHANGELOG.

Quick example: Transformations

Take a look at the following transformation code and the image it delivers:

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sample transformation

This relatively simple code performs all of the following on the original front_face.jpg image before delivering it:

  • Crop to a 150x150 thumbnail using face-detection gravity to automatically determine the location for the crop
  • Round the corners with a 20 pixel radius
  • Apply a sepia effect
  • Overlay the Cloudinary logo on the southeast corner of the image (with a slight offset). The logo is scaled down to a 50 pixel width, with increased brightness and partial transparency (opacity = 60%)
  • Rotate the resulting image (including the overlay) by 10 degrees
  • Convert and deliver the image in PNG format (the originally uploaded image was a JPG)

And here's the URL that would be included in the image tag that's automatically generated from the above code:

In a similar way, you can transform a video.

Quick example: File upload

The following Swift code uses an unsigned upload preset to upload the dog.mp4 video to the specified account sub-folder using the publicId my_dog. When the video upload is complete, the specified notification URL will receive details about the uploaded media asset.

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let params = CLDUploadRequestParams()
let request = cloudinary.createUploader().upload(file: fileUrl, params: params)

iOS SDK features

  • Build dynamic URLs for delivering images and videos with on-the-fly transformations
  • Implement direct file upload from your mobile application directly to your Cloudinary account
  • Support chunked upload for large files
  • Preprocess files before uploading
  • Handle asynchronous upload callbacks
  • Automatic error handling for network disconnections, timeouts, etc
  • Save bandwidth with a cache-enabled resource downloader
  • Support code in Objective-C


The following instructions detail the installation of the Cloudinary iOS library. Use one of the following options:

CocoaPods installation

CocoaPods is a dependency manager for Swift and Objective-C Cocoa projects. Add the Cloudinary dependency to your Podfile:

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pod 'Cloudinary', '~> 2.0'

This version notation uses the highest version available within 2.*

Then, run the command:

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$ pod install

This will run a script to install the Cloudinary header files in your Pods roots folder.

Carthage installation

Carthage is a decentralized dependency manager for Cocoa. Add the following line to your Cartfile:

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github “cloudinary/cloudinary_ios” ~> 2.0.0

This version notation uses the highest version available within 2.*.*

Manual installation

If you prefer not to use a dependency manager, you can add Cloudinary manually by adding it as a submodule to your project.

  1. If your project is not initialized as a git repository, run the command:
    $ git init
  2. To add cloudinary as a git submodule, run the command:
    $ git submodule add
  3. Open Terminal and navigate to your project's top level directory.
  4. Drag Cloudinary.xcodeproj into the Project Navigator of your application's Xcode project. It should appear under your application's blue project icon.
  5. Select Cloudinary.xcodeproj and make sure the deployment target matches that of your application target.
  6. Select your application project. Under TARGETS select your application, open the General tab, click on the + button under Embedded Binaries and select Cloudinary.framework.


To use the Cloudinary iOS library you have to configure at least your cloudName. You can additionally define a number of optional configuration parameters if relevant. You can find your account-specific configuration credentials in the dashboard of our Management Console.


  • Most functionality implemented on the client side does not require authentication, so only your cloud_name is required to be configured, and not your API key or secret. Your API secret should never be exposed on the client side, so if you want to use signed uploads or generate delivery signatures, you’ll also need server-side code, for which you can use one of our backend SDKs.
  • For backward compatibility reasons, the default value of the optional secure configuration parameter is false. However, for most modern applications, it's recommended to configure the secure parameter to true to ensure that your transformation URLs are always generated as HTTPS.

The entry point of the library is the CLDCloudinary object, which is initialized with an instance of CLDConfiguration with the desired params, for example:

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let config = CLDConfiguration(cloudName: "CLOUD_NAME", secure: "true")
let cloudinary = CLDCloudinary(configuration: config)

Another option is to pass a cloudinaryURL in the form cloudinary://@[CLOUD_NAME]?{URL config parameters}, for example:

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let config = CLDConfiguration(cloudinaryUrl: "cloudinary://@MY_CLOUD?secure=true")
let cloudinary = CLDCloudinary(configuration: config)

iOS capitalization and data type guidelines

When using the iOS SDK, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Parameter names: camelCase. For example: fileUrl
  • Classes: PascalCase. For example: CLDTransformation
  • Methods: camelCase. For example: createUploader
  • Pass parameter data as a Dictionary

Sample project

The iOS example project gives a sample of using the iOS SDK to perform some of Cloudinary's functionality.

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