NativeScript Core

Building Plugins That Use CocoaPods

When you develop for iOS, you can quickly add third-party libraries to your NativeScript projects via the CocoaPods dependency manager.

To work with such libraries, you need to wrap them as a custom NativeScript plugin and add them to your project.

Install CocoaPods

You need to install CocoaPods. If you haven't yet, you can do so by running:

$ sudo gem install cocoapods

NOTE: The minimum required version of CocoaPods is 1.0.0.

To check your current version, run the following command.

$ pod --version

To update CocoaPods, just run the installation command again.

sudo gem install cocoapods

Create CLI Project

To start, create a project and add the iOS platform.

$ tns create MYCocoaPodsApp
$ cd MYCocoaPodsApp
$ tns platform add ios

Wrap the Library as NativeScript Plugin

For more information about working with NativeScript plugins, click here.

cd ..
mkdir my-plugin
cd my-plugin

Create a package.json file with the following content:

  "name": "my-plugin",
  "version": "0.0.1",
  "nativescript": {
    "platforms": {
      "ios": "1.3.0"

Create a Podfile which describes the dependency to the library that you want to use. Move it to the platforms/ios folder.

├── package.json
└── platforms/
    └── ios/
        └── Podfile


pod 'GoogleMaps'

Install the Plugin

Next, install the plugin:

tns plugin add ../my-plugin

NOTE: Installing CocoaPods sets the deployment target of your app to iOS 8, if not already set to iOS 8 or later. This change is required because CocoaPods are installed as shared frameworks to ensure that all symbols are available at runtime.

Build the Project

tns build ios

This modifies the MYCocoaPodsApp.xcodeproj and creates a workspace with the same name.

IMPORTANT: You will no longer be able to run the xcodeproj alone. NativeScript CLI will build the newly created workspace and produce the correct package.


In case of post-build linker errors, you might need to resolve missing dependencies to native frameworks required by the installed CocoaPod. For more information about how to create the required links, see the build.xcconfig specification.