Use our new XDK! The XDK enables a richer messaging experience and new features will be added there. See the repository at Don't worry, Atlas-iOS will still be supported in the meantime.

Chat and Messaging UI components for iOS, built to work with Layer

Atlas is a lightweight, flexible set of user interface components designed to enable developers to quickly and easily integrate native communications experiences into their applications. It was designed and built from the ground up to integrate with LayerKit, the native iOS SDK for accessing the Layer communications platform. LayerKit provides developers with a simple, object oriented interface to the rich messaging capabilities provided by the Layer platform. Atlas, in turn, provides ready-made UI components that expose these capabilities directly to users.



Atlas provides several complete user interface experiences as well as a large library of individual views. It was designed to address three use cases simultaneously:

  1. Provide good looking, high quality implementations of familiar messaging experiences out of the box. By default Atlas is styled to look much like iMessage.
  2. Enable quick and easy branding of the user experience via integration with UIAppearance and Interface Builder. All fonts, colors, etc. can be customized via an extensive set of UIAppearance selectors. This enables developers to quickly add messaging to an existing application and match the components with the existing style.
  3. Support full customization of the user interface by enabling developers to plug in their own views in any of the experiences. Developers should be able to implement any design while continuing to leverage the scaffolding that is driving the messaging UI's.

Atlas is deeply and directly integrated with LayerKit. This enables maximum integration with the communications API's and keeps the user interface components very clean, simple and lightweight. LayerKit provides three foundational models (Conversations, Messages, and Message Parts) and a querying system for accessing the messaging data. These models and the querying functionality are used to drive the Atlas UI components.


Atlas requires iOS >= 8.0. The LayerKit version requirements for each release are tightly coupled. See the release notes for details about specifics.

Example App

To make it easier to get started with Atlas, we've provided the Atlas Messenger example application. Build instructions accompany the source code on the repository. Alternately, you can check out Atlas within a Layer sandbox of your very own by visiting the Experience Atlas page.