Uncover bad network traffic on your phone

Published on June 8th, 2018

Sift for iOS is an open source app that shows you what every other app on your phone is really doing. Uncover network traffic in real-time for every app on your phone. Create rules to block sites like ads and tracking pages.


Sift can answer questions like: are apps tracking me even if I disable analytics? are apps malicious? are they connecting to strange urls? are they doing network activity in the background?

Inspect network traffic for any app on your phone. Using push notifications, Sift shows you real-time network requests made by other apps.

Monitor background activity. Sift can even show you what network requests apps are making in the background.

Create rules to block urls like tracking sites, ads, etc. Use Sift to block any site you don’t like for every app on your phone.

Debugging tool for developers Use Sift to debug network traffic for your production app: inspect background activity, see how your app handles connection failures to certain sites, etc.

Sift is completely private Sift never shares or sends your network traffic data anywhere. Data that Sift collects never leaves your phone.


Sift shows you what an app is doing by pushing a notification in real-time. Later you can open Sift and create rules for blocking sites.


Why isn’t Sift on the App Store?

It turns it out that network content filters are not permitted for regular app store apps (it only works in supervised device mode). So I decided to release the source code instead – any donations are greatly appreciated :)

How do I use it/install it?

  1. Install XCode.
  2. git clone git@github.com:/agrinman/sift-ios; git submodule update --init --recursive
  3. Open Sift.xcodeproj
  4. Replace my development team with your own.
  5. Replace all occurenses of in.alexgr. with your team identifier.

Plug in your phone and press run.

Note: You might have to authorize XCode to deploy to your phone/ sign into iCloud in XCode.

Where can I find the source code?


Is there XCode 10 support?

Yep – just switch to the xcode-10 branch.