About the SDK (iOS)

The Intercom SDK for iOS enables you to use the Intercom Messenger in your app, have conversations with your customers, send rich outbound messages, show your Help Center, and track events.

We’ll walk you through some of the key features to help you become familiar with what’s available before you begin integrating the mobile SDK with your app.

The Intercom Messenger

The Intercom Messenger is the home for the conversations your customers have with you via Intercom, and the place where they can self-serve for support or to learn more about your product.

The Messenger works for both logged in and logged out users. It’s worth reading the detailed instructions in these developer docs on user management before you get started.

You can open the Intercom Messenger from a button in your app, programmatically when someone does something, or from a persistent button that sits over your app’s UI.

When you trigger the Intercom Messenger, your customer is presented with a home screen. This is configurable inside Intercom to change how it looks and what’s presented.

From there, your customer can search for help articles or start a conversation. A conversation goes to your inbox inside Intercom, and replies in both directions happen in real time. You can also send push notifications to your customers to let them know they have a reply after they’ve left your app.

Going straight to the Help Center or to start a conversation

You may wish to get your customer straight to the Intercom feature that matters most to them. For example, in our own app we want our customers to be able to quickly start a conversation or view our Help Center.

The mobile SDK gives you methods for presenting your Help Center or to start a new conversation. You can even pre-populate the conversation with information.

Outbound messages and proactive support

You can send messages to your customers from Intercom, and the mobile SDK will present them in your app. Messages can be targeted at specific users or groups of users, and can be scheduled to be sent during specific time windows.

Companies use this for many use cases, including onboarding new users, announcing features, proactive support, important notices etc.

The mobile SDK supports many different message formats, all of which can be created and configured inside Intercom. These include:

  • Mobile Carousels - multiple page full screen announcement.
  • Push notifications - these can open your app or follow a deep link.
  • Chats - messages from someone in your team to your customer.
  • Small posts - a short announcement.
  • Large posts - a full screen announcement.

We check for new messages when your app opens and whenever your customer or your app interacts with Intercom.

Updating user attributes and tracking events

You can send information about your customer or how they use your app to Intercom. This will give you insights into what features they’re using, and provide valuable context when you’re having a conversation.

You can update your customer’s attributes in Intercom using the mobile SDK. For example, you may want to update a flag that shows that they have used a specific feature.

You can send event information to Intercom. For example, you can track the first, last and total amount of times a user does something.

If you send an attribute or event to Intercom that doesn’t exist yet, we’ll create it for you. It’s always worth checking what’s already set up in Intercom before you finalise your implementation to prevent duplicates or inconsistencies.


You can install Intercom for iOS using Cocoapods, Carthage, or manually. A basic installation takes around 15 minutes, but will take a little longer if you need to configure event tracking or have a more complex use case.

To install Intercom for iOS you will need an API key. You’ll find that in Intercom > Settings > Installation > iOS. That’s where you can upload your push certificate as well.

Sample app

You’ll find Intercom for iOS on Github here. There’s also a sample app that you can use to play around with the SDK here.


Intercom for iOS is compatible with iOS 13 and up. We also have a plugin for Cordova and Phonegap.

The SDK is written using both Objective-C and Swift.

SDK size

The size of Intercom for iOS once installed varies depending on your app’s configuration. For most installations, it’s around 3MB in size.