D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Debug HTTP Traffic from iOS on Windows

Thursday, August 8, 2013 5:00 PM

My ***TOP SECRET PROJECT*** goes on, and part of it requires me to debug an iOS application’s service calls.

I found a couple of options that didn’t quite fit the bill.


First up was Charles, a proxy app for the Mac. This app worked really well actually – honestly the best of the three I tried out. I liked the UI, I liked its ease of use, and the fact that I had to run it on my MBP wasn’t a deal breaker.

What was the deal breaker was the price. $50 because “it took a long time to develop”. The stuff in quotes was part of a popup that would alert users to the time limitation of the software, and plead for them to buy it. Hey Charles devs, guess what – LOTS of software takes time to develop. That’s not a value proposition.

Also it was annoying that during the free trial it would constantly put up splash pages as delays – reminding me that I should purchase a license. Hard to really gauge the usability of the app when it keeps interrupting me.

And I’m really really sorry, because this is kinda petty – but….what’s with the decorative pitcher as the logo?



Next up was Man In The Middle Proxy, a free open source app for the Mac. I’m sure Unix geeks and command-line junkies would have no problem with this app. As it was, I couldn’t even figure out how to change the background colour of my terminal windows in OSX. Honestly though, I couldn’t get it to flag any HTTP activity on the local machine, never mind an iOS device. The online documentation didn’t really walk through initial setup either, just what the different commands were. It looked good, and I can see how this would be a great example for those wanting to see a real-world man-in-the-middle example though, and with a bit more time I’m sure (all command line jokes aside) that I could get it working.


Fiddler for Windows is the go to choice for web devs on the Windows platform. It turns out its also the go-to choice for those that want to capture HTTP traffic on an iOS device. You don’t even need to go through the pain of setting up Internet Connection Sharing on Windows! Eric Lawrence has a great blog post on what you need to configure for an iOS device to go through Fiddler on a Windows machine – read it here.

Simple, effective, and best yet – FREE! Although to be clear – I’d totally pay for it (Charles charging money doesn’t bother me – keeping me from evaluating their software by reminding me I should buy it does).



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