v2.1.4 PKard Toolkit for iOS secure app development environment

The royalty free PKard® Toolkit for iOS is commercial US software that supports iPad, iPhone and iPod touch secure app development for in-house and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs).  New apps participate in a secure app ecosystem that includes well over twenty thousand early adopters -- the largest production group in the market.

The Toolkit is specifically built for rapid secure mobile development, where many apps need to cooperate seamlessly with readers and cards.  PKard Reader serves a double duty as a secure browser and an authentication agent, coordinating the apps.  The kit is an entire public key development environment including a special Mac emulator to simplify development and debugging. 

The kit provides a device independent and comprehensive high level API for rapid development and maintenance, as well as low level interfaces including PC/SC and OpenSSL.  The toolkit provides for a validated FIPS 140-2 framework for secure policy management based on cryptographically signed policy data.  Thursby sponsored and assisted the OpenSSL Project in achieving the world’s first FIPS / NIST 140-2 validation for iOS back in 2012, later extended to Mac OS X and Android. 


  • Royalty-free license for redistribution and use in binary forms
  • iOS 6 or higher
  • Device agnostic - iPad, iPhone or iPod touch
  • Card reader agnostic - Apple MFi independent, supporting reader hardware in many form factors
  • Card type agnostic  - CAC, CAC Dual Persona, PIV, PIV-I and other popular card types
  • App agnostic  - access to reader hardware and cards is coordinated across multiple apps
  • Authentication method agnostic - including smart cards, soft tokens and derived certificates (where permitted)
  • Optional third party VPN, MAS, MAM or MDM integration
  • Secure enterprise policy management
  • FIPS 140-2 validation, AES 256 encryption DIT (Data In Transit) and DAR (Data At Rest)
  • New, fast and easy-to-use high-level APIs that allow development in days, not the man months of legacy low-level and hard-coded tools
  • Legacy low-level APIs such as PC/SC and OpenSSL
  • Support for DBsign web-signing and the DoD Defense Travel System (DTS) is built-in (the smallest box on the diagram above)
  • Latest 64-bit code for best performance
  • Full documentation, sample apps, developer portal and Mac simulator environment
  • Mature and widely used commercial software base, an eight-year history in Apple smart cards and tens of thousands of production users
  • Made and supported in the USA by specialists from Arlington, Texas

iOS app developer requirements

  • Apple iPad, iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 6 or higher
  • Thursby or third party licensed smart card reader (where required)
  • Provisioned test smart card, soft or derived certificate (matched to test server logins)
  • Apple Mac with OS X 10.8 or higher
  • Apple Xcode 5 or higher

Secure policy developer requirements

  • Physical or virtual instance of Microsoft Windows 7 or higher
  • Secure mobile policies are developed under Windows and can be used for both iOS and Android rollouts


  • PKard toolkit for Apple & Android

           PKard toolkit for Apple & Android

Our history in strong security

Thursby has been delivering enterprise integration, management and security for over a quarter century, with strong security at the world’s largest user of PKI, secure web and email, the DoD, over the past decade.  Thursby were invited by Apple to harden Mac OS X for use by the US Army worldwide in 2006, extending CAC and PIV support across the US Government for GFE (government furnished equipment) workstations and laptops, as well as home users and their personal devices .   The same technology was brought to the iPad, iPhone and iOS in 2011, now live for tens of thousands of productions users, and Android in 2014, reflecting the growth in secure enterprise usage of those new mobile platforms.

Comprehensive White Paper available to partners

  •  iPad, iPhone & Android strong security for enterprise & personal mobility with smart cards & PKard technology

     iPad, iPhone & Android Strong security for enterprise & personal mobility With smart cards & PKard® technology

Adding new smart card types

  • For a new smart card type, 95% of the stack is already in place
  • The 5% additional functionality can be added either by integrating a licensed and pre-existing card library, or custom building, where permitted, from sample cards and specifications


  • Royalty free Android PKard Toolkit secure app development environment - here

More information