iPhone OS Overview

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13 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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iPhone OS Overview

iPhone OS comprises the operating system and technologies that you use to run
applications natively on iPhone and iPod touch devices. Although it shares a common
heritage and many underlying technologies with Mac OS X, iPhone OS was desi
gned to
meet the needs of a mobile environment, where user’s needs are slightly different.
Existing Mac OS X developers will find many familiar technologies, but they’ll also
find technologies that are available only on iPhone OS, such as the Multi
-
Touch
i
nterface and accelerometer support.

The iPhone SDK contains the code, information, and tools you need to develop, test,
run, debug, and tune applications for the iPhone OS. The Xcode tools have been
updated to support development for the iPhone OS. In addi
tion to providing the basic
editing, compilation, and debugging environment for your code, Xcode also provides
the launching point for testing your applications on an iPhone or iPod touch device.
Xcode also lets you run applications in iPhone simulator, a
platform that mimics the
basic iPhone OS environment on your local Macintosh computer.

This article provides a high
-
level overview of the basic features found in iPhone OS, to
help orient you to the platform. You’ll find other articles in the iPhone Dev Ce
nter to
help get you up to speed quickly and to help you understand the basic process for
creating iPhone applications. You should use these articles to help guide your learning
path for iPhone OS.


Figure 1

Figure 1 iPhone OS technology layers


iPhone OS Technology Layers

In iPhone OS, the underlying system architecture, and many of the tech
nologies, are
similar to those found in Mac OS X. The kernel in iPhone OS is based on a variant of
the same basic Mach kernel that is found in Mac OS X. On top of this kernel are the
layers of services that are used to implement applications on the platfor
m. “Figure 1
iPhone OS technology layers” shows a high
-
level overview of these layers.


Figure 2

iPhone OS technology layers


This layering gives you choices when it comes to implementing your code. For
example, the Core OS and Core Services layers contain the fundamental interfaces for
iPhone OS, including those used for accessing files, lo
w
-
level data types, Bonjour
services, network sockets, and so on. These interfaces are mostly C
-
based and include
technologies such as Core Foundation, CFNetwork, SQLite, and access to POSIX
threads and UNIX sockets among others.

As you move into the upper

layers, you find more advanced technologies that use a
mixture of C
-
based and Objective
-
C based interfaces. For example, the Media layer
contains the fundamental technologies used to support 2D and 3D drawing, audio, and
video. This layer includes the C
-
b
ased technologies OpenGL ES, Quartz, and Core
Audio. It also contains Core Animation, which is an advanced Objective
-
C based
animation engine.

In the Cocoa Touch layer, most of the technologies use Objective
-
C. The frameworks at
these layers provide the fu
ndamental infrastructure used by your application. For
example, the Foundation framework provides object
-
oriented support for collections,
file management, network operations, and more. The UIKit framework provides the
visual infrastructure for your applic
ation, including classes for windows, views,
controls, and the controllers that manage those objects. Other frameworks at this level
give you access to the user’s contact and photo information and to the accelerometers
and other hardware features of the de
vice.

The starting point for any new project is the Cocoa Touch layer, and the UIKit
framework in particular. When deciding what additional technologies to use, it is
recommended that you start with frameworks in the higher
-
level layers and fall back on
th
e frameworks in the lower layers as needed. The higher
-
level frameworks make it
easy to support standard system behaviors with the least amount of effort on your part.
The only time you should fall back to the lower
-
level frameworks is when you want to
imp
lement custom behavior that is not provided at a higher level.

For a more detailed overview of the technologies in iPhone OS, see
iPhone OS
Technology Overview
.

Writing Code for iPhone OS

The iPhone SDK supports the creation of graphically
-
oriented applications that run
natively in iPhone OS. The applications you create reside on the u
ser’s Home screen,
along with the other system applications, such as Photos, Weather, and Clock. After it is
launched, aside from the kernel and a few low
-
level daemons, your application is the
only application running on the system. While running, your ap
plication occupies the
entire screen and is the focus of the user’s attention. And when the user presses the
Home button, your application quits and the system displays the Home screen again.
Having the system to yourself is advantageous because it gives y
ou full access to the
underlying system resources. You can take advantage of built
-
in hardware such as the
accelerometers, camera, and graphics hardware to run just your code.

Because the way users interact with iPhone and iPod touch devices is fundamental
ly
different from the way users interact with Mac OS X, the way you design your
applications must also be different. In an iPhone application, there is no concept of
separate document windows for displaying content. Instead, all of the application’s data
i
s displayed in a single window. This has lead to the creation of new views and controls
that allow you to present your application’s data in an organized manner. In addition,
many of the standard views and controls may behave a little differently than thei
r Mac
OS X counterparts. Most of these changes should be transparent but some may require
you to rethink the way you organize and present your data.

The event
-
handling model in iPhone OS also represents a significant departure from
traditional desktop appl
ications. Instead of relying on the traditional mouse and
keyboard events, iPhone OS introduces the idea of touch events. A touch event can
occur at any time and in combination with one or more additional touch events. Touches
can be used to detect simple
interactions with content, such as selecting or dragging
items, or they can be used to detect complex gestures and interactions, such as swipes or
the pinch
-
open and pinch
-
close gestures (used, for example, to zoom in and out in the
Photos application).

Be
yond considering the basic structure of your application, you need to think about how
users will actually use it. iPhone applications should be clean, and focused on what the
user needs in the moment. Remember that users who are on
-
the
-
go want to get at
in
formation quickly and not spend a lot of time looking digging through several layers
of screens. Providing a simple layout that highlights the key information the user needs
is important. For games and other fun applications, you should also consider how t
he
users might want to interact with your application and take advantage of technologies
such as the accelerometers and camera where appropriate.

As you start development, the frameworks you want to use initially are the Foundation
and UIKit frameworks. Th
ese frameworks provide the key services used by all iPhone
applications. As you refine your application, you should investigate the other
frameworks in the system to see what services they offer. The documentation for each
framework includes links to relev
ant conceptual materials to help you learn more about
how to use that framework.

For information about the Foundation and UIKit frameworks, see
Foundation
Framework Reference

and
UIKit
Framework Reference
.

Where to Start

Creating simple applications that run on iPhone OS is relatively easy with the built
-
in
project templates provided by Xcode, but creating applications that do something useful
and look nice requires you to spend some ti
me reading through the available
documentation. At a minimum, you should take the time to read through the other
orientation articles in the iPhone Dev Center, which explore the tools and process for
creating applications.

If you are completely new to iPho
ne OS and to Mac OS X, taking the time to
understand the basic design patterns and conventions of iPhone OS is critical to writing
code for the platform. Applications operate best in iPhone OS when they take advantage
of the power the frameworks provide. I
f you spend time trying to work around the basic
framework behaviors, you may find creating your application much more difficult than
simply learning the basic design patterns in use. The basic information that every
iPhone developer needs to know is in
Cocoa Fundamentals Guide
. This document
covers the basics of the Objective
-
C language and the
programming conventions and
design patterns used by UIKit and many other system frameworks.

Once you understand the basic conventions you use to create iPhone applications, you
can refer to
iPhone Application Programming Guide

for specific details on the
development process. This book provides key conceptual and task
-
based information on
how to write iPhone applications, including examples of how to display a user interface,
handle events, and take advantage of key iPhone OS features. It also describes the
overall development process and explains how you use Xcode to build and run your
app
lications.

In addition to
iPhone Application Programming Guide
, you should also look

through
the available sample code. iPhone OS ships with a number of full
-
featured samples that
show you how to use the available technologies to create real
-
world applications. You
can use these samples as a starting point for your own applications or you

can look at
them to learn more about how you use specific features.