Interface Essentials

Most iOS apps are built using components from UIKit, a programming framework that defines common interface elements. This framework lets apps achieve a consistent appearance across the system, while at the same time offering a high level of customization. UIKit elements are flexible and familiar. They’re adaptable, enabling you to design a single app that looks great on any iOS device, and they automatically update when the system introduces appearance changes. The interface elements provided by UIKit fit into three main categories:

Bars. Tell people where they are in your app, provide navigation, and may contain buttons or other elements for initiating actions and communicating information.

Views. Contain the primary content people see in your app, such as text, graphics, animations, and interactive elements. Views can enable behaviors such as scrolling, insertion, deletion, and arrangement.

Controls. Initiate actions and convey information. Buttons, switches, text fields, and progress indicators are examples of controls.

In addition to defining the interface of iOS, UIKit defines functionality your app can adopt. Through this framework, for example, your app can respond to gestures on the touchscreen and enable features such as drawing, accessibility, and printing.

iOS tightly integrates with other programming frameworks and technologies too, such as Apple Pay, HealthKit, and ResearchKit, enabling you to design amazingly powerful apps.