The iOS interface environment for your app, defined by traits such as horizontal and vertical size class, display scale, and user interface idiom.


The iOS trait environment is exposed though the traitCollection property of the UITraitEnvironment protocol. This protocol is adopted by the following classes: UIScreen, UIWindow, UIViewController, UIPresentationController, and UIView. To create an adaptive interface, write code to adjust your app’s layout according to changes in these traits. You access specific trait values using the UITraitCollection horizontalSizeClass, verticalSizeClass, displayScale, and userInterfaceIdiom properties. The values that express idiom and size traits are defined in the UIUserInterfaceIdiom and UIUserInterfaceSizeClass enumerations; the value for the display scale trait is expressed as a floating point number.

To make your view controllers and views responsive to changes in the iOS interface environment, override the traitCollectionDidChange: method from the trait environment protocol. To customize view controller animations in response to interface environment changes, override the willTransitionToTraitCollection:withTransitionCoordinator: method of the UIContentContainer protocol.

Figure 1 shows the horizontal (width) and vertical (height) size classes your app can encounter when running on various devices fullscreen.

Figure 1

Size classes

Examples of size classes on iOS devices. The top figures show the size classes for a 10.5 inch iPad as horizontally and vertically regular. For an iPhone X, the vertical size class in a portrait orientation is regular, but all of the other size classes are compact.

For information about size classes your app encounters in Slide Over and Split View on iPad, read Slide Over and Split View Quick Start in Adopting Multitasking Enhancements on iPad.

You can create standalone trait collections to assist in matching against specific environments. The UITraitCollection class includes four specialized constructors as well as a constructor that lets you combine an array of trait collections, traitCollectionWithTraitsFromCollections:.

One important use of standalone trait collections is to enable conditional use of images based on the current iOS interface environment. You can associate a trait collection with a UIImage instance by way of a UIImageAsset instance, as described in the overview section of UIImageAsset. For information on configuring asset catalogs graphically from within the Xcode IDE, see Asset Catalog Help.

You can employ a standalone trait collection to enable a two-column split view in landscape orientation on iPhone. See the setOverrideTraitCollection:forChildViewController: method of the UIViewController class.

A standalone trait collection is also useful in customizing view appearance, by way of the appearanceForTraitCollection: protocol method, as described in UIAppearance.

3D Touch and Trait Collections

Starting in iOS 9, you can use this class to check whether the device on which your app is running supports 3D Touch. Read the value of the forceTouchCapability property on the trait collection for any object in your app with a trait environment. For information about trait environments, see UITraitEnvironment. For the possible values of the force touch capability property, see the UIForceTouchCapability enumeration.

Because a user can turn off 3D Touch in Settings, check the value of the forceTouchCapability property in your implementation of the traitCollectionDidChange: method, and adjust your code paths according to the property’s value.


Creating a Trait Collection


Returns a new trait collection whose traits are set to their default (unspecified) values.


Returns a new trait collection consisting of traits merged from a specified array of trait collections.


Returns a new trait collection containing only a specified interface idiom.


Returns a new trait collection containing only a specified horizontal size class.


Returns a new trait collection containing only a specified vertical size class.


Creates a trait collection containing only a specified force touch capability trait.


Returns a new trait collection containing only a specified display scale.


Returns a new trait collection containing only the specified display gamut trait.


Returns a new trait collection containing only the specified layout direction trait.


Returns a new trait collection containing only the specified content size category trait.


Returns a new trait collection containing only the specified user interface style trait.

Retrieving Size Class Traits


The horizontal size class of the trait collection.


The vertical size class of the trait collection.


Defines the size class of a view.

Retrieving Display-Related Traits


The display scale of the trait collection.


The gamut of the current display.


Constants indicating the gamut of the current display.

Retrieving Interface-Related Traits


The user interface idiom of the trait collection.


The type of interface that should be used on the current device


The force touch capability value of the trait collection.


Keys that indicate the availability of 3D Touch on a device. Only certain devices support 3D Touch. On those that do, the user can disable 3D Touch in the Accessibility area in Settings.


The layout direction associated with the current environment.


Constants indicating the layout direction associated with the current environment.


The style associated with the user interface.


Constants indicating the interface style for the app.

Retrieving Content Size Category Information


The font sizing option preferred by the user.


Constants indicating the preferred size of your content.


Compares two content size category values to determine whether they are equal or whether one is larger than the other.


Returns a Boolean value indicating whether the content size category belongs to the group of accessibility-related sizes.

Comparing Trait Collections


Returns a Boolean value that indicates whether a trait collection contains all of another trait collection’s values.


Inherits From

See Also

Device Environment

Responding to Changing Display Modes on Apple TV

Change images and resources dynamically when the screen gamut on your device changes.


A representation of the current device.


A collection of methods that makes the iOS interface environment available to your app.


A set of methods that, in conjunction with a presentation controller, determine how to respond to trait changes in your app.