Apple iOS Architecture

The iOS is the operating system created by Apple Inc. for mobile devices. The iOS is used in many of the mobile devices for apple such as iPhone, iPod, iPad etc. The iOS is used a lot and only lags behind Android in terms of popularity.

The iOS architecture is layered. It contains an intermediate layer between the applications and the hardware so they do not communicate directly. The lower layers in iOS provide the basic services and the higher layers provide the user interface and sophisticated graphics.

The layered architecture of iOS is given as follows −

iOS Architecture

Layers in iOS Architecture

The different layers as shown in the above diagram are given as follows −

Core OS

All the iOS technologies are build on the low level features provided by the Core OS layer. These technologies include Core Bluetooth Framework, External Accessory Framework, Accelerate Framework, Security Services Framework, Local Authorisation Framework etc.

Core Services

There are many frameworks available in the cure services layer. Details about some of these are given as follows −

Cloudkit Framework

The data can be moved between the app the iCloud using the Cloudkit Framework.

Core Foundation Framework

This provides the data management and service features for the iOS apps.

Core Data Framework

The data model of the model view controller app is handled using the Core Data Framework.

Address Book Framework

The address book framework provides access to the contacts database of the user.

Core Motion Framework

All the motion based data on the device is accessed using core motion framework.

Healthkit Framework

The health related information of the user can be handled by this new framework.

Core Location Framework

This framework provides the location and heading information to the various apps.


The media layer enables all the graphics, audio and video technology of the system. The different frameworks are:

UIKit Graphics

This provides support for designing images and animating the view content.

Core Graphics Framework

This provides support for 2-D vector and image based rendering and is the native drawing engine for iOS apps.

Core Animation

The Core Animation technology optimizes the animation experience of the apps.

Media Player Framework

This framework provides support for playing playlists and enables the user to use their iTunes library.

AV Kit

This provides various easy to use interfaces for video presentation.

Cocoa Touch

The cocoa touch layer provides the following frameworks −

EventKit Framework

This shows the standard system interfaces using view controllers for viewing and changing calendar related events.

GameKit Framework

This provides support for users to share their game related data online using Game center.

MapKit Framework

This provides a scrollable map which can be included into the app user interface.

Updated on: 22-Jun-2020

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