Drawing Tips IPHONE APPS

The following sections provide tips on how to write quality drawing code while ensuring that your application looks appealing to end users.

Deciding When to Use Custom Drawing Code

Depending on the type of application you are creating, it may be possible to use little or no custom drawing code. Although immersive applications typically make extensive use of custom drawing code, utility and productivity applications can often use standard views and controls to display their content.

The use of custom drawing code should be limited to situations where the content you display needs to change dynamically. For example, a drawing application would need to use custom drawing code to track the user’s drawing commands and a game would be updating the screen constantly to reflect the changing game environment. In those situations, you would need to choose an appropriate drawing technology and create a custom view class to handle events and update the display appropriately.

On the other hand, if the bulk of your application’s interface is fixed, you can render the interface in advance to one or more image files and display those images at runtime using UIImageView objects. You can layer image views with other content as needed to build your interface. For example, you could use UILabel objects to display configurable text and include buttons or other controls to provide interactivity.

Improving Drawing Performance

Drawing is a relatively expensive operation on any platform, and optimizing your drawing code should always be an important step in your development process. Table lists several tips for ensuring that your drawing code is as optimal as possible. In addition to these tips, you should always use the available performance tools to test your code and remove hotspots and redundancies.

Tips for improving drawing performance

Tips for improving drawing performanceTips for improving drawing performance

Maintaining Image Quality

Providing high-quality images for your user interface should be a priority in your design. Images provide a reasonably efficient way to display complicated graphics and should be used wherever they are appropriate. When creating images for your application, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Use the PNG format for images.The PNG format provides high-quality image content and is the preferred image format for iPhone OS. In addition, iPhone OS includes an optimized drawing path for PNG images that is typically more efficient than other formats.
  • Create images so that they do not need resizing. If you plan to use an image at a particular size, be sure to create the corresponding image resource at that size. Do not create a larger image and scale it down to fit, because scaling requires additional CPU cycles and requires interpolation. If you need to present an image at variable sizes, include multiple versions of the image at different sizes and scale down from an image that is relatively close to the target size.
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