The iPhone iOS 4 Core OS Layer

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The iPhone iOS 4 Core Services LayerInstalling Xcode and the iOS 4 SDK


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The Core OS Layer occupies the bottom position of the iOS stack and, as such, sits directly on top of the device hardware. The layer provides a variety of services including low level networking, access to external accessories and the usual fundamental operating system services such as memory management, file system handling and threads.




Accelerate Framework (Accelerate.framework)

Introduced with iOS 4, the Accelerate Framework provides a hardware optimized C-based API for performing complex and large number math, vector, digital signal processing (DSP) and image processing tasks and calculations.

External Accessory framework (ExternalAccessory.framework)

Provides the ability to interrogate and communicate with external accessories connected physically to the iPhone via the 30-pin dock connector or wirelessly via Bluetooth.


Security Framework (Security.framework)

The iOS Security framework provides all the security interfaces you would expect to find on a device that can connect to external networks including certificates, public and private keys, trust policies, keychains, encryption, digests and Hash-based Message Authentication Code (HMAC).

System (LibSystem)

As we have previously mentioned, the iOS is built upon a UNIX-like foundation. The System component of the Core OS Layer provides much the same functionality as any other UNIX like operating system. This layer includes the operating system kernel (based on the Mach kernel developed by Carnegie Mellon University) and device drivers. The kernel is the foundation on which the entire iOS is built and provides the low level interface to the underlying hardware. Amongst other things the kernel is responsible for memory allocation, process lifecycle management, input/output, inter-process communication, thread management, low level networking, file system access and thread management.

As an app developer your access to the System interfaces is restricted for security and stability reasons. Those interfaces that are available to you are contained in a C-based library called LibSystem. As with all other layers of the iOS stack, these interfaces should be used only when you are absolutely certain there is no way to achieve the same objective using a framework located in a higher iOS layer.


Purchase the fully updated iOS 10 / Swift 3 / Xcode 8 edition of this book in eBook ($19.99) or Print ($45.99) format.
iOS 10 App Development Essentials Print and eBook (ePub/PDF/Kindle) edition contains over 100 chapters. Learn more...

Buy eBook Buy Print Preview Book


PreviousTable of ContentsNext
The iPhone iOS 4 Core Services LayerInstalling Xcode and the iOS 4 SDK