Computer Graphics: The Evolution of Drawing APIs on Apple Platforms

Last updated: 6 months ago

I’ve always had a fascination with 2D computer graphics, both the theoretical and practical aspects. User interfaces across native and Web apps wouldn’t be as rich as they are today if it wasn’t for decades of hard work by some of the most dedicated people in the industry.

In the first half of this talk, I would like to take everyone in a journey to rediscover the past of two-dimensional computer graphics and how they contributed in shaping the UIs that we’ve been using since the early 80s. Apple’s and NeXT’s contributions throughout the years have played a major role in advancing this field, culminating in modern day Core Graphics and how it’s used in UIKit and SwiftUI.

In the second half of the talk, we will take a look at some SwiftUI examples, how they compare to previous APIs, and how things could evolve in the coming years.

Target audience:

  • Developers and designers interested in learning about 2D computer graphics in general, and Apple frameworks in particular, even without hands-on experience in the field.


  • Drawing APIs have a very rich history that we can get inspired and learn from.
  • Even though a lot of our UIs did away with visual embellishments in recent years, there is still room to add delight to our apps through custom-drawn graphics.