Under the Bridge

Drawing Graphs

So, you looking to add some graph functionality to your app? The go-to library for that has generally been the Core Plot framework we first mentioned a couple years back; but as you may have found trying to use it, it’s … not the most trivial to work with, as you can see from Stack Overflow discussions on it.

There’s another one that’s been around for a while but is suddenly getting some tweet love lately for some reason, though:

s7graphview: UIView to draw sweet graphs


General consensus appears to be that it’s a good bit simpler but on the limited side, and still not exactly what you’d call simple.

Personally, we’ve had good experiences with code from the Tapku library, so although we haven’t compared its capabilities to the above options in detail, we’d rather incline to check it out first had we something requiring a little customization in mind, especially as it looks quite pretty indeed:

Screenshot 2011.09.15 20.10.03.png

Or, you know, there’s always the option forthrightly expressed in this Stack Overflow question:

You can

A) Waste your time with Core Plot, which as mediocre as it is for a framework, is the best option for a native solution.

B) Use one of the 19 billion excellent Javascript and/or HTML 5 charting frameworks out there and import them with a web view, then go to dinner.

Frankly, I always go with B when possible.

That we suppose could work out as quite the timesaver development-wise, yes. Any of you subscribe to that philosophy as well and have any particular recommendations out of that 19 billion as working nicely in UIWebView, Dear Readers?


Well, here’s one to start with: graphael-objc for iOS is a wrapper for the gRaphaël JavaScript Library, which looks like as good a place as any to start experimenting with this use Javascript idea…

Open Source: Plotting Libraries For Easy Charts Without The Cost links to a roundup of 20 JS libraries!

iOSPlot for iOS looks nice for a simple pie chart.

Available Graphing/Charting Libraries For Use Within iOS Development

Open Source iOS Library For Easily Creating 3D Charts

  • nebula

    This is a very interesting topic and to be honest i’m one of the developers i’m not able to find the proper framework or html solution. I need something maybe too particular since what i’m looking for is a quick multi y axis chart component.
    There are some amazing apps in the app store like iMSO that are astonishing…
    HTML5 will be great only if will allow interactivity otherwise it will be useless.

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  • http://www.14oranges.com Sylvain

    I’ve been happy with CorePlot so far. If anyone is interested, I wrote an article on how to use CorePlot for iOS here http://www.14oranges.com/2011/02/how-to-use-core-plot-for-ios/