Mac OSX – Cocoa Layer Architecture

Mac OSX – Cocoa Layer Architecture

Created By: Debasis Das

In this article we will briefly talk about the Cocoa Layer or a Mac OSX and the different frameworks it comprises of and the high level functionality that each framework helps achieve.

Mac OSX Cocoa Layer Architecture

Mac OSX Cocoa Layer Architecture


  • Used to implement graphical, event driven user interface such as windows panels. buttons , menus, cursors, text fields, table views etc
  • Handles communication with the hardware devices and screen buffers
  • Handles event handling and drawing


  • Makes it easy to enhance the Finder’s user interface by adding badges, short cut menu items and toolbar buttons


  • Provides features to create great social games
  • Comprises of
    • Game Center (Centralized game service)
    • Peer to Peer Connectivity (create adhoc bluetooth or wireless network between multiple devices)
    • In-Game Voice (Helps provide voice communication – iOS Only)


  • Provides an interface for embedding maps directly into your won windows and views.
  • Provides annotation features
  • Adding Overlays
  • helps perform reverse-geocoding lookups

Notification Center

  • Helps create and manage extensions—typically called widgets.
  • The framework provides API we can use to specify whether a widget has content to display and to customize aspects of its appearance and behavior on both platforms.

Preference Panes

  • The Preferences Panes framework defines the interface for subclasses to provide preference panes to System Preferences or other applications.

Screen Saver

  • Defines the interface for subclasses to interact with the screen effects user interface feature
  • Provides a number of functions commonly required by screen saver applications like producing random values and centering rectangles

Security Interface

  • Provides user interface elements for programs that implement security features such as authorization, access to digital certificates and access to items in the key chain
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