Flaviu Simihaian's Blog - Entrepreneur and Developer

iOS Chart and Plotting Library Comparison

tl;dr:

Use core-plot, roll your own CoreGraphics implementation, or use a WebView with a JavaScript plotting library, such as Highcharts or FusionCharts

I needed to chart some data for an iPad app. Here’s some options I’ve found in my research:

I looked on StackOverflow but there was no clear winner: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7254882/line-graphs-on-ios

Some suggest writing your own with CoreGraphics; some mention ShinobiControls (see screenshot above), which costs like $1,000 and that was a deterrent for me trying it. EDIT: They do seem on top of their customer support though. ;) http://www.shinobicontrols.com/shinobicharts/price-plans/

Core Plot

This is what most people suggest. It does apparently anything you want. But it’s on Google Code and the documentation is awful.

http://code.google.com/p/core-plot/

Unofficial Github Mirror: https://github.com/djw/core-plot

Sencha

If you’re not doing native work, I should mention Sencha has some pretty nice looking stuff: http://dev.sencha.com/deploy/touch-charts-1.0.0/examples/

However, I am only building native apps, so it doesn’t help me that much.

Lameness

Then there’s tons of lame sites last updated in 2010 that you should stay away from: http://www.keepedge.com/products/iphone_charting/ http://www.iphonechart.com/company/

JavaScript

I ended up using a JavaScript framework instead and build a WebView locally using that library. It’s worked out pretty well:

I used FusionCharts, but I’ve also used Highcharts before and liked it even more. However, FusionCharts has a nice tutorial for how to embed it inside an iOS app.

Or you could use Google Charts.

That ended up working great for the quick nice chart I needed. Hope this helps you. If you’ve used other tools, please let me know by commenting below.

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