transform property alters how the view is drawn — it may, for example, change the view’s perceived size and orientation — without affecting its bounds and center. A transformed view continues to behave correctly: a rotated button, for example, is still a button, and can be tapped in its apparent location and orientation.
A transform value is a CGAffineTransform, which is a struct representing six of the nine values of a 3×3 transformation matrix (the other three values are constants, so there’s no point representing them in the struct). You may have forgotten your high-school linear algebra, so you may not recall what a transformation matrix is. For the details, which are quite simple really, see the “Transforms” chapter of Apple’s Quartz 2D Programming Guide, especially the section called “The Math Behind the Matrices.” But you don’t really need to know those details, because convenience functions, whose names start with “CGAffineTransformMake,” are provided for creating three of the basic types of transform: rotation, scaling, and translation (i.e., changing the view’s apparent position). A fourth basic transform type, skewing or shearing, has no convenience function.
By default, a view’s transformation matrix is
CGAffineTransformIdentity, the identity transform. It has no visible effect, so you’re unaware of it. Any transform that you do apply takes place around the view’s center, which is held constant.
Here’s some code to illustrate use of a transform: