You are previewing iOS 5 Programming Cookbook.

iOS 5 Programming Cookbook

Cover of iOS 5 Programming Cookbook by Vandad Nahavandipoor Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. iOS 5 Programming Cookbook
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. A Note Regarding Supplemental Files
    3. Preface
      1. Audience
      2. Organization of This Book
      3. Additional Resources
      4. Conventions Used in This Book
      5. Using Code Examples
      6. We’d Like to Hear from You
      7. Safari® Books Online
      8. Acknowledgments
    4. 1. The Basics
      1. 1.0. Introduction
      2. 1.1. Creating a Simple iOS App in Xcode
      3. 1.2. Understanding Interface Builder
      4. 1.3. Compiling iOS Apps
      5. 1.4. Running iOS Apps on the Simulator
      6. 1.5. Running iOS Apps on iOS Devices
      7. 1.6. Packaging iOS Apps for Distribution
      8. 1.7. Declaring Variables in Objective-C
      9. 1.8. Allocating and Making Use of Strings
      10. 1.9. Comparing Values in Objective-C with an If Statement
      11. 1.10. Implementing Loops with For Statements
      12. 1.11. Implementing While Loops
      13. 1.12. Creating Custom Classes
      14. 1.13. Defining Functionality for Classes
      15. 1.14. Defining Two or More Methods with the Same Name
      16. 1.15. Allocating and Initializing Objects
      17. 1.16. Adding Properties to Classes
      18. 1.17. Moving From Manual Reference Counting to Automatic Reference Counting
      19. 1.18. Typecasting with Automatic Reference Counting
      20. 1.19. Delegating Tasks with Protocols
      21. 1.20. Determining Whether Instance or Class Methods Are Available
      22. 1.21. Determining Whether a Class Is Available at Runtime
      23. 1.22. Allocating and Making Use of Numbers
      24. 1.23. Allocating and Making Use of Arrays
      25. 1.24. Allocating and Making Use of Dictionaries
      26. 1.25. Allocating and Making Use of Sets
      27. 1.26. Creating Bundles
      28. 1.27. Loading Data From the Main Bundle
      29. 1.28. Loading Data From Other Bundles
      30. 1.29. Sending Notifications with NSNotificationCenter
      31. 1.30. Listening for Notifications Sent From NSNotificationCenter
    5. 2. Implementing Controllers and Views
      1. 2.0. Introduction
      2. 2.1. Displaying Alerts with UIAlertView
      3. 2.2. Creating and Using Switches with UISwitch
      4. 2.3. Picking Values with UIPickerView
      5. 2.4. Picking the Date and Time with UIDatePicker
      6. 2.5. Implementing Range Pickers with UISlider
      7. 2.6. Grouping Compact Options with UISegmentedControl
      8. 2.7. Presenting and Managing Views with UIViewController
      9. 2.8. Implementing Navigation with UINavigationController
      10. 2.9. Manipulating a Navigation Controller’s Array of View Controllers
      11. 2.10. Displaying an Image on a Navigation Bar
      12. 2.11. Adding Buttons to Navigation Bars Using UIBarButtonItem
      13. 2.12. Presenting Multiple View Controllers with UITabBarController
      14. 2.13. Displaying Static Text with UILabel
      15. 2.14. Accepting User Text Input with UITextField
      16. 2.15. Displaying Long Lines of Text with UITextView
      17. 2.16. Adding Buttons to the User Interface with UIButton
      18. 2.17. Displaying Images with UIImageView
      19. 2.18. Creating Scrollable Content with UIScrollView
      20. 2.19. Loading Web Pages with UIWebView
      21. 2.20. Presenting Master-Detail Views with UISplitViewController
      22. 2.21. Enabling Paging with UIPageViewController
      23. 2.22. Displaying Popovers with UIPopoverController
      24. 2.23. Displaying Progress with UIProgressView
      25. 2.24. Listening and Reacting to Keyboard Notifications
    6. 3. Constructing and Using Table Views
      1. 3.0. Introduction
      2. 3.1. Instantiating a Table View
      3. 3.2. Assigning a Delegate to a Table View
      4. 3.3. Populating a Table View with Data
      5. 3.4. Receiving and Handling Table View Events
      6. 3.5. Using Different Types of Accessories in a Table View Cell
      7. 3.6. Creating Custom Table View Cell Accessories
      8. 3.7. Displaying Hierarchical Data in Table Views
      9. 3.8. Enabling Swipe Deletion of Table View Cells
      10. 3.9. Constructing Headers and Footers in Table Views
      11. 3.10. Displaying Context Menus on Table Views Cells
      12. 3.11. Moving Cells and Sections in Table Views
      13. 3.12. Deleting Cells and Sections From Table Views
    7. 4. Storyboards
      1. 4.0. Introduction
      2. 4.1. Creating a Project with Storyboards
      3. 4.2. Adding a Navigation Controller to a Storyboard
      4. 4.3. Passing Data From One Screen to Another
      5. 4.4. Adding a Storyboard to an Existing Project
    8. 5. Concurrency
      1. 5.0. Introduction
      2. 5.1. Constructing Block Objects
      3. 5.2. Accessing Variables in Block Objects
      4. 5.3. Invoking Block Objects
      5. 5.4. Dispatching Tasks to Grand Central Dispatch
      6. 5.5. Performing UI-Related Tasks with GCD
      7. 5.6. Performing Non-UI Related Tasks Synchronously with GCD
      8. 5.7. Performing Non-UI Related Tasks Asynchronously with GCD
      9. 5.8. Performing Tasks After a Delay with GCD
      10. 5.9. Performing a Task Only Once with GCD
      11. 5.10. Grouping Tasks Together with GCD
      12. 5.11. Constructing Your Own Dispatch Queues with GCD
      13. 5.12. Running Tasks Synchronously with Operations
      14. 5.13. Running Tasks Asynchronously with Operations
      15. 5.14. Creating Dependency Between Operations
      16. 5.15. Creating Timers
      17. 5.16. Creating Concurrency with Threads
      18. 5.17. Invoking Background Methods
      19. 5.18. Exiting Threads and Timers
    9. 6. Core Location and Maps
      1. 6.0. Introduction
      2. 6.1. Creating a Map View
      3. 6.2. Handling the Events of a Map View
      4. 6.3. Pinpointing the Location of a Device
      5. 6.4. Displaying Pins on a Map View
      6. 6.5. Displaying Pins with Different Colors on a Map View
      7. 6.6. Displaying Custom Pins on a Map View
      8. 6.7. Converting Meaningful Addresses to Longitude and Latitude
      9. 6.8. Converting Longitude and Latitude to a Meaningful Address
    10. 7. Implementing Gesture Recognizers
      1. 7.0. Introduction
      2. 7.1. Detecting Swipe Gestures
      3. 7.2. Detecting Rotation Gestures
      4. 7.3. Detecting Panning and Dragging Gestures
      5. 7.4. Detecting Long Press Gestures
      6. 7.5. Detecting Tap Gestures
      7. 7.6. Detecting Pinch Gestures
    11. 8. Networking, JSON, XML, and Twitter
      1. 8.0. Introduction
      2. 8.1. Downloading Asynchronously with NSURLConnection
      3. 8.2. Handling Timeouts in Asynchronous Connections
      4. 8.3. Downloading Synchronously with NSURLConnection
      5. 8.4. Modifying a URL Request with NSMutableURLRequest
      6. 8.5. Sending HTTP GET Requests with NSURLConnection
      7. 8.6. Sending HTTP POST Requests with NSURLConnection
      8. 8.7. Sending HTTP DELETE Requests with NSURLConnection
      9. 8.8. Sending HTTP PUT Requests with NSURLConnection
      10. 8.9. Serializing Arrays and Dictionaries into JSON
      11. 8.10. Deserializing JSON into Arrays and Dictionaries
      12. 8.11. Integrating Twitter Functionality into Your Apps
      13. 8.12. Parsing XML with NSXMLParser
    12. 9. Audio and Video
      1. 9.0. Introduction
      2. 9.1. Playing Audio Files
      3. 9.2. Handling Interruptions While Playing Audio
      4. 9.3. Recording Audio
      5. 9.4. Handling Interruptions While Recording Audio
      6. 9.5. Playing Audio Over Other Active Sounds
      7. 9.6. Playing Video Files
      8. 9.7. Capturing Thumbnails From a Video File
      9. 9.8. Accessing the Music Library
    13. 10. Address Book
      1. 10.0. Introduction
      2. 10.1. Retrieving a Reference to an Address Book
      3. 10.2. Retrieving All the People in the Address Book
      4. 10.3. Retrieving Properties of Address Book Entries
      5. 10.4. Inserting a Person Entry into the Address Book
      6. 10.5. Inserting a Group Entry into the Address Book
      7. 10.6. Adding Persons to Groups
      8. 10.7. Searching the Address Book
      9. 10.8. Retrieving and Setting a Person’s Address Book Image
    14. 11. Camera and the Photo Library
      1. 11.0. Introduction
      2. 11.1. Detecting and Probing the Camera
      3. 11.2. Taking Photos with the Camera
      4. 11.3. Taking Videos with the Camera
      5. 11.4. Storing Photos in the Photo Library
      6. 11.5. Storing Videos in the Photo Library
      7. 11.6. Retrieving Photos and Videos From the Photo Library
      8. 11.7. Retrieving Assets From the Assets Library
      9. 11.8. Editing Videos on an iOS Device
    15. 12. Multitasking
      1. 12.0. Introduction
      2. 12.1. Detecting the Availability of Multitasking
      3. 12.2. Completing a Long-Running Task in the Background
      4. 12.3. Receiving Local Notifications in the Background
      5. 12.4. Playing Audio in the Background
      6. 12.5. Handling Location Changes in the Background
      7. 12.6. Saving and Loading the State of Multitasking iOS Apps
      8. 12.7. Handling Network Connections in the Background
      9. 12.8. Handling Notifications Delivered to a Waking App
      10. 12.9. Responding to Changes in App Settings
      11. 12.10. Opting Out of Multitasking
    16. 13. Core Data
      1. 13.0. Introduction
      2. 13.1. Creating a Core Data Model with Xcode
      3. 13.2. Generating Class Files for Core Data Entities
      4. 13.3. Creating and Saving Data Using Core Data
      5. 13.4. Reading Data From Core Data
      6. 13.5. Deleting Data From Core Data
      7. 13.6. Sorting Data in Core Data
      8. 13.7. Boosting Data Access in Table Views
      9. 13.8. Implementing Relationships in Core Data
    17. 14. Dates, Calendars, and Events
      1. 14.0. Introduction
      2. 14.1. Retrieving the List of Calendars
      3. 14.2. Adding Events to Calendars
      4. 14.3. Accessing the Contents of Calendars
      5. 14.4. Removing Events From Calendars
      6. 14.5. Adding Recurring Events to Calendars
      7. 14.6. Retrieving the Attendees of an Event
      8. 14.7. Adding Alarms to Calendars
      9. 14.8. Handling Event Changed Notifications
      10. 14.9. Presenting Event View Controllers
      11. 14.10. Presenting Event Edit View Controllers
    18. 15. Graphics and Animations
      1. 15.0. Introduction
      2. 15.1. Enumerating and Loading Fonts
      3. 15.2. Drawing Text
      4. 15.3. Constructing, Setting, and Using Colors
      5. 15.4. Drawing Images
      6. 15.5. Drawing Lines
      7. 15.6. Constructing Paths
      8. 15.7. Drawing Rectangles
      9. 15.8. Adding Shadows to Shapes
      10. 15.9. Drawing Gradients
      11. 15.10. Displacing Shapes Drawn on Graphic Contexts
      12. 15.11. Scaling Shapes Drawn on Graphic Contexts
      13. 15.12. Rotating Shapes Drawn on Graphic Contexts
      14. 15.13. Animating and Moving Views
      15. 15.14. Animating and Scaling Views
      16. 15.15. Animating and Rotating Views
    19. 16. Core Motion
      1. 16.0. Introduction
      2. 16.1. Detecting the Availability of an Accelerometer
      3. 16.2. Detecting the Availability of a Gyroscope
      4. 16.3. Retrieving Accelerometer Data
      5. 16.4. Detecting Shakes on an iOS Device
      6. 16.5. Retrieving Gyroscope Data
    20. 17. iCloud
      1. 17.0. Introduction
      2. 17.1. Setting Up Your App for iCloud
      3. 17.2. Storing and Synchronizing Dictionaries in iCloud
      4. 17.3. Creating and Managing Folders for Apps in iCloud
      5. 17.4. Searching for Files and Folders in iCloud
      6. 17.5. Storing User Documents in iCloud
      7. 17.6. Managing the State of Documents in iCloud
      8. 17.7. Handling Conflicts in iCloud Documents
    21. Index
    22. About the Author
    23. Colophon
    24. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly

1.7. Declaring Variables in Objective-C


You want to use variables with clear names in your iOS apps.


Apple conventions dictate certain rules for variable names. Determine the type of the variable (for instance, integer, array, string, etc.) and then a descriptive name for it. In an empty line of code, place the type of your variable first, following by its name. Variable names are advised to follow these rules:

  1. Follow the camelCase naming convention. If the variable name is one word, all letters must be lowercase. If the variable name is more than one word, the first word must be entirely lowercase and the subsequent words must have their first letter uppercase and the rest of their letters lowercase. For instance, if you want to have a counter variable, you can simply name it counter. If you want to call your variable “first counter”, declare it firstCounter. The variable name “my very long variable name” would become myVeryLongVariableName. (Names of that length are quite common in iOS programs.)

  2. Variables should ideally have no underline in their names. For instance, my_variable_name can and perhaps should be changed to myVariableName.

  3. Variable names should contain only letters and numbers (no punctuation such as commas or dashes). This is a restriction in the Objective-C language and many other languages, but this helps keeping variable names tidy.

Let’s have a look at a few examples. There are a few primitive data types in Objective-C. A data type is a name that specifies the type of a variable. For instance, you can say that you have an integer variable of type NSInteger or an integer variable of type NSUInteger, where the former is a signed variable and the latter is unsigned (note the “U” after “NS”) in the latter example).


Signed integers can contain negative numbers whereas unsigned integers cannot.

We can then define these variables in our source code like so:

NSInteger signedInteger = -123;   /* Can take negative numbers */
NSUInteger unsignedInteger = 123; /* Cannot take negative numbers */

There are certain rules, as mentioned before, about naming your variables (for instance, the camelCase rule). However, other aspects of your variable naming convention depend entirely on your choice. In general, I advise that you always assume you are working for a big organization (whether it is your own company or somebody else’s company) and follow these rules:

  1. Give descriptive names to your variables. Avoid names such as “i” or “x.” These names will never make any sense to anybody else but yourself and chances are that they won’t make sense to you either if you leave the project for some time and come back to it after a few months. The compiler doesn’t really care if the variable name is 50 letters long. If that makes your variable name more descriptive and you cannot do without it, then go for it.

  2. Avoid creating vague variable names. For instance, if you have a string variable and you want to place the full name of a person in that variable, avoid giving it names such as “theString” or “theGuy” or “theGirl.” These make no sense at all. It is best to give a name such as “fullName” or “firstAndLastName” rather than something that confuses everybody who looks at your source code, including yourself!

  3. Avoid giving names to your variables that are likely to lead to mistyping. For instance, it is much better to call your variable “fullName” rather than “__full______name.” It is much better to avoid underlines in variables all together.


Variables are placeholders for data that you want to hold in memory. For instance, if you want to delete 100 files from the disk and those files are named 1.png, 2.png, on to 100.png, it would be best to create a counter variable that starts from 1 and goes all the way to 100 and then use the content of that variable (the number) to delete the files. Programmers use variables to do arithmetic or simple operations such as prefixing the last name of a person with their first name to create the resulting full name.

Every variable has to have a type. The type of a variable tells the compiler and the machine that runs that program, what type of variable that is and what sort of value it holds. For example, a variable that is an integer can hold the value 123 but cannot hold a value with decimal places such as 123.456. For the latter, we will need a floating point variable. Integer and floating point here are the data types and in Objective-C are defined with NSInteger and float. Here are some of the commonly used data types in Objective-C:


Variables of this type can store signed (positive or negative) integer values.


Variables of this type can store unsigned (only positive or zero) integer values.


Variables of this type can store floating point values (values that have decimals in them, such as 1.23 or 73.12).


Variables of this type can store strings, such as “my string” or “Mrs Thomson.”


Variables of this type can store an array of objects. For instance, if you have read 10 files from the disk, you can store their data in an array. An array can contain more than one instance of the same value.


Variables of this type can store unique instances of variables. Sets are similar to arrays in that they can store multiple value but each value can only appear at most once in a set.

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