Part 3 - iOS Backgrounding Techniques

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Let’s examine the different ways to perform background processing on iOS in more detail.

In the following sections, we will cover how to:

  • Register a task to run in the background.
  • Register an entire application for backgrounding privileges.
  • Update an application's content from the background.

Adapting Applications to iOS 7

Backgrounding in iOS 7 is an extension of iOS 6 backgrounding concepts, supplemented with a variety of new APIs that solve many of the problems iOS 6 introduced.

In this guide, we will explore the following iOS 7 features alongside the existing backgrounding options:

  • Opportunistic Background Tasks - Preserve battery life by running background tasks in opportunistic chunks when the device is awake for other processing.
  • Background Transfer Service - Reliably upload and download files regardless of network status or file size.
  • Background Fetch - Refresh an application from the background at system-determined intervals.
  • Remote Notifications - Use push notifications to trigger content updates in the background before the user opens the application, with an option to notify the user or update silently.
  • Background UI Updates - Prepare the application UI for the user, and update the application's snapshot, all from the background.

This section introduces the new iOS 7 features alongside the backgrounding options already in place, and offers guidance for supporting both versions of the OS in your application.


iOS Backgrounding with Tasks

Registering Apps to Run in the Background

Updating an Application in the Background