iOS – How To Select The Best Method Of Scheduling Background Runtime In iOS ?

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In this article, We will understand how to select the best method of scheduling background runtime for our app in iOS. Selecting the right strategies for our app in iOS depends on how it functions in the background.

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Scheduling Background Runtime In iOS

So Let’s begin.


If our app needs computing resources to complete tasks when it’s not running in the foreground, we can select from a number of strategies to obtain background runtime. Selecting the right strategies for our app depends on how it functions in the background.

Some apps perform work for a short time while in the foreground and must continue uninterrupted if they go to the background. Other apps defer that work to perform in the background at a later time or even at night while the device charges. And some apps need background processing time at varied and unpredictable times, such as when an external event or message arrives.

Different Methods Of Scheduling Background Runtime

In this section, we select one or more methods for our app based on how you schedule activity in the background.

1. Continue Foreground Work in the Background

The system may place apps in the background at any time. If our app performs critical work that must continue while it runs in the background, use beginBackgroundTask(withName:expirationHandler:) to alert the system. Consider this approach if our app needs to finish sending a message or complete saving a file.

The system grants our app a limited amount of time to perform its work once it enters the background. Don’t exceed this time, and use the expiration handler to cover the case where the time has depleted to cancel or defer the work.

Once our work completes, call endBackgroundTask(_:) before the time limit expires so that our app suspends properly. The system terminates our app if we fail to call this method.

If the task is one that takes some time, such as downloading or uploading files, use URLSession.

2. Defer Intensive Work

To preserve battery life and performance, we can schedule backgrounds tasks for periods of low activity, such as overnight when the device charges. Use this approach when our app manages heavy workloads, such as training machine learning models or performing database maintenance.

Schedule these types of background tasks using BGProcessingTask, and the system decides the best time to launch our background task.

3. Update Our App’s Content

Our app may require short bursts of background time to perform content refresh or other work; for example, our app may fetch content from the server periodically, or regularly update its internal state. In this situation, use BGAppRefreshTask by requesting BGAppRefreshTaskRequest.

The system decides the best time to launch our background task, and provides our app up to 30 seconds of background runtime. Complete our work within this time period and call setTaskCompleted(success:), or the system terminates our app. 

4. Wake Our App with a Background Push

Background pushes silently wake our app in the background. They don’t display an alert, play a sound, or badge our app’s icon. If our app obtains content from a server infrequently or at irregular intervals, use background pushes to notify our app when new content becomes available. A messaging app with a muted conversation might use a background push solution, and so might an email app that process incoming mail without alerting the user.

When sending a background push, set content-available: to 1 without alertsound, or badge. The system decides when to launch the app to download the content. To ensure our app launches, set apns-priority to 5, and apns-push-type to background.

Once the system delivers the remote notification with application(_:didReceiveRemoteNotification:fetchCompletionHandler:), our app has up to 30 seconds to complete its work. One our app performs the work, call the passed completion handler as soon as possible to conserve power. If we send background pushes more frequently than three times per hour, the system imposes rate limitations.

5. Request Background Time and Notify the User

If our app needs to perform a task in the background and show a notification to the user, use a Notification Service Extension. For example, an email app might need to notify a user after downloading a new email. Subclass UNNotificationServiceExtension and bundle the system extension with our app. Upon receiving a push notification, our service extension wakes up and obtains background runtime through didReceive(_:withContentHandler:).

When our extension completes its work, it must call the content handler with the content we want to deliver to the user. Our extension has a limited amount of time to modify the content and execute the contentHandler block.

That’s all about in this article.


In this article, We understood how to select the best method of scheduling background runtime in iOS.

Thanks for reading ! I hope you enjoyed and learned about selecting best method for scheduling background runtime concept in iOS. Reading is one thing, but the only way to master it is to do it yourself.

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