Chapter 6: Getting Table Views Right

Table views are arguably the most frequently used control on the iOS platform. Most of the quality apps on the App Store use table views not just for showing a hierarchical list of data but also for laying out complex structured, scrollable views. Table views are used as cheap substitutes for creating vertically scrollable views even if the content they display is not a list of data. For example, in the built-in contacts app, the contacts list is a UITableView and so is the view for adding a new contact. Additionally, new interaction patterns have been introduced by third-party application developers and have been quite commonly used on other apps as well.

iOS has been around for five years, so this chapter assumes that you are well versed with concepts like UITableViewDelegate and UITableViewDataSource.

If you are not familiar with UITableViewDelegates and UITableViewDataSource, read Chapter 8 in Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK by Dave Mark and Jeff Lamarche (Apress 2009, ISBN 978-1430216261) before finishing this chapter.

This chapter focuses on the advanced aspects of table views and shows you how to create complex (yet common) UIs such as pull-to-refresh and infinite scrolling lists. It also briefly explains how to use table view row animations to create accordions or options drawers (a UI that shows available toolbar elements just below the table view cell that is acted upon) and several other interesting UI paradigms. ...

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