Appendix A. Lifetime Events

The fundamental events that notify you of stages in the lifetime of your app as a whole, giving your code an opportunity to run in response, are extraordinarily important. This appendix is devoted to a survey of them, along with some typical scenarios in which they will arrive.

Application States

In the very early days of iOS — before iOS 4 — the lifetime of an app was extremely simple: either it was running or it wasn’t. The user tapped your app’s icon in the home screen, and your app was launched and began to run. The user used your app for a while. Eventually, the user clicked the Home button and your app was terminated — it was no longer running. The user had quit your app. Launch, run, quit: that was the entire life cycle of an app. If the user decided to use your app again, the whole cycle started over.

The reason for this simplicity was that an iOS device, with its slow processor and its almost brutal paucity of memory and other resources, compensated for its own shortcomings by a simple rule: it could run only one app at a time. While your app was running, it occupied not only the entire screen but the vast majority of the device’s resources, leaving room only for the system and some hidden built-in processes; it had, in effect, sole and complete control of the device.

Starting in iOS 4, that changed. Apple devised an ingenious architecture whereby, despite the device’s limited resources, more than one app could run simultaneously — sort of. ...

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