Objective-c – iPhone proper usage of Application Delegate


I'm looking to be able to reference certain state/objects through anywhere in my application. For instance, a user logs in to their application, I need to call a web service and retrieve the users information. Then I want to be able to access this information from anywhere in the application with something like the following:

myAppDelegate *delegate = [[UIApplication sharedApplication] delegate];
user = delegate.u;

Is setting an instance variable as a User object in the app delegate and referencing it from there when needed a poor way of going about it? I typically set it there upon the user's login.

Wanted to hear how the pros handle this one.

Best Solution

Normally, you should only connect things to the app delegate if they:

  • Were created from the same NIB file as the app delegate (i.e. static UI elements in single window interfaces)
  • Are associated with application-level event handling that passes through the app delegate (like the menu item for the Preferences Window)

For everything else, you should create a singleton which manages access to them.

Jason Coco suggested routing through the Application Controller. In my programs I normally avoid this, as I think it puts too much responsibility at the top level -- I think things should self-manage where possible and that higher level management should only be used when there is a requirement for coordination between peer-level modules.

I'm not going link my own blog but if you Google me and singletons you'll probably find a post I wrote going into more detail.