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Do something every x minutes in Swift

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

How can I run a function every minute?
In JavaScript I can do something like setInterval, does something similar exist in Swift?

Wanted output:

Hello World once a minute…

Answers:
var helloWorldTimer = NSTimer.scheduledTimerWithTimeInterval(60.0, target: self, selector: Selector("sayHello"), userInfo: nil, repeats: true)

func sayHello() 
{
    NSLog("hello World")
}

Remember to import Foundation.

Swift 3:

 var helloWorldTimer = Timer.scheduledTimer(timeInterval: 60.0, target: self, selector: #selector(ViewController.sayHello), userInfo: nil, repeats: true)

 func sayHello() 
 {
     NSLog("hello World")
 }

Questions:
Answers:

In Swift 3, you can create a Timer. And if targeting iOS version 10 and greater, you can use the block-based rendition, which simplifies the potential strong reference cycles, e.g.:

weak var timer: Timer?

func startTimer() {
    timer?.invalidate()   // just in case you had existing `Timer`, `invalidate` it before we lose our reference to it
    timer = Timer.scheduledTimer(withTimeInterval: 60.0, repeats: true) { [weak self] _ in
        // do something here
    }
}

func stopTimer() {
    timer?.invalidate()
}

// if appropriate, make sure to stop your timer in `deinit`

deinit {
    stopTimer()
}

In Swift 2, you create a NSTimer. And if you’re using Swift 2, you may well be using iOS version prior to 10.0, in which case you have to use the older target/selector pattern:

weak var timer: NSTimer?

func startTimer() {
    timer?.invalidate()   // just in case you had existing `NSTimer`, `invalidate` it before we lose our reference to it
    timer = NSTimer.scheduledTimerWithTimeInterval(60.0, target: self, selector: #selector(handleTimer(_:)), userInfo: nil, repeats: true)
}

func handleTimer(timer: NSTimer) {
    // do something here
}

func stopTimer() {
    timer?.invalidate()
}

// because this old target/selector approach will keep a strong reference
// to the `target`, if you want the timer to stop when the view controller
// is dismissed, you can't stop the timer in `deinit`, but rather have to 
// detect the dismissing of the view controller using other mechanisms. Commonly,
// we used to detect the view disappearing, like below:

override func viewDidDisappear(animated: Bool) {
    super.viewDidDisappear(animated)
    stopTimer()
}

While NSTimer is generally best, for the sake of completeness, I should note that you can also use dispatch timer, which is useful for scheduling timers on background threads. With dispatch timers, since they’re block-based, it avoids some of the strong reference cycle challenges with the old target/selector pattern of NSTimer, as long as you use weak references.

So, in Swift 3:

var timer: DispatchSourceTimer?

func startTimer() {
    let queue = DispatchQueue(label: "com.domain.app.timer")  // you can also use `DispatchQueue.main`, if you want
    timer = DispatchSource.makeTimerSource(queue: queue)
    timer!.scheduleRepeating(deadline: .now(), interval: .seconds(60))
    timer!.setEventHandler { [weak self] in
        // do whatever you want here
    }
    timer!.resume()
}

func stopTimer() {
    timer?.cancel()
    timer = nil
}

deinit {
    self.stopTimer()
}

In Swift 2:

var timer: dispatch_source_t?

func startTimer() {
    let queue = dispatch_queue_create("com.domain.app.timer", nil) // again, you can use `dispatch_get_main_queue()` if you want to use the main queue
    timer = dispatch_source_create(DISPATCH_SOURCE_TYPE_TIMER, 0, 0, queue)
    dispatch_source_set_timer(timer!, DISPATCH_TIME_NOW, 60 * NSEC_PER_SEC, 1 * NSEC_PER_SEC) // every 60 seconds, with leeway of 1 second
    dispatch_source_set_event_handler(timer!) { [weak self] in
        // do whatever you want here
    }
    dispatch_resume(timer!)
}

func stopTimer() {
    if let timer = timer {
        dispatch_source_cancel(timer)
        self.timer = nil
    }
}

deinit {
    self.stopTimer()
}

For more information, see the the Creating a Timer section of Dispatch Source Examples in the Dispatch Sources section of the Concurrency Programming Guide.

Questions:
Answers:

You can use NSTimer

var timer = NSTimer.scheduledTimerWithTimeInterval(60, target: self, selector: Selector("function"), userInfo: nil, repeats: true)

In selector() you put in your function name

Questions:
Answers:

Here’s an update to the NSTimer answer, for Swift 3 (in which NSTimer was renamed to Timer) using a closure rather than a named function:

var timer = Timer.scheduledTimer(withTimeInterval: 60, repeats: true) {
    (_) in
    print("Hello world")
}

Questions:
Answers:

In swift 3.0 the GCD got refactored:

let timer : DispatchSourceTimer = DispatchSource.makeTimerSource(flags: [], queue: DispatchQueue.main)

timer.scheduleRepeating(deadline: .now(), interval: .seconds(60))
timer.setEventHandler
{
    NSLog("Hello World")
}
timer.resume()

This is specially useful for when you need to dispatch on a particular Queue. Also, if you’re planning on using this for user interface updating, I suggest looking into CADisplayLink as it’s synchronized with the GPU refresh rate.