Using NSOperationQueue in iOS to do Serial/Concurrent Operations.

By | May 7, 2016

NSOperationQueue is used to do scheduled operations in iOS. You can customize NSOperationQueue to do Concurrent/Serial operations.

You can set NSOperationQueue maxConcurrentOperationCount to tell it to do how many operations to execute at a time.

Lets see this with an example

[Swift Version]

import UIKit

class ViewController: UIViewController {

    override func viewDidLoad() {
        let downloadQueue = NSOperationQueue();
        downloadQueue.maxConcurrentOperationCount = 1;
        for i in 1...10 {
            let operation : NSBlockOperation = NSBlockOperation(block: {

    func downloadImage (index : Int){
        print("Download Started \(index)")
        print("Download Complete \(index)")


In the above example, we set maxConcurrentOperationCount to 1, telling it to execute one by one.

[Objective C Version]

#import "ViewController.h"

@interface ViewController ()


@implementation ViewController

- (void)viewDidLoad {
    [super viewDidLoad];
    // Create a new NSOperationQueue instance.
    operationQueue = [NSOperationQueue new];
    operationQueue.maxConcurrentOperationCount = 1;
    for(int i = 0; i < 10; i++){
        NSNumber* iParam = [NSNumber numberWithInt:i];
        // Create a new NSOperation object using the NSInvocationOperation subclass.
        NSInvocationOperation *operation = [[NSInvocationOperation alloc] initWithTarget:self
        // Add the operation to the queue and let it to be executed.
        [operationQueue addOperation:operation];

-(void) downloadImage : (NSNumber *) index{
    NSLog(@"Download Started %d", index.intValue);
    NSLog(@"Download Complete %d", index.intValue);


With this you can schedule your operations so give a better user experience to the user.

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