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Handling network calls efficiently in iOS using URLSession and Alamofire in Swift

Handling network calls efficiently in iOS using Swift and Alamofire

Efficiently handling network calls is crucial for providing a smooth user experience and optimizing resource usage in iOS applications.

In this blog post, we will explore various techniques and best practices for handling network calls over HTTP and HTTPS efficiently in iOS using Swift and Alamofire, along with code samples.

1. Asynchronous Networking with URLSession

URLSession is Apple's powerful framework for making network requests. It supports asynchronous operations, allowing us to fetch data without blocking the main thread.

Here's an example of performing a simple GET request using URLSession:

guard let url = URL(string: "") else { return }

let task = URLSession.shared.dataTask(with: url) { (data, response, error) in
    if let error = error {
        print("Error: \(error)")

    // Process the response data
    if let data = data {
        // Handle the data


2. Background Processing with URLSession

To perform network requests in the background, we can use URLSession's background configuration. This allows tasks to continue even if the app is in the background or suspended state.

Here's an example of using a background URLSession for file downloads:

let backgroundConfig = URLSessionConfiguration.background(withIdentifier: "")
let backgroundSession = URLSession(configuration: backgroundConfig)

guard let url = URL(string: "") else { return }

let downloadTask = backgroundSession.downloadTask(with: url) { (location, response, error) in
    if let error = error {
        print("Error: \(error)")

    // Move the downloaded file from the temporary location to a permanent location
    // Handle the downloaded file


3. Caching and Data Persistence

Caching responses locally can significantly improve performance and reduce redundant network requests. URLSession and URLCache provide built-in caching support.

Here's an example of enabling caching in URLSession:

let cache = URLCache.shared
let config = URLSessionConfiguration.default
config.urlCache = cache

let session = URLSession(configuration: config)

// Perform network requests using the session

4. Request Prioritization and Throttling with Alamofire

Alamofire is a popular networking library that simplifies network request handling. It provides features like request prioritization and throttling.

Here's an example of using Alamofire to prioritize and throttle requests:

import Alamofire

let requestQueue = DispatchQueue(label: "", qos: .background, attributes: .concurrent)
let session = Session(requestQueue: requestQueue)

let highPriorityRequest = session.request("")
highPriorityRequest.priority = .high

let lowPriorityRequest = session.request("")
lowPriorityRequest.priority = .low

// Perform network requests using Alamofire

5. Error Handling and Retry Mechanisms with Alamofire

Alamofire also provides powerful error handling and retry mechanisms.

Here's an example of using Alamofire's retry mechanism:

import Alamofire

let session = Session()

let retryPolicy = RetryPolicy(allowedRetryCount: 3) { (_, error) -> TimeInterval in
    if let response = error.response, response.statusCode == 429 {
        // Retry after a delay for rate limiting
        return 5.0
    return 0.0

let request = session.request("")

// Perform network requests using Alamofire

6. Monitoring and Analytics

Monitoring network requests and gathering analytics can help in identifying performance bottlenecks, detecting errors, and optimizing network usage.

Apple's Network framework provides APIs for monitoring network traffic, including monitoring cellular data usage, tracking request metrics, and collecting network connection quality information.

Finotes is a tool that can be integrated seamlessly to monitor any discripencies and problems in the execution of network related operations. It captures Error Response Codes, delayed network calls, exceptions during network calls, duplicate calls and such.

Additionally, integrating analytics tools like Firebase Analytics or custom logging mechanisms can provide valuable insights into network performance and user behavior.


By leveraging techniques like asynchronous networking, background processing, caching, prioritization, error handling, and monitoring, you can handle network calls efficiently in your iOS applications. These practices will help optimize network usage, reduce latency, and provide a seamless user experience.

Remember to test and optimize your network code for different scenarios and network conditions to ensure optimal performance.


Blog for Mobile App Developers, Testers and App Owners


This blog is from Finotes Team. Finotes is a lightweight mobile APM and bug detection tool for iOS and Android apps.

In this blog we talk about iOS and Android app development technologies, languages and frameworks like Java, Kotlin, Swift, Objective-C, Dart and Flutter that are used to build mobile apps. Read articles from Finotes team about good programming and software engineering practices, testing and QA practices, performance issues and bugs, concepts and techniques. 

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