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According to WWDC 2012 Session 200 - What's New In Cocoa Touch,

If you use - dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier:forIndexPath: to dequeue your cell, it will be the right size and you'll be able to do layout inside your cell's contentView.

That's pretty much a quote from Chris Parker, a UIKit Engineer.

Up until iOS 6, you had to subclass your UITableViewCell and override - layoutSubviews if you wanted to make layout adjustments. From encapsulation point of view, this might still be the better solution – however, sometimes you just need a tiny adjustment, and now you can do that in - tableView:cellForRowAtIndexPath: instead.


The most important difference between dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier: and dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier:indexPath: is that they are different methods! Thus they can behave differently, and they do. This has nothing to do with the indexPath, really; we just need a way to distinguish them.

The New Way

In particular, if you call dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier:indexPath:, this is a sign that you are using the new iOS 6 register-and-dequeue system. So, if you have failed to register this identifier, you'll get a nice crash and a log message explaining the problem. This method will never return nil; it always returns a cell, either by creating a new one or by reusing one.

The Old Way

On the other hand, plain and simple dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier: is old and has to be backward compatible. If you haven't registered this identifier, it won't complain: it will just return nil, leaving you high and dry. You'll have to create the cell yourself, as in the bad old days.

EDIT: But see also the answer by @svena! The new way (with indexPath:) has a second advantage I didn't know about: the cell is correctly sized at the time it is returned to you.

More Answer related to the Same Query


I believe it is used to call the tableView:heightForRowAtIndexPath: method, if one exists, allowing the cell to be correctly sized.


I always thought that UIKit would round the corners of the top and bottom cells in a grouped table view when the UITableViewDelegate method:

- (void)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView willDisplayCell:(UITableViewCell *)cell forRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath

is called. However, knowing the index path isn't much use unless the cell also knows how many rows are in the same section so it can work out if it's the last cell or not.

I assume that the addition of the index path to the method dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier: is to improve performance perhaps as @jrturton suggested with different reuse pools or simply to determine the position of a cell in grouped sections.

As far as I can remember from the WWDC videos, there were a few additional methods added in iOS 6 to support reordering, insertion and deletion of cells so perhaps this also comes into factor here?

Credit Goes to: stackoverflow.com

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