I tried to ask this in another thread but, apperently, my scenario was covering the real question. So I try again here, addressing this specific issue.

I noticed that, normally, popup dialogs in iOS are not appreciated when it comes to ask the user input. Usually one prefers to dedicate a complete new view in order to achieve the purpose.

I'm concerned about that though, because in the iOS 5.0 SDK Apple extended the UIAlertView in order to support further styles, in particular:

  • UIAlertViewStylePlainTextInput
  • UIAlertViewStyleSecureTextInput
  • UIAlertViewStyleLoginAndPasswordInput

I guess that, if Apple itself provided this APIs, there have to be certain circumstances where the popup input dialog is worth being used.

Then: does anyone know when it's better to use a popup (UIAlertView) to ask the user input and when it's instead preferrable to have a modal view or to dynamically modify the current view?

  • 4
    FYI, the Apple-provided YouTube app uses the pop-up style to log in to YouTube, but when logging in to FaceTime, for example, it pulls up a view. The YouTube app is largely old and untouched (it is being removed from iOS6), and FaceTime is relatively new, so this should give you an idea of the direction they (Apple) are going in. Sep 6, 2012 at 20:22
  • 2
    That's a good point. But still doesn't explain why they introduced the feature in UIKit. And not in iOS 2.0, but in iOS 5.0, so it means they have been thinking through it "in the last period". I believe there has to be at least one good use case for it. Sep 11, 2012 at 14:30

1 Answer 1


For applications, users typically expect a standalone view or dynamic layout for logging in. I typically think of the UIAlertView input method as being used in games where you don't want to jump away from your OpenGL window or create a custom edit view to do text input.

The YouTube app was pretty outdated and it's my understanding that the new YouTube standalone app in iOS 6 no longer uses the pop-up style login.

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