@property offers a way to define the information that a class is intended to encapsulate. If you declare an object/variable using @property, then that object/variable will be accessible to other classes importing its class. If you declare an object using @property in the header file, then you have to synthesize it using @synthesize in the implementation file.
List of attributes of @property :
atomic : It is the default behaviour. If an object is declared as atomic then it
becomes thread-safe. Thread-safe means, at a time only one thread of a
particular instance of that class can have the control over that object.
@property NSString *name; //by default atomic
@property (atomic)NSString *name; // explicitly declared atomic
nonatomic: It is not thread-safe. You can use the nonatomic property attribute to specify that synthesized accessors simply set or return a value directly, with no guarantees about what happens if that same value is accessed simultaneously from different threads. For this reason, it’s faster to access a nonatomic property than an atomic one.
@property (nonatomic)NSString *name;
retain: is required when the attribute is a pointer to an object.The setter method will increase retain count of the object, so that it will occupy memory in autorelease pool.
@property (retain)NSString *name;
copy: If you use copy, you can't use retain. Using copy instance of the class
will contain its own copy.
Even if a mutable string is set and subsequently changed, the instance
captures whatever value it has at the time it is set. No setter and getter
methods will be synthesized.
@property (copy) NSString *name;
NSMutableString *nameString = [NSMutableString stringWithString:@"Liza"];
xyzObj.name = nameString;
readonly: If you don't want to allow the property to be changed via setter method, you can declare the property readonly.
@property (readonly) NSString *name;
readwrite: is the default behaviour. You don't need to specify readwrite attribute explicitly.
@property (readwrite) NSString *name;
assign: will generate a setter which assigns the value to the instance variable directly, rather than copying or retaining it. This is best for primitive types like NSInteger and CGFloat, or objects you don't directly own, such as delegates.
@property (assign) NSInteger year;
strong: is a replacement for retain.
@property (nonatomic, strong) AVPlayer *player;
unsafe_unretained: There are a few classes in Cocoa and Cocoa Touch that don’t yet support weak references, which means you can’t declare a weak property or weak local variable to keep track of them. These classes include NSTextView, NSFont and NSColorSpace,etc. If you need to use a weak reference to one of these classes, you must use an unsafe reference.
An unsafe reference is similar to a weak reference in that it doesn’t keep its related object alive, but it won’t be set to nil if the destination object is deallocated.
@property (unsafe_unretained) NSObject *unsafeProperty;
weak is similar to strong except that it won't increase the reference count by 1. It does not become an owner of that object but just holds a reference to it. If the object's reference count drops to 0, even though you may still be pointing to it here, it will be deallocated from memory.