8vius 8vius - 4 months ago 15
iOS Question

iOS - Friendly NSDate format

I need to display the date of posts in my app to the user, right now I do it in this format: "Fri, 25 May". How would I format an NSDate to read something like "2 hours ago"? To make it more user friendly.

Answer

NSDateFormatter can't do things like that; you're going to need to establish your own rules. I guess something like:

- (NSString *)formattedDate:(NSDate *)date
{
     NSTimeInterval timeSinceDate = [[NSDate date] timeIntervalSinceDate:date];

     // print up to 24 hours as a relative offset
     if(timeSinceDate < 24.0 * 60.0 * 60.0)
     {
         NSUInteger hoursSinceDate = (NSUInteger)(timeSinceDate / (60.0 * 60.0));

         switch(hoursSinceDate)
         {
              default: return [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%d hours ago", hoursSinceDate];
              case 1: return @"1 hour ago";
              case 0:
                  NSUInteger minutesSinceDate = (NSUInteger)(timeSinceDate / 60.0);
                  /* etc, etc */
              break;
         }
     }
     else
     {
          /* normal NSDateFormatter stuff here */
     }
}

So that's to print 'x minutes ago' or 'x hours ago' up to 24 hours from the date, which will usually be one day.

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