In a garbage-collected environment, there is no need for autorelease pools. You may, however, write a framework that is designed to work in both a garbage-collected and reference-counted environment. In this case, you can use autorelease pools to hint to the collector that collection may be appropriate. In a garbage-collected environment, sending a drain message to a pool triggers garbage collection if necessary; release, however, is a no-op. In a reference-counted environment, drain has the same effect as release. Typically, therefore, you should use drain instead of release.