When you tap on a cell of a
UITableViewView, the whole cell is highlighted in gray or blue (default colors in iOS).
If you setup your
UITableView to be allow multiple selections in edit mode and select a cell (by tapping on the circle that appears on the left), again the whole cell get highlighted. If you have custom cells that contain some
UIView (such as labels), their background becomes also transparent.
Now, if you look at the Mail app on your iOS device, when you select a mail (by first tapping on edit), only the left circle is highlighted and your cell is not changed.
This little tutorial will show you how to reproduce the same behavior as in the Mail app.