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HomeiOS DevelopmentA Newbie's Information to NavigationSplitView in SwiftUI for iOS 16

A Newbie’s Information to NavigationSplitView in SwiftUI for iOS 16

In iOS 16, aside from introducing the brand new NavigationStack, Apple additionally launched a brand new view container named NavigationSplitView for builders to create two or three column navigation interface. If you wish to construct UI just like the inventory Mail app, it is best to take a look at this break up view part.

Whereas NavigationSplitView is extra appropriate for iPadOS and macOS apps, you may also apply it to apps for iPhone. The view part robotically adapts itself for iPhone. As a substitute of displaying a multi-column interface, it creates a single-column expertise.

The brand new NavigationSplitView comes with varied choices so that you can customise its look and operations. You may change the column width and programmatically present/conceal the columns.

On this tutorial, we are going to create a three-column navigation UI utilizing NavigationSplitView.

Let’s get began.

The Fundamental Utilization of NavigationSplitView

The NavigationSplitView helps each two-column and three-column navigation expertise. Their implementations are fairly comparable. To create a two-column navigation UI, you write the code like this:

For 3-column navigation interface, you add the content material parameter in between:

We’ll begin with the two-column navigation UI and finally construct the three-column design.

Constructing the 2-Column Navigation Interface

When you’ve learn my earlier tutorial on the expandable checklist view, you might know that I’m a giant fan of La Marzocco. In that tutorial, I confirmed you create an expandable checklist view with inset group fashion.

Now let’s flip this expandable checklist right into a two stage navigation interface just like the screenshot proven under:


Earlier than we create the break up view, let’s start with the info mannequin. We create a struct to mannequin a menu merchandise:

To make a nested checklist, the important thing right here is to incorporate a property that incorporates an non-obligatory array of youngsters (i.e. subMenuItems). Notice that the youngsters are of the identical kind of its mother or father.

For the highest stage menu gadgets, we will create an array of MenuItem like this:

For every of the menu merchandise, we specify the array of the sub-menu gadgets. In case if there isn’t a sub-menu merchandise, you’ll be able to omit the subMenuItems parameter or cross it a nil worth. For the sub-menu gadgets, we will outline them like this:

To higher set up the info mannequin, we create a struct referred to as CoffeeEquipmentModel like this:

The mainMenuItems array holds the pattern menu gadgets. Each subMenuItems and menuItem are helper strategies for wanting up a selected class or menu merchandise.

Now that we’ve ready the info mannequin, let’s transfer onto the implementation of the navigation break up view. Create a brand new file named TwoColumnSplitView.swift utilizing the SwiftUI view template. Replace the TwoColumnSplitView struct like this:

The primary closure of NavigationSplitView presents the primary menu merchandise. We use a Record view to loop by way of all mainMenuItems within the knowledge mannequin and show every of the menu gadgets utilizing a HStack view.

We even have a state variable named selectedCategoryId, which is used to carry the chosen major menu merchandise.

For the element closure, that is the place the submenu merchandise is rendered. If a class is chosen, we name the subMenuItems technique to get the submenu gadgets for that individual class. We then show the submenu gadgets utilizing Record view. Conversely, if no class is chosen, we show a textual content message instructing the consumer to decide on a class.

When you made the modifications, it is best to see a two-column navigation UI within the Xcode preview.


Making a Three-Column Navigation Interface

Now that we’ve created a two-column navigation interface, let’s additional improve it to offer customers with a three-column navigation expertise. The additional column is used for displaying the picture of the chosen gear.


To transform the two-column navigation interface to three-column, we have to implement a further parameter (i.e. content material) for the NavigationSplitView. Let’s create a brand new view named ThreeColumnSplitView like this:

Mainly, the code within the content material closure must be similar to you. The content material parameter is designed for displaying the submenu gadgets. Thus, we use the Record view to indicate the submenu gadgets for the chosen class.

When an merchandise is chosen within the submenu, the app exhibits the gear picture. That is achieved by the code written within the element closure.

After the code modifications, the preview pane ought to present you a two-column structure.


By default, the primary column is hidden. That you must faucet the menu button on the top-left nook to disclose it.

To regulate the visibility of the break up view, you’ll be able to declare a state variable of the sort NavigationSplitViewVisibility and set its worth to .all:

When instantiating the NavigationSplitView, it has an possibility parameter named columnVisibility. You may merely cross the binding of columnVisibility to manage the visibility of the columns.


The NavigationSplitViewVisibility.all worth tells iPadOS to show all of the three columns. There are different choices together with:

  • .automated – Use the default main column visibility for the present gadget. That is the default setting.
  • .doubleColumn – Present the content material column and element space of a three-column navigation break up view.
  • .detailOnly – Conceal the main two columns of a three-column break up view. In different phrases, solely the element space exhibits.

Customizing the Type of Navigation Break up Views

Have you ever examined the app in iPad Portrait? By default, the element space takes up the entire display when the iPad gadget is in portrait mode. So, while you carry up the primary menu and submenu areas, the element space is hidden behind these two main columns.


When you don’t like this fashion, you’ll be able to change it by attaching the .navigationSplitViewStyle modifier to NavigationSplitView:

The default worth is about to .automated. When you set the worth to .balanced, it reduces the element space such that the 2 main columns can seem on the similar time.


What’s Subsequent

This tutorial provides you an introduction to NavigationSplitView in iOS 16. It’s very simple to create multi-column navigation expertise for iPad customers. Even for those who develop apps for iPhone customers, NavigationSplitView can adapt itself to suit the navigation expertise on narrower screens. For instance, when iPhone 13 Professional Max is in portrait mode, the break up view exhibits a one-column navigation. When you rotate the gadget sideway, the break up view modifications to a multi-column structure.

Due to this fact, take a while to review this break up view part and apply it to your app every time this type of UI is smart.

For reference, if you wish to study extra about NavigationSplitView, you’ll be able to take a look at this WWDC video.

When you take pleasure in this text and need to dive deeper into SwiftUI, you might take a look at our Mastering SwiftUI e-book.



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