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 much like the inventory Mail app, you need to take a look at this break up view part.

Whereas NavigationSplitView is extra appropriate for iPadOS and macOS apps, it’s also possible to apply it to apps for iPhone. The view part mechanically 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 numerous choices so that you can customise its look and operations. You may change the column width and programmatically present/disguise the columns.

On this tutorial, we’ll create a three-column navigation UI utilizing NavigationSplitView.

Let’s get began.

The Primary 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 are going to begin with the two-column navigation UI and ultimately construct the three-column design.

Constructing the 2-Column Navigation Interface

Should you’ve learn my earlier tutorial on the expandable checklist view, you might know that I’m an enormous fan of La Marzocco. In that tutorial, I confirmed you how one can create an expandable checklist view with inset group type.

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


Earlier than we create the break up view, let’s start with the information 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 accommodates an non-compulsory array of youngsters (i.e. subMenuItems). Word that the kids are of the identical sort of its father or mother.

For the highest stage menu gadgets, we are able to 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 any sub-menu merchandise, you may omit the subMenuItems parameter or go it a nil worth. For the sub-menu gadgets, we are able to outline them like this:

To raised set up the information mannequin, we create a struct known as CoffeeEquipmentModel like this:

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

Now that we’ve ready the information 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 principle menu merchandise. We use a Record view to loop by all mainMenuItems within the information 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 foremost menu merchandise.

For the element closure, that is the place the submenu merchandise is rendered. If a class is chosen, we name the subMenuItems methodology to get the submenu gadgets for that exact 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, you need 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 supply 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 ought to 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 reveals 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 format.


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

To manage the visibility of the break up view, you may declare a state variable of the kind NavigationSplitViewVisibility and set its worth to .all:

When instantiating the NavigationSplitView, it has an choice parameter named columnVisibility. You may merely go the binding of columnVisibility to regulate the visibility of the columns.


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

  • .computerized – 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 – Disguise the main two columns of a three-column break up view. In different phrases, solely the element space reveals.

Customizing the Model of Navigation Break up Views

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


Should you don’t like this type, you may change it by attaching the .navigationSplitViewStyle modifier to NavigationSplitView:

The default worth is ready to .computerized. Should you set the worth to .balanced, it reduces the element space such that the 2 main columns can seem on the identical time.


What’s Subsequent

This tutorial offers you an introduction to NavigationSplitView in iOS 16. It’s very simple to create multi-column navigation expertise for iPad customers. Even when you 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 reveals a one-column navigation. Should you rotate the gadget sideway, the break up view modifications to a multi-column format.

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

For reference, if you wish to study extra about NavigationSplitView, you may take a look at this WWDC video.

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

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