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Building an interactive iOS App interface using Swift

This is my third trial to build an interactive interface for an iOS app using swift, I was searching online on bechance for a design that involves some ideas I can try to implement and I found this lovely design of an app called yohago designed by Patricia Campuzano:

yohago screen 1

yohago screen 2

yohago screen 1

The final product

After hours of searching, try & error, and consulting friends I could implement parts of the interface and came up with the following output.

The final product

The interesting parts

I'm not going to discuss the whole code of the project, I'll just highlight some of the parts I found interesting and noteworthy, however you can review the whole source code on github.

Setting an image as the background of a view

In the log in screen I wanted a background screen to fill the view bounds, I was able to accomplish that using the following code:

UIImage(named: "splashBG")!.drawInRect(self.view.bounds)
var backgroundImage = UIGraphicsGetImageFromCurrentImageContext();
view.backgroundColor = UIColor(patternImage: backgroundImage!)

The image is resized to the view bounds and then added as background to the view.

Resizing a UITextField with rounded corners

When I wanted to set the height and inset/padding values of the text fields after setting its border style to a rounded rectangle field.borderStyle = UITextBorderStyle.RoundedRect I was not able to change its height, I had to use a sub-class of UITextField to accomplish this.

class loginScreenTextFields: UITextField {

let padding = UIEdgeInsets(top: 0, left: 10, bottom: 0, right: 10);

required init(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
super.init(coder: aDecoder)

self.layer.cornerRadius = 5.0

override func textRectForBounds(bounds: CGRect) -> CGRect {
return self.newBounds(bounds)

override func placeholderRectForBounds(bounds: CGRect) -> CGRect {
return self.newBounds(bounds)

override func editingRectForBounds(bounds: CGRect) -> CGRect {
return self.newBounds(bounds)

private func newBounds(bounds: CGRect) -> CGRect {

var newBounds = bounds
newBounds.origin.x += padding.left
newBounds.origin.y +=
newBounds.size.height -= ( * 2) - padding.bottom
newBounds.size.width -= (padding.left * 2) - padding.right
return newBounds

Applying a custom segue in swift

As a challenge to myself I want to apply a custom transition when moving from the log in screen to the other screen, I set the segue type to custom and assigned a custom class to the segue.

class CustomSegue: UIStoryboardSegue {

override func perform() {
var fromView = self.sourceViewController.view as UIView!
var toView = self.destinationViewController.view as UIView!

let offScreenHorizontalStart = CGAffineTransformMakeRotation(CGFloat(M_PI / 2))
let offScreenHorizontalEnd = CGAffineTransformMakeRotation(CGFloat(-M_PI / 2))

fromView.layer.anchorPoint = CGPoint(x:0, y:0)
fromView.layer.position = CGPoint(x:0, y:0)

UIApplication.sharedApplication().keyWindow?.insertSubview(toView, belowSubview: fromView)

UIView.animateWithDuration(0.7, delay: 0.0, usingSpringWithDamping: 1.6, initialSpringVelocity: 0.0, options: nil, animations: {

fromView.transform = offScreenHorizontalEnd

}, completion: { finished in
self.sourceViewController.presentViewController(self.destinationViewController as UIViewController, animated: false, completion: nil)



Customising the look of a UITabBarController

I wanted to customise the default look of the UITabBarController by adding a background color, change icon and font sizes, add separators between the different tabs, etc...

I had to iterate over all the items of the tab bar to apply the styles I need:

for item in tabBar.items as [UITabBarItem] {
NSForegroundColorAttributeName:UIColor(red:0.56, green:0.6, blue:0.71, alpha:1)
forState: UIControlState.Normal

forState: UIControlState.Selected

item.setTitlePositionAdjustment(UIOffsetMake(0, -10))
item.imageInsets = UIEdgeInsetsMake(-6, 0, 6, 0)

if item.tag < 1004{
let separatorXPosition = (itemWidth * CGFloat(item.tag - 1000)) - CGFloat(0.75)
let separatorView = UIView(frame: CGRectMake(separatorXPosition, 0, 1.5, 80))
separatorView.backgroundColor = UIColor(red:0.56, green:0.6, blue:0.71, alpha:1)

tabBar.insertSubview(separatorView, atIndex: 1)


Animating a side menu using UISwipeGestureRecognizer

The menu to the right is a basic view with a table view as a child view, the interesting part about this menu is that part of it is hidden from the window, and once the user swipes left the menu appears in a nice animation.

I built a separate .xib file for the menu, it included the UITableView with also custom cells. I added a UISwipeGestureRecognizer to the view as follow:

var swipeLeft = UISwipeGestureRecognizer(target: menu, action: "animateMenu:")
swipeLeft.direction = UISwipeGestureRecognizerDirection.Left

Another gesture was added to handle closing the menu when the user swipes to the right of the screen. The animateMenu method looked like:

if reconginzer.direction == UISwipeGestureRecognizerDirection.Left{

Animating the side menu

The animation is as simple as the following:

delay: 0.0,
usingSpringWithDamping: 0.6,
initialSpringVelocity: 0.0,
options: nil,
animations: {
self.frame.origin.x = UIScreen.mainScreen().bounds.width - self.frame.width + 20
}, completion: {
finished in
self.tableView.userInteractionEnabled = true

The table view interaction is forbidden as long as the menu is closed, so when the menu opens I enable it to allow the user to interact with the table.

Using delegates

In order to be able to interact with the main view controller I built a delegate for the Side bar that includes two optional methods:

@objc  protocol SideBarDelegate{
optional func sideBarWillClose()
optional func sideBarWillOpen()

I'd register the SideBar in the view controller using the following code.

let rightSideMenuNib = NSBundle.mainBundle().loadNibNamed("RightSideMenu", owner: self, options: nil)[0] as RightSideMenu
rightSideMenuNib.frame = CGRectMake(view.frame.width-40, 42, view.frame.width - 90, view.frame.height - 42)
rightSideMenuNib.delegate = self

Now I was able to do actions on the view controller when the menu opens or closes, for example when the menu opens I hide the Plus icons that appears beside each image in screen 2, here's the code for that:

func sideBarWillOpen() {
tableView.userInteractionEnabled = false

var cells = tableView.visibleCells() as [ListViewCell]
for cell:ListViewCell in cells{
UIView.animateWithDuration(0.2, animations: {
cell.itemPlusButton.alpha = 0

Drawing a circular UIButton with a border in swift

The Plus icon button the appears beside each image is drawn using the drawRect: method in a subclass of UIButton, the method looks like the following:

override func drawRect(rect: CGRect) {
// Drawing the border as a large circle
var border = UIBezierPath(ovalInRect: rect)

// Draw the main color for the button on top of the white border circle
var path = UIBezierPath(ovalInRect: CGRectMake(rect.origin.x+2, rect.origin.x+2, rect.width-4, rect.height-4))
UIColor(red:0.11, green:0.73, blue:0.65, alpha:1).setFill()

Adding annotations to MKMapView

Using MapKit I was able to place a map in screen 3, and to add annotations to the map I used this code:

annotation.title = "TARDIS"
annotation.subtitle = "Location where the TARDIS was seen"
annotation.coordinate = CLLocationCoordinate2DMake(30.064071, 31.215664)

Setting the initial region of the map

In the MapViewController I added the following code to set up the map initial region:

currentLocation = CLLocationCoordinate2DMake(30.064071, 31.215664)

let region = MKCoordinateRegionMakeWithDistance(currentLocation, distanceFromGround, distanceFromGround)
mapView.setRegion(region, animated: true)

Zooming in and out programatically

In the view there are two buttons to allow the user to zoom in and out, here's how I implemented the code for this:

@IBAction  func zoomOutButtonClicked(sender: UIButton) {
let span = MKCoordinateSpan(latitudeDelta: mapView.region.span.latitudeDelta*2, longitudeDelta: mapView.region.span.longitudeDelta*2)
let region = MKCoordinateRegion(center:, span: span)

mapView.setRegion(region, animated: true)

@IBAction  func zoomInButtonClicked(sender: UIButton) {
let span = MKCoordinateSpan(latitudeDelta: mapView.region.span.latitudeDelta/2, longitudeDelta: mapView.region.span.longitudeDelta/2)
let region = MKCoordinateRegion(center:, span: span)

mapView.setRegion(region, animated: true)