iOS WebView with an Address Bar

I’ve started cre­at­ing an iPhone appli­ca­tion at my job and one of the things I imme­di­ately took advan­tage of is the UIWe­b­View. One of the things it lacks is an address bar and a progress load­ing indi­ca­tor (prob­a­bly talk about this in another post). An address bar can be pretty use­ful for know­ing where you are and espe­cially if it acts like Safari’s Address bar where it will scroll along with the con­tent and slide off screen as well.

I started using iOS’s sto­ry­board­ing fea­ture where you can eas­ily attach view con­troller and actions, which is pretty dark amaz­ing because it kills off the need for XIB files. I love it. Any­way, you can do all the easy stuff with cre­at­ing a new project and drag­ging UIWe­b­View under the view and resize it because we also want a tool­bar with a UITextField in it.

You’ll want to cre­ate IBOut­let Instance vari­ables for the UIWe­b­View, UITool­Bar and UITextField in the ViewController’s header file and then go back to the inter­face builder to drag from the View Con­troller to the web­view and the Text Field.

One thing we want to lis­ten for is the changes to the web­view, so we’ll need to set the View­Con­troller as  a del­e­gate (crtl + drag from Web­View to View con­troller I think or other way around)

If you call load­Request from the UIWe­b­View in view­Did­Load, you’ll see your address bar updated with the url. That was pretty easy.

Next, we’ll want to get the UIWe­b­View to take on the full view­able screen (except the sys­tem bar) and add the tool­bar to the UIWe­b­View, so we can get the Safari-like scroll effect. No longer we will use the inter­face builder to do this.

  • First, we need to add the tool bar to the UIWe­b­View. Remem­ber, our tool bar has already been instan­ti­ated in the sto­ry­board. The UIWe­b­View has a scrol­lview to which we can eas­ily say [web­View scrol­lview addSubview:addressToolBar].
  • Then we’ll want to push down the con­tent. There is another view called UIWeb­BrowserView that holds the con­tent. So in view­Did­Load we’ll want to all the sub­views of the UIWe­b­View until we find a class called UIWeb­BrowserView. Here’s some code:
for (UIView * WVSubview in [webView subviews]) {
 if ([NSStringFromClass([WVSubView class]) isEqualToString:@"UIWebBrowserView"]) {
  CGRect frame = WVSubview.frame;
  frame.origin.y = addressToolbar.frame.size.height; // Shift down
  WVSubview.frame = frame;
  • We’ll also want to set the webView.frame = self.view.frame. You might have to cre­ate a new frame and set the origin.y to 0 and assign it to the webview.

Run the appli­ca­tion and the tool bar should dis­ap­pear when scrolling away, but it sucks when scrolling hor­i­zon­tally. This is where we take advan­tage of delegates!

  • We’ll want to set the webview’s scroll view’s del­e­gate to our view con­troller: webView.scrollview.delegate = self;
  • You’ll also want to add UIS­crol­lViewDel­e­gate to the ViewController’s header file.
  • Imple­ment - (void)scrollViewDidScroll:(UIS­crol­lView *)scrol­lView in the ViewController’s source then cre­ate new frame, like we did above, and set it to the tollbar’s frame. You’ll want to set the newframe.origin.x to the scrollview.contentOffset.x and then set the tool­bar frame to the new frame. (same thing we did above basically).

Easy, wasn’t it? Now you have an address bar that scroll’s hor­t­i­zon­tally just like safari’s Address bar.

Of course I’m leav­ing a lot of details out such as Address bar nav­i­ga­tion, page nav­i­ga­tion but­tons and etc, but I never said we were going to make a browser! The other details you want is left for you to implement.

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