Tag Archives: UISplitViewController

How to present a view controller on top of a UISplitView Controller


Since its introduction in iOS 5, our good friend the UISplitView Controller has always had a really annoying habit: it has to be the root view controller in our apps. This means that it cannot be presented from any other view controller, nor can the split view controller present other view controllers.

This sucks because 99% of all apps probably need to present a user choice overlay at some point during the lifetime of an app. While some apps may get away with showing a Popover on iPad, many apps would be better off if we could present something like a proper form sheet as pictured in the image above. However, by Apple’s definition, that’s just not possible with the split view controller.

Or is it…?

In this screencast I’ll show you how to make it appear as if we could present another view controller over a UISplitView Controller. We’ll employ a bit of magic to create a great user experience, and it’s not really difficult either. The whole thing works on both iPhone and iPad with no extra work, and it works with apps in Slideover Mode too.

At the bottom of the article I’ll show you the code snippets to make this magic happen, together with a fully working demo project.


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How to show the Master View button in a UISplitViewController app

I was tinkering with an iPad version of one of my apps, when I noticed that the nav bar button that hides and shows the Master View Controller in portrait mode was no longer displayed. You know, the one that reads “Master” by default.

This is a problem if my app starts in portrait mode, because there’s no way to bring this button back. The Split View Controller handles that button in its willHideViewController delegate method – which was seemingly never called upon startup (anymore).

I can’t call that method manually on startup because I don’t have the parameters that call this method – but I did find a solution that forces the Split View to call this method:

// bring back the Master button in portrait
[self.splitViewController.view setNeedsLayout];

Calling this somewhere in viewDidLoad doesn’t hurt your app – but it avoids having to solve The Case of the Disappearing Split View Button.