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Friday, December 20, 2013

iOS Get App Window

So, you want to get the iOS app window, huh?

Terminology is one of the great barriers to moving from language-to-language and platform-to-platform, so its no surprise that some people are going to want to search for different terms, so we cover a few cases in this post, just to make sure we're getting the answer you're actually after:

Case #1, you're really wanting to get the current UIViewController displayed in your application:

A. When you're using a NavigationController

  // Way #1: Get the topmost ViewController (current) in this navigation hierarchy.
  UIViewController *currentViewController = [[self.navigationController viewControllers] lastObject];

  // Way #2: Ask your UINavigationController which ViewController is the visible one.
  UIViewController *currentViewController = self.navigationController.visibleViewController;

B. When you're not (presumably nested modal views or other)

- (UIViewController *) getTopViewController
  UIWindow *keyWindow = [UIApplication sharedApplication].keyWindow;

  UIViewController *viewController = keyWindow.rootViewController;
    viewController = viewController.presentedViewController;
  return viewController;

Case #2: You actually want the key window:

  UIWindow *keyWindow = [UIApplication sharedApplication].keyWindow;

... which is a window that "manages and coordinates the views an app displays on the device screen", and of which your app probably only has one.

Case #3: What you really want is the UIView of the current UIViewController so you can manipulate it somehow, in which case you want to do:

  // I am in a UIViewController, so I can get my view like this
  UIView *view = [self view];

Well, hopefully that covers it, but if not, please leave a comment on a case we might have missed. Thanks, and please give us a +1 if you have the inclination!

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