a Tweetie-style tab bar for the iPhone
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Latest commit 8ed9f4f Oct 12, 2011



BCTabBarController is a Tweetie-style tab bar for iPhone. See below for screenshots.


There are several problems with using the standard UITabBarController including:

  • It is too tall, especially in landscape mode
  • The height doesn't match the UIToolbar
  • It cannot be customized without using private APIs
  • It has labels. Sometimes you don't need labels.

BCTabBarController is completely written from scratch using public APIs to fix all of these problems and behaves almost identically to a normal UITabBarController.


  • A cool little arrow that slides around to indicate the current tab
  • Support for all orientations
  • Same height as a standard UIToolbar


  • Add BCTabBarController.xcodeproj to your project by dragging it into the Groups & Files sidebar.
  • Select the added project file in the sidebar and then check the box next to libBCTabBarController.a
  • Select your project's target and right-click and choose "Get Info"
  • Click the + icon underneath Direct Dependencies and add the BCTabBarController target
  • libBCTabBarController.a should already be in the list of Linked Libraries
  • Drag BCTabBarController.bundle into your project's resources
  • If you haven't already, add the QuartzCore and Core Graphics frameworks to your project
  • Define the method - (NSString *)iconImageName in each view controller that you add to the tab bar. It should return the filename of the grey tab icon (see creation steps below)
  • See the example target for usage

Creating icons

Unlike UITabBarController, the tab bar icons in BCTabBars are have two pre-rendered states (four if you count the retina versions). You can use the provided tab.psd file to create those files.

  • Replace the layer masks in the PSD with the silhouette of the icon you wish to create
  • Save the grey layer as name.png and the blue layer as name-selected.png and add them to your project.



This controller wouldn't be possible without the original innovative design of Tweetie by Loren Brichter (atebits).