A container view controller that allows the selection of child views based on a UISegmentedControl in the navigation bar
Objective-C Ruby
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MTMultipleViewController is a container view controller that allows the selection of child views based on a UISegmentedControl in the navigation bar.

It does some cool things:

  • The navigation bar all of its properties (leftBarButtonItem, rightBarButtonItem, etc) from the currently selected child UIViewController
  • Titles for the segmented control are taken from the child view controllers' navigationItem.title properties
  • Your child view controllers don't require any modification to be used with this container
  • Because MTMultipleViewController uses proper container view controller APIs, all relevant rotation, memory, and view lifecycle messages automatically get passed through to the selected child

It should be said that generally, the HIGs dictate that segmented controls in the title of a view (such as MTMultipleViewController displays) are intended to select between different filters views into a single set of data (for example, see the 'Recents' tab in Phone.app, or the 'Connect' tab in the official Twitter.app). Such filtered views are quite easy to do using a single UITableViewController subclass, and if you're using MTMultipleViewController to realize such a design you're quite possibly doing it wrong. On the other end of the spectrum, using MTMultipleViewController to toggle between two or more obviously different view controllers is an equally bad idea; where MTMultipleViewController shines is in the grey area in between these two extremes. There should be a natural and complementary relationship between the data presented by views embedded within an MTMultipleViewController; the data in each of the child views should be thematically similar to one another so as to make sense to the user, but different enough so as to require separate view controllers. If that describes your use case, then MTMultipleViewController may well be for you.

Supported Platforms

iOS 5.0 is a minimum; any release since then is supported. ARC is required (if you have a need for this project to not require ARC, let me know and I'll fix you up; I just haven't has a need for it yet).


Using MTMultipleViewController is easy. Initialization looks very similar to that of any of the system view controllers:

UIViewController *controllerOne = [[UITableViewController alloc] initWithStyle:UITableViewStylePlain];
controllerOne.navigationItem.title = @"One";
controllerOne.navigationItem.rightBarButtonItem = [[UIBarButtonItem alloc] initWithBarButtonSystemItem:UIBarButtonSystemItemCompose target:nil action:nil];;

UIViewController *controllerTwo = [[UITableViewController alloc] initWithStyle:UITableViewStylePlain];
controllerTwo.navigationItem.title = @"Two";
controllerTwo.navigationItem.prompt = @"Controller two's prompt";

MTMultipleViewController *multipleViewController = [[MTMultipleViewController alloc] initWithChildViewControllers:@[controllerOne, controllerTwo]];
/* add multipleViewController into your view controller hierarchy anywhere you'd like */

The previous code will give you something that looks like this:

Controller One Controller Two

You can have any number of child view controllers, but I'd try very hard not to exceed three (or two if you have left and right bar button items). Transitions between child view controllers aren't animated (except in the case of views controllers with prompts), which sounds weak, but is actually what you want in this situation.

Note that the UIBarButtonItem and prompt added above are purely fictional and would never be done like this in real code. The above only serves to demonstrate what the UI looks like.

The relevant hooks are also in place to allow the placement of MTMultipleViewController instances in nib/storyboard files (though you still have to insert child views programmatically; as with all non-system view containers).


Contributions welcome! Fork this repo and submit a pull request (or just open up a ticket and I'll see what I can do).