Is there a design pattern for dropdown lists in iOS?

  • I've searched quite a bit for this but surprisingly could not find any comprehensive answer. XCode doesn't provide any simple way to add dropdown lists to iOS interfaces. Stackoverflow just showed workarounds and long code just to get a simple dropdown list. This leads me to believe that the design pattern is to not really use dropdown lists! Is this true? And if so, what is the recommended alternative?

    I also needed a HTML select-like control (single-selection dropdown list) without breaking the XCode legacy GUI interface across past and future iOS releases. I ended up coding **DownPicker**, a lightweight control which does just that combining `UITextField` and `UIPickerView`. It can be used either as custom control (`UIDownPicker`) or also as *control wrapper*, upgrading any existing `UITextField`. Here's how it looks like: !enter image description here For more info and download you can check this [brief tutorial](http://www.ryadel.com/2015/03/31/downp

  • Paul

    Paul Correct answer

    7 years ago

    iOS makes it much easier to use "Pickers". These may work depending on what you need the "Dropdown" to do. See new link https://developer.apple.com/ios/human-interface-guidelines/controls/pickers/

    Can you elaborate a bit? While linking to external resources is good, answers that don't contain much more than a link have been deemed unhelpful by the community.

    I think he's answer is clear: "use drill downs or pickers" and I saw examples of it in the link. He's answer answers the question "Is there a design pattern for dropdown lists in iOS?"

    Thanks, Paul. I think the Picker will work for now, though it seems unnecessarily fancy. I'll try my hand at it!

    Yeah, those patterns work great in some contexts and not in others. If you try to use something else on iOS (for example a "click to expand" button that reveals more choices), it can be incredibly difficult to implement and/or get approved by Apple.

    Kindly update the link.

    re @Paul comment about possible difficulty having non-standard UI paradigms be approved by Apple: In my experience Apple will approve your UI, as long as it is built out of native widgets (even if you don't strictly follow their guidelines); what they have opposed has been cross-platform solutions that "emulated" widgets. So, for instance, it is necessary that Xamarin "cross-platform" forms actually build into native iOS widgets (which they do).

License under CC-BY-SA with attribution


Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM