iOS Programming 101: How to Customize Navigation Bar and Back Button

Previously, in our iOS Programming 101 series, we showed you how to customize the appearance of the Tab Bar. In this tutorial, we’ll continue to talk about UI customization and cover how to use Appearance API to make the Navigation Bar more beautiful.

Here are what you’ll learn in this tutorial:

  1. Customizing the View with background image
  2. Customizing UINavigationBar including background image and text style of title
  3. Customizing the appearance of UIBarButtonItem

As usual, we’re going to illustrate the concept by converting a plain navigation bar to one with customized graphics. However, to help you focus on learning the customization, we’ve prepared the Xcode project for you to start with. Before proceeding, first download the Xcode project here (note: the project is created using Xcode 4.5).

If you build and run the project, you’ll get an app with simple navigation UI. Now we’ll work together to style the navigation bar, customize the bar buttons and assign our own background image for the view.
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iOS Programming 101: How To Customize Tab Bar Background and Appearance

With over 700,000 apps in App Store, your app must have a great design to stand out from others. If your app is still using the default design, you better give it a tweak and make it look better. I’m sure it’ll improve your app sales and attract more downloads.

When you check out any popular app, you’ll notice a custom design tab bar. Some readers asked how we can change the appearance of the tab bar. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to do that. With the introduction of Appearance API in iOS 5, it’s much easier to custom the UI controls that gives your app a unique look and feel.

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