Create your simple browser using WKWebView development

Create your simple browser using WKWebView

Author image By Manish Patel  |  Tuesday, February 19, 2019 11:58 AM  |  3 min read  |   563

WKWebView

We all are aware of the term web view, it’s not new for us. We have already used UIWebView in the past. Developers were using UIWebView class in the 8.0 and earlier versions to embed web content in an iOS app. However, UIWebView was a bit gawky, burly, and exuded in strainer memory. Thus, Apple has introduced WKWebView to replace of UIWebView. Through WKWebView developers can display interactive web content in their applications.

WKWebView has replaced UIWebView in WebKit and UIKIT in AppKIT by providing consistent API across both platforms. Hence, it is proven that WkWebview is one of the most important features of iOS8 and macOS.

Let’s take a look at the Advantages of WKWebView

  • WKWebView runs itself on the separate thread where the application runs. So the separate memory has been allocated to the WebView which results in better application performance. As a result of this, whenever WKWebView got crashed due to exceeds amount of memory then it never affects the application. It will only crash the webview but not the app.
  • It uses the latest javascript engine so that page rendering became faster in comparison with UIWebView.

What is the Main Objective Behind Using WKWebView?

Web-Kit is the layout and rendering engine behind Safari on the iOS operating system. It renders and parses HTML to load the images on the display and execute JavaScript. WKWebView development is similar to the UIWebView with a certain amount of enhancement. It deals with the application completely differently compared with UIWebView. WebKit has a unique feature and strong Javascript coding standard to deal with the apps.

Most importantly, It is working as a separate process rather than running within an app to improve the performance of the application. From the UI perspective, it is beyond showcasing simple web pages in an iOS app

If you do not have knowledge of how to create a webview app. Then, this WKWebView WebKit tutorial has been made with Xcode 10.1 and built for iOS 12.1 using Swift UI Custom container Language Version 4.2.

Let’s Begin With our Simple Web Browser Creation

Step – 1: First, we need to create a Single View Application with the name SOBrowserApp and, need to select Swift as a language.

Step 2: In the view controller, you need to import the WebKit and add @IBOutlet in WkWebView. Because, whenever we create the web view, we have to store it as a property to refer it later on.

name SOBrowserApp

view controller
import WebKit

var webView: WKWebView!

Step 3: Let’s create a UIButton for “Back” and “Next” with a search option.

Var searchButton: UIButton!
Var btnBack: UIButton!
Var btnNext: UIButton!
Var searchTextField: UITextField!
Var myActivityIndicator = UIActiovityIndicatorView()

Step 4: Now let’s create any ActivityIndicator and set the observer for loading while searching from an iOS webview app.

Var searchTextField: UITextField! myActivityIndicator.center = self.view.center
myActivityIndicator.style = gray
view.addSubview(myActivityIndicator)
self.webview.addObserver(self,forKeyPath:#keyPath(WKWebView.isLoading), options: .new, context:nil)

Step – 5: While clicking on “Go” it will call and btnSearchAction(_sender: UIButton) and here we are using Google query Url for loading searchable data in WKWebView.

func btnSearchAction(_ sender: UIButton) {

func searchTextOnGoogle(text: String){

let textComponent = text.components(separatedBy: ” “)

let searchString = textComponent.joined(separator: “+”)

let url = URL(string: “https://www.google.com/search?q=” + searchString)

let urlRequest = URLRequest(url: url!)

webView.load(urlRequest)

}

if let urlString = searchTextField.text{

if urlString.starts(with: “http://”) || urlString.starts(with: “https://”){

webView.loadUrl(string: urlString)

}else if urlString.contains(“www”){

webView.loadUrl(string: “http://\(urlString)”)

}else{

searchTextOnGoogle(text: urlString)

}

}

}

Step – 6: For back and forward button action, follow the steps given below

func btnBackAction(_ sender: UIButton) {
webView.goBack()
}
btnNextAction(_ sender: Any) {
webView.goForward()
}

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Conclusion

For creating a great user experience, it is important to integrate web pages and content in modern app development. WKWebView is the best-performing, very secure web view option for iOS apps. Undoubtedly, it is better than UIWebView. And, soon it will become the only web view framework for the app store. If you are trying to update your app code then you might want to hire iPhone app developers.

Apple has not mentioned the date of discontinuation of UIWebView for all apps. But it will come soon. Therefore, it is a must for everyone to stay up to date. Apple has already stopped accepting new apps with the SwiftUI WebView framework. So, it is a must for you to create an immersive UI with WKWebView on your next development project.

FAQs

1. What is the WebView in iOS?

WebView is an embeddable browser to display web content. It is used by all native web applications.

2. Can we access the URL string https with a WKWebView browser?

Yes, we can access the URL String https with a WKWebView browser

3. What are the capabilities of WkWebView?

It supports a full web browser experience and presents CSS, HTML, and JS content with the app’s native views.
 


Author image

Manish Patel

Manish Patel is a Co-Founder of Concetto Labs, a leading mobile app development company specialized in android and iOS app development. We provide a one-stop solution for all IT related services.

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