KBContactsSelection - iOS Address Book UI library

KBContactsSelection is an iOS Address Book UI library distributed as standalone component that allows you to easily search and select contacts in your Address Book and redirect to Mail or Messages app with results.


Notice elegant solution with phone number, emails and final redirect difference.

iOS Address Book phone and email selection

iOS Address Book UI animation


KBContactsSelection is available via CocoaPods. To use it simply add one line to your Podfile:

pod 'KBContactsSelection'  

and then add required import:

#import "KBContactsSelectionViewController.h"

Source code

Source code of KBContactsSelection iOS Address Book UI library is available on GitHub


The public element of library is KBContactsSelectionViewController class. It contains one convenient method to create instance of itself with proper configuration:

+ (KBContactsSelectionViewController*)contactsSelectionViewControllerWithConfiguration:(void (^)(KBContactsSelectionConfiguration* configuration))configurationBlock;

The simplest possible usage looks like this:

KBContactsSelectionViewController *vc = [KBContactsSelectionViewController contactsSelectionViewControllerWithConfiguration:nil];

[self presentViewController:vc animated:YES completion:nil];

It uses objective-c Builder Pattern adopted in elegant way with blocks usage. Inpiration for such solution was found here.

KBContactsSelectionViewController is fullscreen view controller and it can be either pushed on navigation stack or presented.

KBContactsSelectionConfiguration class is responsinble for setting basic properties:

UIColor *tintColor;  
enum KBContactsSelectionMode mode;  
BOOL shouldShowNavigationBar;  

tintColor is responsible for setting navigation bar tintColor, table view sectionIndexColor and search bar tintColor.

mode can be set to one of two enum values: KBContactsSelectionModeMessages or KBContactsSelectionModeEmail. They have impact on data displayed (emails or phone numbers) and final navigation (Messages or Mail app) for selected contacts.

shouldShowNavigationBar hides navigation bar from KBContactsSelectionViewController and should set when you push this view controller instead of presenting it.


Pushing KBContactsSelectionViewController with phone numbers

KBContactsSelectionViewController *vc = [KBContactsSelectionViewController contactsSelectionViewControllerWithConfiguration:^(KBContactsSelectionConfiguration *configuration) {  
    configuration.mode = KBContactsSelectionModeMessages;
    configuration.shouldShowNavigationBar = NO;
    configuration.tintColor = [UIColor colorWithRed:11.0/255 green:211.0/255 blue:24.0/255 alpha:1];

[self.navigationController pushViewController:vc animated:YES];

Presenting KBContactsSelectionViewController with emails

KBContactsSelectionViewController *vc = [KBContactsSelectionViewController contactsSelectionViewControllerWithConfiguration:^(KBContactsSelectionConfiguration *configuration) {  
    configuration.tintColor = [UIColor orangeColor];
    configuration.mode = KBContactsSelectionModeEmail;

[self presentViewController:vc animated:YES completion:nil];

Each property of KBContactsSelectionConfiguration can be freely modified although it is advised not to hide navigation bar when presented and hide it when pushed.

Example project

Example project is attached to this repository. Open KBContactsSelectionExample.xcworkspace, install all required dependencies by performing pod install and run the the same demo as in gif above.

Known issues

iOS Simulator obviously doesn't support messaging (proper alert) and apparently has some issues with presenting MFMailComposeViewController:

KBContactsSelectionExample[20027:5171733] _serviceViewControllerReady:error: Error Domain=_UIViewServiceErrorDomain Code=1 "The operation couldn’t be completed. (_UIViewServiceErrorDomain error 1.)" UserInfo=0x7f95cae243f0 {Canceled=service continuation}  

It works fine on real device but fails on Simulator which is probably a bug. Some StackOverflow threads regarding this issue can be found here and here.

This is why presented email view controller in gif doesn't have recipients entered.



Is a main component of whole library and probably the only one you should explicitly use. For a convenience it has some self-describing public properties to tweak its behavior:

@property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet UITableView *tableView;
@property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet UISearchBar *searchBar;
@property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet UIBarButtonItem *buttonItemCancel;
@property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet UIBarButtonItem *buttonItemSelect;
@property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet UINavigationBar *navigationBarSearchContacts;
@property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet NSLayoutConstraint *navigationBarSearchContactsHeight;

It is responsible for most of user interactions: buttons, presenting final view controllers, search.

Despite the fact that KBContactsSelectionViewController contains table view it doesn't act as its data source or delegate. It passes all responsibilities regarding table view to KBContactsTableViewDataSource component.


Is an object that adopts two protocols: <UITableViewDataSource, UITableViewDelegate> and is fully responsible for rendering, filtering and capturing contacts in table view.

It starts with loading all contacts once and storing them in immutable array for performance reasons. Then it groups the contacts in a dictionary where keys are first letters of full name and values are sorted arrays of all contacts whose name starts with this letter.

Search is performed by creating a filtered copy of all contacts and grouping it like before.

All selected contacts are stored in separate array by recordID field so they are persisted between searches.

When Select button is pushed initial contacts array is filtered using all recordIds and proper view controller is displayed.


Was described in Configuration section.

Localized strings

Library contains NSLocalizedString macro in proper places so you can generate Localizable.strings file with following literals:

"Messaging not supported" = "Messaging not supported";  
"Messaging on this device is not supported." = "Messaging on this device is not supported.";  
"OK" = "OK";  
"Search contacts" = "Search contacts";  
"Select" = "Select";  
"Sending emails from this device is not supported." = "Sending emails from this device is not supported.";  


KBContactsSelection uses APAddressBook to easily manage iOS Address Book.


KBContactsSelection is under MIT License. See LICENSE file for more info.


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