Anders Brownworth

Technology and Disruption

iPhone Programming: UIGlassButton

In iPhone programming land, there are a number of "private APIs" which can be used but aren't allowed in the App Store. One such API is the UIGlassButton which, just as it's name implies, creates a translucent button like the "End Call" button in the phone app. But big fat buttons are useful elsewhere so to get around the restriction you can use a PNG image of the button instead. Use the following code temporarily in your project and run it in the simulator. You should get a file named glass-button.png in your home directory if it works. Then just use that image as a background for a custom button and you should be set.

Class theClass = NSClassFromString(@"UIGlassButton");
UIButton *theButton = [[[theClass alloc] initWithFrame:CGRectMake(10, 10, 240, 44)] autorelease];
[theButton setValue:[UIColor colorWithHue:0.267 saturation:1.000 brightness:0.667 alpha:1.000] forKey:@"tintColor"];
//[theButton setTitle:@"Continue" forState:UIControlStateNormal];
[self.view addSubview:theButton];

CGContextRef theContext = UIGraphicsGetCurrentContext();
[theButton.layer renderInContext:theContext];

UIImage *theImage = UIGraphicsGetImageFromCurrentImageContext();
NSData *theData = UIImagePNGRepresentation(theImage);
[theData writeToFile:@"~/Desktop/glass-button.png" atomically:NO];


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