Data Binding in SwiftUI

In the world of SwiftUI, data binding is a core concept that facilitates the seamless flow of data between your app’s user interface and its underlying data models. This connection allows the UI to update automatically when data changes, and vice versa. For developers, mastering data binding is crucial to building responsive and state-driven applications. In this blog post, we will explore the primary tools provided by SwiftUI for data binding: @State, @Binding, @ObservedObject, and @EnvironmentObject, using an expense split app as our example.

Understanding Data Binding

Data binding in SwiftUI is handled through several property wrappers, each serving distinct roles but working together to ensure that your UI reflects your app’s current state. Let’s discuss how these tools can be used effectively.

1. @State

@State is a property wrapper used within SwiftUI views to declare state data that is local to the view. It is primarily used for simple data types that control the view’s presentation.

Example: Toggle Visibility in an Expense Split App

Consider a scenario in the expense split app where you need to toggle the visibility of transaction details.

struct TransactionDetailsView: View {
    @State private var showDetails = false

    var body: some View {
        Button("Toggle Details") {

        if showDetails {
            Text("Here are the details of your transaction...")

Here, @State manages the boolean showDetails local to TransactionDetailsView, allowing the button to toggle the visibility of the transaction details.

2. @Binding

@Binding creates a two-way binding between a state-holding property and a view, allowing different views to share and edit the same state.

Example: Shared Expense Entry

Imagine a form in your app where users can add a new expense, and you want to use a separate view to input the expense amount.

struct NewExpenseView: View {
    @State private var amount: Double = 0

    var body: some View {
        VStack {
            AmountEntryView(amount: $amount)
            Text("Amount: \(amount)")

struct AmountEntryView: View {
    @Binding var amount: Double

    var body: some View {
        Slider(value: $amount, in: 0...100)

AmountEntryView uses @Binding to bind to the amount state from NewExpenseView, allowing the slider to update the amount interactively.

3. @ObservedObject

@ObservedObject is used with external reference types that conform to the ObservableObject protocol. This is ideal for more complex data models that are shared across different parts of your app.

Example: Tracking Expenses

Let’s say you have an ExpenseTracker class that needs to be accessed in various parts of your app.

class ExpenseTracker: ObservableObject {
    @Published var totalSpent = 0

struct ExpensesView: View {
    @ObservedObject var tracker: ExpenseTracker

    var body: some View {
        Text("Total Spent: \(tracker.totalSpent)")
        Button("Add $10") {
            tracker.totalSpent += 10

The ExpensesView observes the ExpenseTracker instance, updating the UI whenever totalSpent changes.

4. @EnvironmentObject

@EnvironmentObject is similar to @ObservedObject but is used for data that needs to be accessible by many views within your app. It avoids the need to pass the object through all view initializers manually.

Example: Accessing User Settings

Assume you want to access user settings across many views without passing them around directly.

class UserSettings: ObservableObject {
    @Published var isDarkMode = false

struct SettingsView: View {
    @EnvironmentObject var settings: UserSettings

    var body: some View {
        Toggle("Dark Mode", isOn: $settings.isDarkMode)

Any view in the hierarchy can access UserSettings using @EnvironmentObject, assuming it’s injected into the environment higher up.


Understanding and utilizing these data binding tools in SwiftUI allows developers to create interactive, dynamic, and efficient applications. By effectively managing the state and flow of data in your SwiftUI applications, particularly in complex apps like an expense split app, you can ensure that your UI is always up-to-date and responsive to user interactions. This reactive approach simplifies state management and helps create a seamless user experience.


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