SundialKit

0.2.1

Communications library across Apple platforms.
brightdigit/SundialKit

What's New

0.2.1

2022-11-07T16:13:37Z

What's Changed

New Contributors

Full Changelog: 0.2.0...0.2.1

SundialKit

SundialKit

Reactive communications library across Apple platforms.

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Communication between iPhone and Apple Watch using Demo App

Table of Contents

Introduction

For easier use in reactive user interfaces, especially with SwiftUI and Combine, I've created a library which abstracts and maps common connectivity APIs. Particularly in my app Heartwitch, I mapped the functionality of WatchConnectivity and Network over to track the user's ability to connect to the Internet as well as the ability for their iPhone to connect to their Apple Watch via WatchConnectivity

Features

Here's what's currently implemented with this library:

  • Monitor network connectivity and quality
  • Communicate between iPhone and Apple Watch
    • Monitor connectivity between devices
    • Send messages back and forth between iPhone and Apple Watch
    • Abstract messages for easier encoding and decoding

Installation

Swift Package Manager is Apple's decentralized dependency manager to integrate libraries to your Swift projects. It is now fully integrated with Xcode 13.

To integrate SundialKit into your project using SPM, specify it in your Package.swift file:

let package = Package(
  ...
  dependencies: [
    .package(url: "https://github.com/brightdigit/SundialKit.git", from: "0.2.0")
  ],
  targets: [
      .target(
          name: "YourTarget",
          dependencies: ["SundialKit", ...]),
      ...
  ]
)

Usage

Listening to Networking Changes

In the past Reachability or AFNetworking has been used to judge the network connectivity of a device. SundialKit uses the Network framework to listen to changes in connectivity providing all the information available.

SundialKit provides a NetworkObserver which allows you to listen to a variety of publishers related to the network. This is especially useful if you are using SwiftUI in particular. With SwiftUI, you can create an ObservableObject which contains a NetworkObserver:

import SwiftUI
import SundialKit

class NetworkConnectivityObject : ObservableObject {
  // our NetworkObserver
  let connectivityObserver = NetworkObserver()
  
  // our published property for pathStatus initially set to `.unknown`
  @Published var pathStatus : PathStatus = .unknown

  init () {
    // set the pathStatus changes to our published property
    connectivityObserver
      .pathStatusPublisher
      .receive(on: DispatchQueue.main)
      .assign(to: &self.$pathStatus)
  }
  
  // need to start listening
  func start () {
    self.connectivityObserver.start(queue: .global())
  }
}

There are 3 important pieces:

  1. The NetworkObserver called connectivityObserver
  2. On init, we use Combine to listen to the publisher and store each new pathStatus to our @Published property.
  3. A start method which needs to be called to start listening to the NetworkObserver.

Therefore for our SwiftUI View, we need to start listening onAppear and can use the pathStatus property in the View:

struct NetworkObserverView: View {
  @StateObject var connectivityObject = NetworkConnectivityObject()
    var body: some View {
      // Use the `message` property to display text of the `pathStatus`
      Text(self.connectivityObject.pathStatus.message).onAppear{
        // start the NetworkObserver
        self.connectivityObject.start()
      }
    }
}

Besides pathStatus, you also have access to:

  • isExpensive
  • isConstrained

Verify Connectivity with NetworkPing

In addition to utilizing NWPathMonitor, you can setup a periodic ping by implementing NetworkPing. Here's an example which calls the ipify API to verify there's an ip address:

struct IpifyPing : NetworkPing {
  typealias StatusType = String?

  let session: URLSession
  let timeInterval: TimeInterval

  public func shouldPing(onStatus status: PathStatus) -> Bool {
    switch status {
    case .unknown, .unsatisfied:
      return false
    case .requiresConnection, .satisfied:
      return true
    }
  }

  static let url : URL = .init(string: "https://api.ipify.org")!

  func onPing(_ closure: @escaping (String?) -> Void) {
    session.dataTask(with: IpifyPing.url) { data, _, _ in
      closure(data.flatMap{String(data: $0, encoding: .utf8)})
    }.resume()
  }
}

Next, in our ObservableObject, we can create a NetworkObserver to use this with:

  @Published var nwObject = NetworkObserver(ping:
    // use the shared `URLSession` and check every 10.0 seconds
    IpifyPing(session: .shared, timeInterval: 10.0)
   )

Communication between iPhone and Apple Watch

Besides networking, SundialKit also provides an easier reactive interface into WatchConnectivity. This includes:

  1. Various connection statuses like isReachable, isInstalled, etc..
  2. Send messages between the iPhone and paired Apple Watch
  3. Easy encoding and decoding of messages between devices into WatchConnectivity friendly dictionaries.

Showing changes to isReachable using SundialKit

Let's first talk about how WatchConnectivity status works.

Connection Status

With WatchConnectivity there's a variety of properties which tell you the status of connection between devices. Here's a similar example to pathStatus using isReachable:

import SwiftUI
import SundialKit

class WatchConnectivityObject : ObservableObject {
  // our ConnectivityObserver
  let connectivityObserver = ConnectivityObserver()
  // our published property for isReachable initially set to false
  @Published var isReachable : Bool = false
  init () {
    // set the isReachable changes to our published property
    connectivityObserver
      .isReachablePublisher
      .receive(on: DispatchQueue.main)
      .assign(to: &self.$isReachable)
  }
  
  func activate () {
    // activate the WatchConnectivity session
    try! self.connectivityObserver.activate()
  }
}

Again, there are 3 important pieces:

  1. The ConnectivityObserver called connectivityObserver
  2. On init, we use Combine to listen to the publisher and store each new isReachable to our @Published property.
  3. An activate method which needs to be called to activate the session for WatchConnectivity.

Therefore for our SwiftUI View, we need to activate the session at onAppear and can use the isReachable property in the View:

struct WatchConnectivityView: View {
  @StateObject var connectivityObject = WatchConnectivityObject()
  var body: some View {
    Text(
      connectivityObject.isReachable ? 
        "Reachable" : "Not Reachable"
    )
    .onAppear{
      self.connectivityObject.activate()
    }
  }
}

Besides isReachable, you also have access to:

  • activationState
  • isReachable
  • isPairedAppInstalled
  • isPaired

Additionally there's also a set of publishers for sending, receiving, and replying to messages between the iPhone and paired Apple Watch.

Sending and Receiving Messages

To send and receive messages through our ConnectivityObserver we can access two properties:

  • ConnectivityObserver/messageReceivedPublisher - for listening to messages
  • ConnectivityObserver/sendingMessageSubject - for sending messages

SundialKit uses [String:Any] dictionaries for sending and receiving messages, which use the typealias ConnectivityMessage. Let's expand upon the previous WatchConnectivityObject and use those properties:

class WatchConnectivityObject : ObservableObject {

  // our ConnectivityObserver
  let connectivityObserver = ConnectivityObserver()

  // our published property for isReachable initially set to false
  @Published var isReachable : Bool = false

  // our published property for the last message received
  @Published var lastReceivedMessage : String = ""

  init () {
    // set the isReachable changes to our published property
    connectivityObserver
      .isReachablePublisher
      .receive(on: DispatchQueue.main)
      .assign(to: &self.$isReachable)

    // set the lastReceivedMessage based on the dictionary's _message_ key
    connectivityObserver
      .messageReceivedPublisher
      .compactMap({ received in
        received.message["message"] as? String
      })
      .receive(on: DispatchQueue.main)
      .assign(to: &self.$lastReceivedMessage)
  }
  
  func activate () {
    // activate the WatchConnectivity session
    try! self.connectivityObserver.activate()
  }

  func sendMessage(_ message: String) {
    // create a dictionary with the message in the message key
    self.connectivityObserver.sendingMessageSubject.send(["message" : message])
  }
}

We can now create a simple SwiftUI View using our updated WatchConnectivityObject:

struct WatchMessageDemoView: View {
  @StateObject var connectivityObject = WatchMessageObject()
  @State var message : String = ""
  var body: some View {
    VStack{
      Text(connectivityObject.isReachable ? "Reachable" : "Not Reachable").onAppear{
        self.connectivityObject.activate()
      }
      TextField("Message", text: self.$message)
      Button("Send") {
        self.connectivityObject.sendMessage(self.message)
      }
      
      Text("Last received message:")
      Text(self.connectivityObject.lastReceivedMessage)
    }
  }
}

Using Messagable to Communicate

We can even abstract the ConnectivityMessage using a MessageDecoder. To do this we need to create a special type which implements Messagable:

struct Message : Messagable {
  internal init(text: String) {
    self.text = text
  }
  
  static let key: String = "_message"
  
  enum Parameters : String {
    case text
  }
  
  init?(from parameters: [String : Any]?) {
    guard let text = parameters?[Parameters.text.rawValue] as? String else {
      return nil
    }
    
    self.text = text
  }
  
  func parameters() -> [String : Any] {
    return [
      Parameters.text.rawValue : self.text
    ]
  }
  
  let text : String
}

There are three requirements for implementing Messagable:

  • Messagable/init(from:) - try to create the object based on the dictionary, return nil if it's invalid
  • Messagable/parameters() - return a dictionary with all the parameters need to recreate the object
  • Messagable/key - return a string which identifies the type and is unique to the MessageDecoder

Now that we have our implementation of Messagable, we can use it in our WatchConnectivityObject:

class WatchConnectivityObject : ObservableObject {

  // our ConnectivityObserver
  let connectivityObserver = ConnectivityObserver()

  // create a `MessageDecoder` which can decode our new `Message` type
  let messageDecoder = MessageDecoder(messagableTypes: [Message.self])

  // our published property for isReachable initially set to false
  @Published var isReachable : Bool = false

  // our published property for the last message received
  @Published var lastReceivedMessage : String = ""

  init () {
    // set the isReachable changes to our published property
    connectivityObserver
      .isReachablePublisher
      .receive(on: DispatchQueue.main)
      .assign(to: &self.$isReachable)

    
    connectivityObserver
      // get the ``ConnectivityReceiveResult/message`` part of the ``ConnectivityReceiveResult``
      .map(\.message)
      // use our `messageDecoder` to call ``MessageDecoder/decode(_:)``
      .compactMap(self.messageDecoder.decode)
      // check it's our `Message`
      .compactMap{$0 as? Message}
      // get the `text` property
      .map(\.text)
      .receive(on: DispatchQueue.main)
      // set it to our published property
      .assign(to: &self.$lastReceivedMessage)
  }
  
  func activate () {
    // activate the WatchConnectivity session
    try! self.connectivityObserver.activate()
  }

  func sendMessage(_ message: String) {
    // create a dictionary using ``Messagable/message()``
    self.connectivityObserver.sendingMessageSubject.send(Message(text: message).message())
  }
}

License

This code is distributed under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file for more info.

Description

  • Swift Tools 5.5.0
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Dependencies

  • None
Last updated: Sun Nov 13 2022 18:27:22 GMT-0500 (GMT-05:00)