How to Use Combine framework in SwiftUI?

What is a Combine framework?

SwiftUI's focus on declarativeness shines in building user interfaces. However, managing data flow can become intricate, especially for asynchronous operations. Enter Combine, Apple's reactive framework, offering a powerful and elegant solution for handling data streams in SwiftUI applications. This article dives into using Combine with SwiftUI to create dynamic and reactive UIs, exploring some advanced concepts and practical use cases.

Core Concepts of Combine

Combined revolves around three key concepts

  • Publishers: These objects represent data sources that can emit values over time. Examples include network requests, user input events, or timer ticks.
  • Subscribers: These objects act as receivers of data emitted by publishers. They can process and react to the emitted values. In SwiftUI, views often act as subscribers.
  • Operators: Combine provides a rich set of operators to transform, filter, and combine data streams published by publishers. These operators allow you to chain and manipulate data before it reaches the subscribers.

Using Combine in SwiftUI

Here's a breakdown of how to leverage Combine in your SwiftUI applications.

1. Creating a Publisher

  • Use Just for a single value
    let justPublisher = Just("Hello, Combine!")
  • Utilize CurrentValueSubject for a mutable value that can be updated over time.
    let nameSubject = CurrentValueSubject<String, Never>("")
  • Employ URLSession.shared.dataTaskPublisher for network requests:
    let url = URL(string: "")!
    let dataTaskPublisher = URLSession.shared.dataTaskPublisher(for: url)

2. Subscribing with a View

Within a SwiftUI view, use the onReceive modifier to subscribe to a publisher and update the UI based on received values.

struct ContentView: View {
  @State private var data: String = ""
  var body: some View {
      .onReceive(dataTaskPublisher) { data in = String(decoding: data, as: UTF8.self)

3. Transforming data with operators

Combine operators allow you to manipulate data streams before they reach the subscriber. Here are some common examples.

  • Map: Transforms each emitted value.
  • Filter: Keeps only values that meet certain criteria.
  • CombineLatest: Combines the latest values from multiple publishers.
      .map { data in
        return String(decoding: data, as: UTF8.self)
      .filter { text in
        text.count > 10
      .receive(on: DispatchQueue.main) // Update UI on main thread
      .sink(receiveValue: { data in = data

Advanced combine techniques

  • Error handling: Utilize the try-catch operator to gracefully handle errors within the data stream.
  • Sharing publishers: Create a shared publisher using the share operator to avoid redundant network requests or calculations.
  • Cancellation: Manage subscriptions with the cancellable object to prevent memory leaks and stop unnecessary data flow.
  • Combine with state management: Integrate Combine with state management solutions like SwiftUI's @StateObject or third-party libraries to manage complex application state reactively.

Practical use cases

  • Live search: Combine a text field publisher with a filter operator on a network request publisher to implement a live search functionality that updates results as the user types.
  • Form validation: Use Combine to validate user input in real-time, enabling immediate feedback and improving user experience.
  • Background tasks: Leverage Combine with background fetch to perform periodic data updates and notify the user when new data is available.


Combine empowers you to build dynamic and data-driven UIs in SwiftUI. By understanding the core concepts, utilizing operators, and exploring advanced techniques, you can create applications that seamlessly react to user interactions and asynchronous events. As you delve deeper into SwiftUI, embrace Combine to unlock the full potential of reactive data flow in your applications, leading to a more maintainable, responsive, and user-friendly experience.

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