Developing Android applications in Java – Session 2 – My notes

Like last week, I attended the session on Developing Android applications in Java by Creative Techs and O’Reilly and here are my notes which I took during the session.

Replace TextView with ListView

In this week’s session, the demo app that was created last week was modified to use the ListView element instead of TextView.

The ListView provides a nice UI for displaying the list of tasks together with a checkbox to indicate whether they were complete or not.


You can see the new UI of the application in the following screenshots.


ListView and ListAdapter

ListView is a control which can be used for creating list of scrollable items. The data to the ListView will be provided by ListAdapter.

You can think of ListView as the “view” component in a MVC framework and ListAdapter as the “model”

The class which is going to act as the ListAdapater should implement following methods

  • getCount()
  • getItem()
  • getItemId()
  • getView()

You can read more about ListView and ListAdapter from android documentation.

Adding ListView

To add ListView to any activity, we have to include the <ListView /> tag to the activity’s layout xml. In our sample app, the ListView tag is added to the main.xml file.

The Activity class that uses ListView should implement the ListActivity instead of plain Activity class. In our sample app, the ViewTasksActivity class is derived from the ListActivity class.

Magic ids

Android SDK provides some predefined ids which can be used some specific purposes. One such “magic id” is android:empty.

We can assign this to any element that we want to be displayed when the ListView is empty.


This week’s homework is to Build a simpler (but less flexible) way to load data into a list using an ArrayAdapter (instead of a BaseAdapter). I would be completing the homework and would be posting the explanation and the source code later this week. So stay tuned 🙂

Source code

I have uploaded source code for yesterday’s session in github and you can download it from there. I am also working in this week’s homework and will be posting the explanation and source code once I am done.

You can also subscribe to my blog’s RSS feed or follow me in Twitter to receive updates about my notes for the next sessions.

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