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Android ListView with Custom Adapter Example Tutorial

Published on August 3, 2022
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By Anupam Chugh
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.
Android ListView with Custom Adapter Example Tutorial

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In this tutorial we’ll use a CustomAdapter that populates the custom rows of the Android ListView with an ArrayList. Also to enhance the user experience, we’ll animate the ListView while scrolling.

Android ListView Custom Adapter Overview

The simplest Adapter to populate a view from an ArrayList is the ArrayAdapter. That’s what we’ll implement in this tutorial. There are other adapters as well, such as the CursorAdapter which binds directly to a result set from a Local SQLite Database and it uses a Cursor as it’s data source.

Recycling Rows

As a ListView is instantiated and the rows are populated such that the full height of the list is filled. After that no new row items are created in the memory. As the user scrolls through the list, items that leave the screen are kept in memory for later use and then every new row that enters the screen reuses an older row kept in the memory.

Creating a View template

Let’s create a xml layout that presents the items in a row in a customised way. row_item.xml

<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    android:orientation="vertical"
    android:padding="10dp">

    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/name"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_alignParentTop="true"
        android:text="Marshmallow"
        android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceSmall"
        android:textColor="@android:color/black" />


    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/type"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_below="@+id/name"
        android:layout_marginTop="5dp"
        android:text="Android 6.0"
        android:textColor="@android:color/black" />

    <ImageView
        android:id="@+id/item_info"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_alignParentEnd="true"
        android:layout_alignParentRight="true"
        android:layout_centerVertical="true"
        android:src="@android:drawable/ic_dialog_info" />


    <LinearLayout
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_centerInParent="true">

        <TextView
            android:id="@+id/version_heading"
            android:layout_width="wrap_content"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:text="API: "
            android:textColor="@android:color/black"
            android:textStyle="bold" />

        <TextView
            android:id="@+id/version_number"
            android:layout_width="wrap_content"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:text="23"
            android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceButton"
            android:textColor="@android:color/black"
            android:textStyle="bold" />

    </LinearLayout>

</RelativeLayout>

In this tutorial we’ll build an application that consists of list of rows displaying text descriptions and an info icon. Clicking the row would display the SnackBar with the text elements of that row. Clicking the info will display a SnackBar with information specific to that row.

Project Structure

android custom listview example, custom adapter in android

Code

We are creating a custom ListView of by subclassing ArrayAdapter with the DataModel as the object. getView() is the method that returns the actual view used as a row within the ListView at a particular position. The content_main.xml contains the ListView as shown below. content_main.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="https://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    xmlns:app="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto"
    tools:context="com.journaldev.customlistview.MainActivity"
    app:layout_behavior="@string/appbar_scrolling_view_behavior"
    tools:showIn="@layout/activity_main">

    <ListView
        android:id="@+id/list"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        />

</RelativeLayout>

The data model that is contained in the ArrayList is shown below. DataModel.java

public class DataModel {

    String name;
    String type;
    String version_number;
    String feature;

    public DataModel(String name, String type, String version_number, String feature ) {
        this.name=name;
        this.type=type;
        this.version_number=version_number;
        this.feature=feature;

    }

    public String getName() {
        return name;
    }
    
    public String getType() {
        return type;
    }
    
    public String getVersion_number() {
        return version_number;
    }
    
    public String getFeature() {
        return feature;
    }
    
}

The CustomAdapter that populates the DataModel into the ListView is shown below. CustomAdapter.java

public class CustomAdapter extends ArrayAdapter<DataModel> implements View.OnClickListener{

    private ArrayList<DataModel> dataSet;
    Context mContext;

    // View lookup cache
    private static class ViewHolder {
        TextView txtName;
        TextView txtType;
        TextView txtVersion;
        ImageView info;
    }

    public CustomAdapter(ArrayList<DataModel> data, Context context) {
        super(context, R.layout.row_item, data);
        this.dataSet = data;
        this.mContext=context;

    }

    @Override
    public void onClick(View v) {

        int position=(Integer) v.getTag();
        Object object= getItem(position);
        DataModel dataModel=(DataModel)object;

        switch (v.getId())
        {
            case R.id.item_info:
                Snackbar.make(v, "Release date " +dataModel.getFeature(), Snackbar.LENGTH_LONG)
                        .setAction("No action", null).show();
                break;
        }
    }

    private int lastPosition = -1;

    @Override
    public View getView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {
        // Get the data item for this position
        DataModel dataModel = getItem(position);
        // Check if an existing view is being reused, otherwise inflate the view
        ViewHolder viewHolder; // view lookup cache stored in tag

        final View result;

        if (convertView == null) {

            viewHolder = new ViewHolder();
            LayoutInflater inflater = LayoutInflater.from(getContext());
            convertView = inflater.inflate(R.layout.row_item, parent, false);
            viewHolder.txtName = (TextView) convertView.findViewById(R.id.name);
            viewHolder.txtType = (TextView) convertView.findViewById(R.id.type);
            viewHolder.txtVersion = (TextView) convertView.findViewById(R.id.version_number);
            viewHolder.info = (ImageView) convertView.findViewById(R.id.item_info);

            result=convertView;

            convertView.setTag(viewHolder);
        } else {
            viewHolder = (ViewHolder) convertView.getTag();
            result=convertView;
        }

        Animation animation = AnimationUtils.loadAnimation(mContext, (position > lastPosition) ? R.anim.up_from_bottom : R.anim.down_from_top);
        result.startAnimation(animation);
        lastPosition = position;

        viewHolder.txtName.setText(dataModel.getName());
        viewHolder.txtType.setText(dataModel.getType());
        viewHolder.txtVersion.setText(dataModel.getVersion_number());
        viewHolder.info.setOnClickListener(this);
        viewHolder.info.setTag(position);
        // Return the completed view to render on screen
        return convertView;
    }
}

In the above code we’ve added a onClickListener to the ImageView that displays a SnackBar when clicked with a description for the respective row. Also the list rows are animated when scrolled. The two animation xml resource files are given below. down_from_top.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<set xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:shareInterpolator="@android:anim/decelerate_interpolator">
    <translate
        android:fromXDelta="0%" android:toXDelta="0%"
        android:fromYDelta="-100%" android:toYDelta="0%"
        android:duration="400" />
</set>

up_from_bottom.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<set xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:shareInterpolator="@android:anim/decelerate_interpolator">
    <translate
        android:fromXDelta="0%" android:toXDelta="0%"
        android:fromYDelta="100%" android:toYDelta="0%"
        android:duration="400" />
</set>

The MainActivity.java where the CustomAdapter is set to the ListView is defined below. Along with that a random ArrayList of DataModel objects is populated. MainActivity.java

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

    ArrayList<DataModel> dataModels;
    ListView listView;
    private static CustomAdapter adapter;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);
        Toolbar toolbar = (Toolbar) findViewById(R.id.toolbar);
        setSupportActionBar(toolbar);

        listView=(ListView)findViewById(R.id.list);

        dataModels= new ArrayList<>();

        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Apple Pie", "Android 1.0", "1","September 23, 2008"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Banana Bread", "Android 1.1", "2","February 9, 2009"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Cupcake", "Android 1.5", "3","April 27, 2009"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Donut","Android 1.6","4","September 15, 2009"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Eclair", "Android 2.0", "5","October 26, 2009"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Froyo", "Android 2.2", "8","May 20, 2010"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Gingerbread", "Android 2.3", "9","December 6, 2010"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Honeycomb","Android 3.0","11","February 22, 2011"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Ice Cream Sandwich", "Android 4.0", "14","October 18, 2011"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Jelly Bean", "Android 4.2", "16","July 9, 2012"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Kitkat", "Android 4.4", "19","October 31, 2013"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Lollipop","Android 5.0","21","November 12, 2014"));
        dataModels.add(new DataModel("Marshmallow", "Android 6.0", "23","October 5, 2015"));

        adapter= new CustomAdapter(dataModels,getApplicationContext());

        listView.setAdapter(adapter);
        listView.setOnItemClickListener(new AdapterView.OnItemClickListener() {
            @Override
            public void onItemClick(AdapterView<?> parent, View view, int position, long id) {

                DataModel dataModel= dataModels.get(position);

                Snackbar.make(view, dataModel.getName()+"\n"+dataModel.getType()+" API: "+dataModel.getVersion_number(), Snackbar.LENGTH_LONG)
                        .setAction("No action", null).show();
            }
        });
    }

    @Override
    public boolean onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu) {
        // Inflate the menu; this adds items to the action bar if it is present.
        getMenuInflater().inflate(R.menu.menu_main, menu);
        return true;
    }

    @Override
    public boolean onOptionsItemSelected(MenuItem item) {
        // Handle action bar item clicks here. The action bar will
        // automatically handle clicks on the Home/Up button, so long
        // as you specify a parent activity in AndroidManifest.xml.
        int id = item.getItemId();

        //noinspection SimplifiableIfStatement
        if (id == R.id.action_settings) {
            return true;
        }

        return super.onOptionsItemSelected(item);
    }
}

The output of the application in action is shown below. android ListView example, custom listview in android This brings an end to this tutorial. You can download the final Android ListView Custom Adapter Project from the link below.

Download Android ListView Custom Adapter Project

Reference: API Guide List View

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JournalDev
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April 19, 2020

I like this post, but missing my own template to show ListView XML file. How to do in the correct way this inserted code as PHP uses simple include(file)… Should be created template inside ListView file like XML or we add own template/acticity and insert just ListView. Need help.

- Absolute Apk

    JournalDev
    DigitalOcean Employee
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    February 19, 2020

    Thank you very much.

    - Joseph Sang

      JournalDev
      DigitalOcean Employee
      DigitalOcean Employee badge
      September 25, 2019

      I have a problem with disappearing rows. When I scroll too far and go back there’s nothing left, only empty rows - i see their borders when I turn on “show layout borders” (or sth like this - I use other language in smartphone). What could go wrong? I use Android 9 on Nokia 6.1.

      - Adrian

        JournalDev
        DigitalOcean Employee
        DigitalOcean Employee badge
        September 18, 2019

        Very helpful article indeed.

        - CodeSlave

          JournalDev
          DigitalOcean Employee
          DigitalOcean Employee badge
          July 15, 2019

          Please I need help I’m stuck in how I can make the spinner on each row on lthe istvew. I already create the custom arrayadapter class and custom data type class, but I don’t know how I can add the spinner to each row. Any I’m really really appreciate it

          - colla

            JournalDev
            DigitalOcean Employee
            DigitalOcean Employee badge
            June 7, 2019

            Thank you! Very helpfull code.

            - Vladimir

              JournalDev
              DigitalOcean Employee
              DigitalOcean Employee badge
              March 19, 2019

              Very Helpful… Thanks for the code

              - Suraksha

                JournalDev
                DigitalOcean Employee
                DigitalOcean Employee badge
                December 17, 2018

                How can I pass the data from the custom adapter to the main activity when the imageview is clicked? Thank you

                - Chelsea Cruz

                  JournalDev
                  DigitalOcean Employee
                  DigitalOcean Employee badge
                  December 8, 2018

                  public ObjectListAdapter(@NonNull Context context, int resource, int textViewResourceId, @NonNull ArrayList arrayList) I’m prompted that I have to use the above constructor, and when I do the app crashes with the following error java.lang.IllegalStateException: ArrayAdapter requires the resource ID to be a TextView

                  - ahmed nabil

                    JournalDev
                    DigitalOcean Employee
                    DigitalOcean Employee badge
                    October 23, 2018

                    The code is clear but I didn’t understood why you stored " result=convertView; " because it is never according to the code. An explanation would be appreciated.

                    - Pavitra Raut

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