Course info
Sep 4, 2012
2h 35m

The ActionBar incorporates a variety of previously disparate user interaction concepts into a single control. The ActionBar provides one-stop shopping for menu management, home and back behavior, tabbed displays, screen layout adaptability, and many more user interaction concepts. In this course we look at how to provide a rich user experience by taking full advantage of the ActionBar in your apps.

About the author
About the author

Jim Wilson is president of JW Hedgehog, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in solutions for the Android, iOS, and Microsoft platforms. Jim has over 30 years of software engineering experience, with the past 15 years heavily focused on creating mobile device and location-based solutions.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Improving User Interaction with the Android ActionBar
Welcome to this module on improving user interaction with the Android ActionBar. My name is Jim Wilson. This module really just introduces this course. We're going to touch on a number of different things, and we're going to touch on a lot of topics from a high level, but just know that the thing we talked about in this module are going to be dug into much more deeply throughout the rest of this course. So the first thing we want to look at is the need for a change. What has happened that's caused us to want to use this thing called the ActionBar to move away from traditional menus towards the ActionBar? So what has happened? What are we trying to solve there with it? The next thing we want to look at is what is the ActionBar. You know, what are the features it has? What are its capabilities? What are the things we can do with it? You know. Kind of we know why we needed it. Now let's look at exactly what we're going to do with it, and what are the things it's capable of. What makes it so much more powerful than a traditional menu? Look at the issue of ActionBar adaptability. In other words, as devices change and devices have differences, what is it about the ActionBar that makes it adapt so well to these different device capabilities, and what are the capabilities it can adapt to? We'll then talk about tab navigation as it applies to the ActionBar because we moved, as we start to use the ActionBar for more and more, we realize that things we used to do separately like tabbing now are natural features of the ActionBar. And we'll finish up with handling Android version differences. The ActionBar was initially introduced in newer version of Android, but it's actually available to virtually every version of Android. So some things we have to be aware of as we target different versions and how we build our programs so that they work effectively across all the versions.

Managing the ActionBar Layout
Welcome to this module on Managing the Android ActionBar layout. My name is Jim Wilson. The first thing we will look in this module is how to add the ActionBar to our applications. In other words how we move from a simple menuing bar to the ActionBar. When you enable the ActionBar, although it has a different look than traditional menus do you still largely just have a menuing capability. So we'll look at how they enable these things called actions on the ActionBar that things much more accessible to the user. The ActionBar as has a good default appearance but there is a lot of things you can do to it to create a much more custom look to your application and a much more polished look. So we'll take a look at those capabilities we have. And finally, we'll look at the ability to hide and show the ActionBar so that we can give a much more dynamic nature to things so that we can have more of the activity available for you, I, or user interaction and just bring the ActionBar into play when we actually need it within our application.

ActionBar Interactivity
Welcome to this module on Android Action Bar Interactivity. My name is Jim Wilson. The first thing we're going to talk about are what are called action views. And action views are just the way we add interactivity to our action bars. Now we'll go through the process of how you actually add an action view to your action bars and different ways that we can do that. How you define your own custom action views, in other words, not just use some of the built in classes that are designed to be used as action views but define your own way of doing things. And you'll see that through much of what we do with action views we define in XML files. There's also a number of things we can do for taking programmatic control. And that's how we'll finish up the module.