Creating Your First Preference Screen

Creating preferences using the PreferenceActivity and a preference XML file is a fairly straightforward process. The first thing you do is create the preference XML file, which defines the layout of the preferences and the string resource values that show up on the screen. These string resources are presented as TextViews on the screen to help the user determine what the preference is for.

The PreferenceScreen I am building is for the Task Reminder application. I want to be able to give my users the chance to set the default time for a reminder (in minutes) and a default title for a new task. As the application stands right now, the default title is empty and the default reminder time is set to the current time. These preferences allow the user to save a couple of steps while building new tasks. For example, if the user normally builds tasks with a reminder time of 60 minutes from now, the user can now set that in the preferences. This new value becomes the value of the reminder time when the user creates a new task.

Building the preferences file

To build your first preference screen, you need to create a res/xml folder in your project. Inside the res/xml folder, create an XML file — I'm naming mine task_preferences.xml. Listing 17-1 outlines what should be in the file.

Listing 17-1: The task_preferences.xml File

<?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“utf-8”?>
<PreferenceScreen                                                          →2 xmlns:android=“”> <PreferenceCategory ...

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