Chapter 10

Expanding the User Experience

What's in this Chapter?

Customizing the Action Bar

Using the Action Bar for application navigation

Using the Android menu system

Choosing Action Bar actions

Creating immersive applications

Creating and displaying Dialogs

Displaying Toasts

Using the Notification Manager to notify users of application events

Creating insistent and ongoing Notifications

In Chapter 4, “Building User Interfaces,” you learned how to use Activities, Fragments, layouts, and Views to construct a user interface (UI). To ensure that your UI is stylish, easy to use, and provides a user experience consistent with the underlying platform and other applications running in it, this chapter looks at ways to expand the user experience beyond the UI elements you design.

You'll start with the Action Bar, introduced in Android 3.0, a system UI component used to provide a consistent pattern for branding, navigation, and displaying common actions within your Activities. You'll learn how to customize the look of the Action Bar, as well as how to use it to provide navigation with tabs and drop-down lists.

Action Bar actions, application Menus, and Popup Menus use a new approach to menus, optimized for modern touch screen devices. As part of an examination of the Android UI model, this chapter looks at how to create and use them within your applications. In particular, you'll learn how to identify which Menu Items should be displayed as actions on your Action Bar.

Android offers ...

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