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
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 ...