As I am writing this it is Google I/O week 2013. Amongst the new releases this week is a new version of the v4 support library (release 13) which contains support for the Navigation Drawer pattern. This pattern steadily grown in popularity, but until this point there has been no official support and guidelines from Google. This has now changed, and there are official design guidelines. In the recent series on Adapters we created an app which used Spinner navigation in the ActionBar to switch between different examples. In this short series we’ll convert this to use the Navigation Drawer pattern instead.
The first thing that we need to do is switch to release 13 of the support library. As this is a maven project, this is achieved via the POM, but if you are not using maven you’ll need to remove the existing library and re-import release 13.
The first thing that we need to do is alter our main layout and wrap it in a DrawerLayout (from the support library) and then add a new ListView to contain the navigation list:
Next we need to change our MainActivity to attach the Adapter to the ListView instead of the existing Spinner:
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState)
final String names =
final String classes =
ArrayAdapter<String> adapter =
final DrawerLayout drawer =
final ListView navList =
public void onItemClick(AdapterView<?> parent,
View view, final int pos, long id)
public void onDrawerClosed(View drawerView)
FragmentTransaction tx =
FragmentTransaction tx =
First we need to use a different layout for each item as this is now a ListView and not a Spinner. Next we find our DrawerLayout and ListView controls from the layout and set the Adapter to the ListView. Then we handle click events on our ListView – whenever an item is clicked, we close the drawer, wait for it to complete using a DrawerListener, and switch the Fragment once the drawer has closed. The reason for waiting for the drawer to close is to prevent stuttering during the drawer closing animation if we try and switch the Fragment at the same time. Alternatively we could switch the Fragment first, and then close the drawer, but for simplicity in this example we’ll wait for the drawer to close.
Finally we need to set set the default Fragment. The reason for this is that when we were using the Spinner, a default selection in the Spinner would be made which would trigger our OnNavigationListener to create the appropriate Fragment. In this new navigation model there is no initial event so we have to load the default Fragment manually.
That’s enough to get a basic Navigation Drawer working. If we swipe from the left hand edge of the screen our Navigation Drawer appears, and we can select the different examples:
In the next article in this series we’ll look at how we can connect the Navigation Drawer up the the app icon in our ActionBar to show and hide it.
The source code for this article is available here.
© 2013 – 2014, Mark Allison. All rights reserved.
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