Android Spinner (Dropdown List) with Examples

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  Keywords : Android spinner is a user interface element that is used to select one value from set of values, Android spinner is like drop down list to allow users to pick one item from the list of value

Here we will learn spinner or dropdown list in android with examples and how to bind android spinner and allow user to select only one value from the set of values and show the dropdown menu when we click on android spinner with examples. 

Android Spinner UI Control

In android, Spinner is a view which allow a user to select one value from the list of values. The spinner in android will behave same like dropdown list in other programming languages.

 

Generally, the android spinners will provide a quick way to select one item from the list of values and it will show a dropdown menu with a list of all values when we click or tap on it.

 

By default, the android spinner will show its currently selected value and by using Adapter we can bind the items to spinner object.

 

Following is the pictorial representation of using spinner in android applications.

 

Android Spinner (Dropdownlist) Example Diagram

We can populate our Spinner control with list of choices by defining an ArrayAdapter in our Activity file.

 

Generally, the Adapter pulls data from a sources such as an array or database and converts each item into a result view and that’s placed into the list.

Android Adapter

In android, Adapter will act as an intermediate between the data sources and adapter views such as ListView, Gridview to fill the data into adapter views. The adapter will hold the data and iterates through an items in data set and generate the views for each item in the list.

 

Generally, in android we have a different types of adapters available to fetch the data from different data sources to fill the data into adapter views, those are

 

AdapterDescription
ArrayAdapter It will expects an Array or List as input.
CurosrAdapter It will accepts an instance of cursor as an input.
SimpleAdapter It will accepts a static data defined in the resources.
BaseAdapter It is a generic implementation for all three adapter types and it can be used for ListView, Gridview or Spinners based on our requirements

Now we will see how to create spinner or dropdownlist in android applications.

Create Android Spinner in XML Layout File

In android, we can create Spinner in XML layout file using <Spinner> element with different attributes like as shown below.

 

<Spinner android:id="@+id/spinner1"
       
android:layout_width="wrap_content"
       
android:layout_height="wrap_content"/>

Populate Android Spinner with Values

To populate spinner with list of values, we need to specify spinner adapter, such as an ArrayAdapter in activity file like as shown below.

 

String[] users = { "Suresh Dasari", "Trishika Dasari", "Rohini Alavala", "Praveen Kumar", "Madhav Sai" };
Spinner spin = (Spinner) findViewById(R.id.
spinner1);
ArrayAdapter<String> adapter =
new ArrayAdapter<String>(this, android.R.layout.simple_spinner_item, users);
adapter.setDropDownViewResource(android.R.layout.
simple_spinner_dropdown_item);
spin.setAdapter(adapter);

This is how we can define and bind data to Spinner control in android applications. Now we will see complete example of using spinner control android applications.

Android Spinner Example

Following is the example of defining a one Spinner control, one TextView control in RelativeLayout to show the list of user details in android application.

 

Create a new android application using android studio and give names as SpinnerExample. In case if you are not aware of creating an app in android studio check this article Android Hello World App.

 

Now open an activity_main.xml file from \res\layout path and write the code like as shown below

activity_main.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
   
android:layout_width="match_parent" android:layout_height="match_parent">
    <
TextView
       
android:id="@+id/txtVw"
       
android:layout_width="wrap_content"
       
android:layout_height="wrap_content"
       
android:layout_marginLeft="50dp"
       
android:layout_marginTop="150dp"
       
android:text="Select User:"
       
android:textStyle="bold"
       
android:textSize="15dp" />
    <
Spinner
       
android:id="@+id/spinner1"
       
android:layout_width="wrap_content"
       
android:layout_height="wrap_content"
       
android:layout_alignBottom="@+id/txtVw"
       
android:layout_toRightOf="@+id/txtVw" />
</
RelativeLayout>

If you observe above code we created a one Spinner control and one TextView control in XML Layout file.

 

Once we are done with creation of layout with required controls, we need to load the XML layout resource from our activity onCreate() callback method, for that open main activity file MainActivity.java from \java\com.tutlane.spinnerexample path and write the code like as shown below.

MainActivity.java

package com.tutlane.spinnerexample;
import android.support.v7.app.AppCompatActivity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.AdapterView;
import android.widget.ArrayAdapter;
import android.widget.Spinner;
import android.widget.Toast;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity implements AdapterView.OnItemSelectedListener {
String[]
users = { "Suresh Dasari", "Trishika Dasari", "Rohini Alavala", "Praveen Kumar", "Madhav Sai" };
   
@Override
   
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
       
super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.
activity_main);
        Spinner spin = (Spinner) findViewById(R.id.
spinner1);
        ArrayAdapter<String> adapter =
new ArrayAdapter<String>(this, android.R.layout.simple_spinner_item, users);
        adapter.setDropDownViewResource(android.R.layout.
simple_spinner_dropdown_item);
        spin.setAdapter(adapter);
        spin.setOnItemSelectedListener(
this);
    }
   
@Override
   
public void onItemSelected(AdapterView<?> arg0, View arg1, int position,long id) {
        Toast.makeText(getApplicationContext(),
"Selected User: "+users[position] ,Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
    }
   
@Override
   
public void onNothingSelected(AdapterView<?> arg0) {
       
// TODO - Custom Code
   
}
}

If you observe above code we are calling our layout using setContentView method in the form of R.layout.layout_file_name in our activity file. Here our xml file name is activity_main.xml so we used file name activity_main and binding the list of values to Spinner control using ArrayAdapter.

 

Generally, during the launch of our activity, onCreate() callback method will be called by android framework to get the required layout for an activity.

Output of Android Spinner Example

When we run above example using android virtual device (AVD) we will get a result like as shown below.

 

Android Spinner (Dropdownlist) Example Result

 

If you observe above result, our spinner control is like dropdown list in other programming languages and we are able to get the selected user details in android application.

 

This is how we can use Spinner control in android applications to allow users to select one value from the list of values based on our requirements.

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