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Android spinner example using ArrayAdapter and XML resource

Android spinner is very much like the HTML<select> tag. It basically displays dropdown list and you can select one from the list. There is no multi select available at this time. In this tutorial we will go thru the following ...
  • Create a spinner from XML resource array
  • Create a spinner dynamically using String Array and ArrayAdapter
  • Ability to capture spinner selection on change using OnItemSelectedListener

Android spinner from ArrayAdapter string array and from xml resource

Android spinner from ArrayAdapter string array and from xml resource

Android spinner from ArrayAdapter string array and from xml resource

Android spinner from ArrayAdapter string array and from xml resource

Android spinner from ArrayAdapter string array and from xml resource

To create a spinner from XML resource we need to define an array in the strings.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<resources>
    <string name="app_name">Android Spinner Example</string>
    <string name="country_prompt">Choose a Nordic Country</string>
    <string-array name="country_array">
        <item>Denmark</item>
        <item>Faroe Islands</item>
        <item>Finland</item>
        <item>Iceland</item>
        <item>Norway</item>
        <item>Svalbard and Jan Mayen</item>
        <item>Sweden</item>
    </string-array>
    <string name="animal_prompt">Choose your favorite animal</string>
</resources>

Layout for the screen - main.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout android:orientation="vertical"
    android:layout_width="fill_parent" android:layout_height="fill_parent"
    xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">
    <TextView android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceLarge"
        android:id="@+id/textView1" android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:text="@string/country_prompt" />
    <Spinner android:id="@+id/spinner" android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:prompt="@string/country_prompt"
        android:entries="@array/country_array" />
    <TextView android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceLarge"
        android:id="@+id/textView2" android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:text="@string/animal_prompt" />
    <Spinner android:id="@+id/spinner1" android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:prompt="@string/animal_prompt" />
</LinearLayout>

Source for the android activity - AndroidSpinnerActivity.java

package com.as400samplecode;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.AdapterView;
import android.widget.AdapterView.OnItemSelectedListener;
import android.widget.ArrayAdapter;
import android.widget.Spinner;
import android.widget.Toast;

public class AndroidSpinnerActivity extends Activity {
   
    private String selectedCountry = null;
    private String selectedAnimal = null;

    @Override
    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.main);

        //get reference to the spinner from the XML layout
        Spinner spinner = (Spinner) findViewById(R.id.spinner);
        //attach the listener to the spinner
        spinner.setOnItemSelectedListener(new MyOnItemSelectedListener());

        //Dynamically generate a spinner data 
        createSpinnerDropDown();

    }

    //Add animals into spinner dynamically
    private void createSpinnerDropDown() {

        //get reference to the spinner from the XML layout
        Spinner spinner = (Spinner) findViewById(R.id.spinner1);
       
        //Array list of animals to display in the spinner
        List<String> list = new ArrayList<String>();
        list.add("Bear");
        list.add("Camel");
        list.add("Cat");
        list.add("Cat");
        list.add("Deer");
        list.add("Dog");
        list.add("Goat");
        list.add("Horse");
        //create an ArrayAdaptar from the String Array
        ArrayAdapter<String> dataAdapter = new ArrayAdapter<String>(this,
                android.R.layout.simple_spinner_item, list);
        //set the view for the Drop down list
        dataAdapter.setDropDownViewResource(android.R.layout.simple_spinner_dropdown_item);
        //set the ArrayAdapter to the spinner
        spinner.setAdapter(dataAdapter);
        //attach the listener to the spinner
        spinner.setOnItemSelectedListener(new MyOnItemSelectedListener());
       
    }

    public class MyOnItemSelectedListener implements OnItemSelectedListener {

        public void onItemSelected(AdapterView<?> parent, View view, int pos, long id) {
           
            String selectedItem = parent.getItemAtPosition(pos).toString();
           
            //check which spinner triggered the listener
            switch (parent.getId()) {
            //country spinner
            case R.id.spinner:
                //make sure the country was already selected during the onCreate
                if(selectedCountry != null){
                    Toast.makeText(parent.getContext(), "Country you selected is " + selectedItem,
                    Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
                }
                selectedCountry = selectedItem;
                break;
            //animal spinner   
            case R.id.spinner1:
                //make sure the animal was already selected during the onCreate
                if(selectedAnimal != null){
                    Toast.makeText(parent.getContext(), "Animal selected is " + selectedItem,
                    Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
                }   
                selectedAnimal = selectedItem;
                break;
            }

           
        }

        public void onNothingSelected(AdapterView<?> parent) {
            // Do nothing.
        }
    }
}

AndroidManifest.xml file

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
      package="com.as400samplecode"
      android:versionCode="1"
      android:versionName="1.0">
    <uses-sdk android:minSdkVersion="10" />

    <application android:icon="@drawable/icon" android:label="@string/app_name"
        android:theme="@android:style/Theme.Light">
        <activity android:name=".AndroidSpinnerActivity"
                  android:label="@string/app_name">
            <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
            </intent-filter>
        </activity>

    </application>
</manifest>

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