Creating SharedPreferences Util in Open Event Android

In the Open Event Android we have the fragment for schedule, speakers which has the option to sort the list. Schedule Fragment have the option to sort by Title, Tracks and  Start Time. Speakers Fragment has the option to sort by Name, Organization and Country. If the user preferred to sort by name then it should always sort the list by name whenever the user uses the app. For this we need to store user preference for sorting list. Another part of the app like Live feed, About fragment also needs to store event id, facebook page id/name etc.

In Android there is a SharedPreferences class to store key value pair in the App specific storage. To store data in SharedPreferences we need to create SharedPreferences Object in different activities and fragment. In this post I explain how to create SharedPreferences Util which can be used to store key value pairs from all over the App.

1. Create SharedPreferencesUtil Class

The first step is to create file which will contain static SharedPreferences object.

public class SharedPreferencesUtil {

2. Create static objects

Create static SharedPreferences and SharedPreferences.Editor object in the file.

private static SharedPreferences sharedPreferences;
private static SharedPreferences.Editor editor;

3. Initialize objects

Now after creating objects initialize them in the static block. The code inside static block is executed only once: The first time you make an object of that class or the first time you access a static member of that class.

static {
        sharedPreferences = OpenEventApp.getAppContext().getSharedPreferences(ConstantStrings.FOSS_PREFS, Context.MODE_PRIVATE);
        editor = sharedPreferences.edit();


Here make sure to use the Application context to avoid a memory leak. The getSharedPreferences() method takes two arguments name of the shared preference and mode. Here we are using Context.MODE_PRIVATE File creation mode where the created file can only be accessed by the calling application.

4. Add methods

Now create static methods to store data so that we can use these methods directly from the other activities or classes. Here I am only adding methods for integer you can add more methods for String, long, boolean etc.

public static void putInt(String key, int value) {
        editor.putInt(key, value).apply();

public static int getInt(String key, int defaultValue) {
        return sharedPreferences.getInt(key, defaultValue);

5. Use SharedPreferencesUtil class

Now we are ready to use this Util class to store key value pair in SharedPreferences.

SharedPreferencesUtil.putInt(ConstantStrings.PREF_SORT, sortType);

Here the putInt() methods take two arguments one the key and second the value. To get the stored value use getInt() method.

SharedPreferencesUtil.getInt(ConstantStrings.PREF_SORT, 0);

To know more how I solved this issue in Open Event Project visit this link.

Importing the Open Event format in Giraffe

Giraffe is a personal conference schedule tool for Android. Most conferences, bar camps and similar events offer their plan of sessions and talks in the iCal format for importing into your calendar. However importing a whole session plan into your standard calendar renders it pretty much useless for anything else. Giraffe allows users to import the schedule into a separate list giving you a simple overview on what happens on the conference. Besides the session, title, date and  time it also lists the speaker, location and description if available in the iCal URL. Sessions can be bookmarked and the list can be filtered by favourites and upcoming talks.

Recently I added the support for Open Event JSON format along with iCal. In this blog I describe the simple steps you need to follow to see the event that is created in the Open Event server in the Giraffe app. The initial steps are similar to Giggity app,

 1. Go to your event dashboard

2. Click on the export button.

3. Select sessions from the dashboard and copy the URL.


4. Click on the “Giraffe” button on the toolbar and paste the link in the box following. App will ask you to paste it when the first time you open it. Here the app loads the data and checks few initial character to see which kind of data is received. Find my other blog post to solve that problem here.

The app uses separate data models for iCal and JSON to store the informations received and then save them in SQL database for CRUD options. See the database activity here


5. Now you can see the sessions. Click on them to see more information or bookmark them if needed. The data is loaded from the database so when app is offline so we don’t need to worry about connection once the data is being loaded.




Displaying a Comments dialogfragment on a Button Click from the Feed Adapter in the Open Event Android App

Developing the live feed of the event page from Facebook for the Open Event Android App, there were questions how best to display the comments in the feed.  A dialog fragment over the feeds on the click of a button was the most suitable solution. Now the problem was, a dialogfragment can only be called from an app component (eg- fragment or an activity). Therefore, the only challenge which remained was to call the dialogfragment from the adapter over the feed fragment with the corresponding comments of the particular post on a button click.

What is a dialogfragment?

A dialogfragment displays a dialog window, floating on top of its activity’s window. This fragment contains a Dialog object, which it displays as appropriate based on the fragment’s state. Control of the dialog (deciding when to show, hide, dismiss it) should be done through the API here, not with direct calls on the dialog (


The solution which worked on was to define a adapter callback interface with a onMethodCallback method in the feed adapter class itself with the list of comment items fetched at runtime on the button click of a particular post. The interface had to be implemented by the main activity which housed the feed fragment that would be creating the comments dialogfragment with the passed list of comments.


Define an interface adapterCallback with the method onMethodCallback parameterized by the list of comment items in your adapter class.

public interface AdapterCallback {
   void onMethodCallback(List<CommentItem> commentItems);


Create a constructor of the adapter with the adapterCallback as a parameter. Do not forget to surround it with a try/catch.

public FeedAdapter(Context context, AdapterCallback adapterCallback, List<FeedItem> feedItems) {
     this.mAdapterCallback = adapterCallback;


On the click of the comments button, call onMethodCallback method with the corresponding comment items of a particular feed.

getComments.setOnClickListener(v -> {


Finally implement the interface in the activity to display the comments dialog fragment populated with the corresponding comments of a feed post. Pass the comments with the help of arraylist through the bundle.

public void onMethodCallback(List<CommentItem> commentItems) {
   CommentsDialogFragment newFragment = new CommentsDialogFragment();
   Bundle bundle = new Bundle();
   bundle.putParcelableArrayList(ConstantStrings.FACEBOOK_COMMENTS, new ArrayList<>(commentItems));
   newFragment.setArguments(bundle);, "Comments");



The comments generated with each feed post in the open event android app does complement the feed well. The pagination is something which is an option in the comments and the feed both however that is something for some other time. Until then, keep coding!


Adding JSONAPI Support in Open Event Android App

The Open Event API Server exposes a well documented JSONAPI compliant REST API that can be used in The Open Even App Generator and Frontend to access and manipulate data. So it is also needed to add support of JSONAPI in external services like The Open Even App Generator and Frontend. In this post I explain how to add JSONAPI support in Android.

There are many client libraries to implement JSONAPI support in Android or Java like moshi-jsonapi, morpheus etc. You can find the list here. The main problem is most of the libraries require to inherit attributes from Resource model but in the Open Event Android App we already inherit from a RealmObject class and in Java we can’t inherit from more than one model or class. So we will be using the jsonapi-converter library which uses annotation processing to add JSONAPI support.

1. Add dependency

In order to use jsonapi-converter in your app add following dependencies in your app module’s build.gradle file.

dependencies {
	compile 'com.github.jasminb:jsonapi-converter:0.7'

2.  Write model class

Models will be used to represent requests and responses. To support JSONAPI we need to take care of followings when writing the models.

  • Each model class must be annotated with com.github.jasminb.jsonapi.annotations.Type annotation
  • Each class must contain a String attribute annotated with com.github.jasminb.jsonapi.annotations.Id annotation
  • All relationships must be annotated with com.github.jasminb.jsonapi.annotations.Relationship annotation

In the Open Event Android we have so many models like event, session, track, microlocation, speaker etc. Here I am only defining track model because of its simplicity and less complexity.

public class Track extends RealmObject {

        	private int id;
        	private String name;
        	private String description;
        	private String color;
        	private String fontColor;
        	private RealmList<Session> sessions;

        	//getters and setters

Jsonapi-converter uses Jackson for data parsing. To know how to use Jackson for parsing follow my previous blog.

Type annotation is used to instruct the serialization/deserialization library on how to process given model class. Each resource must have the id attribute. Id annotation is used to flag an attribute of a class as an id attribute. In above class the id attribute is int so we need to specify IntegerIdHandler class which is ResourceHandler in the annotation. Relationship annotation is used to designate other resource types as a relationship. The value in the Relationship annotation should be as per JSONAPI specification of the server. In the Open Event Project each track has the sessions so we need to add a Relationship annotation for it.

3.  Setup API service and retrofit

After defining models, define API service interface as you would usually do with standard JSON APIs.

public interface OpenEventAPI {
    Call<List<Track>> getTracks();

Now create an ObjectMapper & a retrofit object and initialize them.

ObjectMapper objectMapper = OpenEventApp.getObjectMapper();
Class[] classes = {Track.class, Session.class};

OpenEventAPI openEventAPI = new Retrofit.Builder()
                    .addConverterFactory(new JSONAPIConverterFactory(objectMapper, classes))


The classes array instance contains a list of all the model classes which will be supported by this retrofit builder and API service. Here the main task is to add a JSONAPIConverterFactory which will be used to serialize and deserialize data according to JSONAPI specification. The JSONAPIConverterFactory constructor takes two parameters ObjectMapper and list of classes.

4.  Use API service  

Now after setting up all the things according to above steps, you can use the openEventAPI instance to fetch data from the server.



JSON API is designed to minimize both the number of requests and the amount of data transmitted between clients and servers

Adding Unit Test For Local JSON Parsing in Open Event Android App

The Open Event project uses JSON format for transferring event information like tracks, sessions, microlocations and other. The event exported in the zip format from the Open Event server also contains the data in JSON format. The Open Event Android application uses this JSON data. Before we use this data in the app, we have to parse the data to get Java objects that can be used for populating views. There is a chance that the model and the JSON format changes in future. It is necessary that the models are able to parse the JSON data and the change in the model or JSON format don’t break JSON parsing.  In this post I explain how to unit test local JSON parsing so that we can ensure that the models are able to parse the local JSON sample data successfully.

Firstly we need to access assets from the main source set into the unit test. There is no way to directly access assets from main source set. We need to first add assets in test/resources directory. If assets are present in test/resources directory then we can use it using ClassLoader in the unit test. But we can’t just copy assets from the main source set to resources directory. If there is any change in sample JSON then we need to maintain both resources and it may make the sample inconsistent. We need to make assets shared.

Add the following code in the app level build.gradle file.

android {
    sourceSets.test.resources.srcDirs += ["src/main/assets"]

It will add src/main/assets as a source directory for test/resources directory.So after building the project the test will have access to the assets.

Create readFile() method

Now create a method readFile(String name) which takes a filename as a parameter and returns data of the file as a string.

private String readFile(String name) throws IOException {
        String json = "";
        try {
            InputStream inputStream = this.getClass().getClassLoader().getResourceAsStream(name);
            int size = inputStream.available();
            byte[] buffer = new byte[size];
            json = new String(buffer, "UTF-8");
        } catch (IOException e) {
        return json;

Here the getResourceAsStream() function is used to open file as a InputStream. Then we are creating byte array object of size same as inputStream data. Using read function we are storing data of file into byte array. After this we are creating a String object using a byte array.

Create ObjectMapper object

Create and initialize an ObjectMapper object in the Test class.

private ObjectMapper objectMapper;

    public void setUp() {
        objectMapper = OpenEventApp.getObjectMapper();
        objectMapper.configure(DeserializationFeature.FAIL_ON_UNKNOWN_PROPERTIES, true);

Here setting DeserializationFeature.FAIL_ON_UNKNOWN_PROPERTIES to true is very important. It will fail the test for any unrecognized fields in the sample.

Create doModelDeserialization() method

In the Open Event Android App we are using Jackson for JSON serialization and deserialization. Converting JSON data to java is called deserialization or parsing.

Now create doModelDeserialization() method which takes three parameters,

  • Class<T> type: Model Class type of the data
  • String name: Name of the JSON data file
  • boolean isList: true if JSON string contains the list of object else false

This method returns true if parsing is successful and false if there is any error in parsing.

private <T> boolean doModelDeserialization(Class<T> type, String name, boolean isList) throws IOException {
        if (isList) {
            List<T> items = objectMapper.readValue(readFile(name), objectMapper.getTypeFactory().constructCollectionType(List.class, type));
            if (items == null)
                return false;
        } else {
            T item = objectMapper.readValue(readFile(name), type);
            if (item == null)
                return false;
        return true;

Here ObjectMapper is doing the main work of parsing data and returns parsed object using readValue() method.

Add Test

Now all the setup is done we just need to assert value returned by doModelDeserialization() method by passing appropriate parameters.

public void testLocalJsonDeserialization() throws IOException {
        assertTrue(doModelDeserialization(Event.class, "event", false));
        assertTrue(doModelDeserialization(Microlocation.class, "microlocations", true));
        assertTrue(doModelDeserialization(Sponsor.class, "sponsors", true));
        assertTrue(doModelDeserialization(Track.class, "tracks", true));
        assertTrue(doModelDeserialization(SessionType.class, "session_types", true));
        assertTrue(doModelDeserialization(Session.class, "sessions", true));
        assertTrue(doModelDeserialization(Speaker.class, "speakers", true));

Here only event JSON file doesn’t have a list of the objects so passing false as isList parameter for others we are passing true because its data contains a list of objects.


Running unit tests after every build helps you to quickly catch and fix software regressions introduced by code changes to your app

Generic Social Links Implementation in Open Event Android App

The Open Event Android App has an About Fragment which displays all the info about the event like name, time, location etc. It also shows social media buttons for the event. The problem was that the implementation of showing the social media buttons was not generic. The implementation was working fine for current FOSSASIA sample. If we generate the app for other events it creates a problem. It shows static buttons without proper mapping from social media button to social media link which creates a problem like on clicking GitHub button it opens Facebook link (issue #1792).

One solution to this problem is to implement recyclerview with social media buttons. In this post I explain how I have made social links implementation generic using RecyclerView.

Add RecyclerView in layout

The first step to do is to add recyclerview in the layout xml file and to create a list item for recyclerview which holds the image for the social link button. Then in the About Fragment find recyclerview element added in the xml file using findFragmentById() method.

1. Add recyclerview in xml file

In the layout xml file of About Fragment add recyclerview element. Define id, width, height, and gravity of recyclerview. Then specify list item for recyclerview using listitem attribute.

            tools:listitem="@layout/item_social_link" />

2. Create item_social_link.xml

Now create a item_social_link.xml file and add a FrameLayout element. Inside the FrameLayout add an ImageView with appropriate id, width, height and padding.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<FrameLayout xmlns:android=""

        android:tint="@color/white" />

Add and initialize RecyclerView

After adding recyclerview in xml file we need to add RecyclerView field in the About Fragment java file. Now add and initialize SocialLinksListAdapter which extends RecyclerView.Adapter and will be used for populating the recyclerview with the social links.

protected RecyclerView socialLinksRecyclerView;

private SocialLinksListAdapter socialLinksListAdapter;
private List<SocialLink> mSocialLinks = new ArrayList<>();

Here mSocialLinks is the list of social links which is fetched from the Event object.

Create ViewHolder for social link button

Now create SocialLinkViewHolder which extends RecyclerView.ViewHolder and holds one social link item defined in item_social_link.xml file. This file is where the magic happens. Add ImageView, FrameLayout, SocialLink and context fields in it.

public class SocialLinkViewHolder extends RecyclerView.ViewHolder {

    protected ImageView imageView;

    protected FrameLayout layout;

    private SocialLink socialLink;
    private Context context;

    public SocialLinkViewHolder(View itemView, Context context) {
        ButterKnife.bind(this, itemView);
        this.context = context;

    public void bindSocialLink(@NonNull SocialLink socialLink) {...}

    private void setImageDrawable(@NonNull String name,@NonNull String link) {...}

    private Drawable getDrawable(@DrawableRes int id) {...}

    private void showView(boolean show) {...}

The bindSocialLink(SocialLink socialLink) method is called in the onBindViewHolder() method of the SocialLinksListAdapter. In this method initialize socialLink field and set drawable for ImageView according to SocialLink name using setImageDrawable() method.

public void bindSocialLink(@NonNull SocialLink socialLink) {
        this.socialLink = socialLink;
        setImageDrawable(socialLink.getName(), socialLink.getLink());

The setImageDrawable() method finds and sets appropriate image for social link button using the name of the social link. If the image for the social link is not found then it sets the visibility of the image view to GONE using showView(boolean show).

private void setImageDrawable(@NonNull String name,@NonNull String link) {

        if (Utils.isEmpty(name) || Utils.isEmpty(link) || Utils.getSocialLinkDrawableId(name) == 1) {

The showView(boolean show) method handles visibility of ImageView and ImageView’s parent FrameLayout using setVisibility() method.

private void showView(boolean show) {
        if (show) {
        } else {

Set onClickListener to ImageView

Now it’s time to set the onClickListener in the constructor of the SocialLinkViewHolder to define what to do when user clicks on the ImageView.

imageView.setOnClickListener(view -> {
            if (socialLink != null && !Utils.isEmpty(socialLink.getLink())) {
                Utils.setUpCustomTab(context, socialLink.getLink());

Here we are setting custom tab for the social link using the setUpCustomTab() util method which will open the link.

Now run the app on the device or emulator. Here’s how it looks like,


The SocialLink impementation using the RecyclerView gives the great user experience in the application.

Additional resources

Acceptance Testing of a Feature in Open Event Frontend

In Open Event Frontend, we have integration tests for ember components which are used throughout the project. But even after those tests, user interaction could pose some errors. We perform acceptance tests to alleviate such scenarios.

Acceptance tests interact with application as the user does and ensures proper functionality of a feature or to determine whether or not the software system has met the requirement specifications. They are quite helpful for ensuring that our core features work properly.

Let us write an acceptance test for register feature in Open Event Frontend.

import { test } from 'qunit';
import moduleForAcceptance from 'open-event-frontend/tests/helpers/module-for-acceptance';

moduleForAcceptance('Acceptance | register');

In the first line we import test from ‘ember-qunit’ (default unit testing helper suite for Ember) which contains all the required test functions. For example, here we are using test function to check the rendering of our component. We can use test function multiple times to check multiple components.

Next, we import moduleForAcceptance from ‘open-event-frontend/tests/helpers/module-for-acceptance’ which deals with application setup and teardown.

test('visiting /register', function(assert) {

  andThen(function() {
    assert.equal(currentURL(), '/register');

Inside our test function, we simulate visiting  /register route and then check for the current route to be /register.

test('visiting /register and registering with existing user', function(assert) {
  andThen(function() {
    assert.equal(currentURL(), '/register');
    fillIn('input[name=email]', '[email protected]');
    fillIn('input[name=password]', 'opev_test_user');
    fillIn('input[name=password_repeat]', 'opev_test_user');
    andThen(function() {
      assert.equal(currentURL(), '/register');
      // const errorMessageDiv = findWithAssert('.ui.negative.message');
      // assert.equal(errorMessageDiv[0].textContent.trim(), 'An unexpected error occurred.');

Then we simulate visiting /register route and register a dummy user. For this, we first go to /register route and then check for the current route to be register route. We fill the register form with appropriate data and hit submit.

test('visiting /register after login', function(assert) {
  andThen(function() {
    andThen(function() {
      assert.equal(currentURL(), '/');

The third test is to simulate visiting /register route with user logged in and this is very simple. We just visit /register route and then check if we are are at / route or not because a user redirects to / route when he tries to visit /register after login.

And since we checked for all the possible combinations, to run the test we simply use the following command-

ember test --server

But there is a little demerit to acceptance tests. They boot up the whole EmberJS application and start us at the application.index route. We then have to navigate to the page that contains the feature being tested. Writing acceptance tests for each and every feature would be a big waste of time and CPU cycles. For this reason, only core features are tested for acceptance.


Implement Marker Clustering in the Open Event Android App

Markers are an integral part of any map based service. In the Open Event Android App for samples like Mozilla All Hands 2017, there are a lot of microlocations that the organizers want to integrate into the app’s map fragment. Due to the presence of large number of markers, the map fragment clutters, thereby harming the user experience. As an example, imagine yourself as the user and you see the map as in the image given below!

Therefore to tackle problem like this, the markers are grouped into clusters. On click of the cluster, the markers get declustered and fall into their respective locations with the map zoomed in.


First and foremost, define the libraries to be used by the utilities in the build.gradle of your app module. Make to import the latest versions.

// Googleplay Variant
googleplayCompile ''
googleplayCompile ''
googleplayCompile ''


Implement the ClusterItem interface in your location POJO which will house a marker’s location. The POJO will therefore override the getPostion() method of the ClusterItem interface where you will return the LatLng.

public class MicrolocationClusterWrapper implements ClusterItem {

public LatLng getPosition() {
   return latLng;



Create a custom Cluster Renderer class that will extend the default cluster renderer with you location POJO as parameter. Implement ClusterManager’s onClusterItemClickListener to listen to marker clicks and add custom colors to them. Set the custom marker properties before the marker items are rendered with the markerOptions inside the onBeforeClusterItemRendered().

   protected void onBeforeClusterItemRendered(MicrolocationClusterWrapper item, MarkerOptions markerOptions) {
       super.onBeforeClusterItemRendered(item, markerOptions);

       if (microlocationClusterWrapper != null && item.equals(microlocationClusterWrapper)) {
           markerOptions.icon(ImageUtils.vectorToBitmap(context, R.drawable.map_marker, R.color.color_primary));
       } else {
           markerOptions.icon(ImageUtils.vectorToBitmap(context, R.drawable.map_marker, R.color.dark_grey));

   protected void onClusterItemRendered(final MicrolocationClusterWrapper clusterItem, Marker marker) {
       super.onClusterItemRendered(clusterItem, marker);

   public boolean onClusterItemClick(MicrolocationClusterWrapper item) {
       if (microlocationClusterWrapper != null) {
           getMarker(microlocationClusterWrapper).setIcon(ImageUtils.vectorToBitmap(context, R.drawable.map_marker, R.color.dark_grey));
       microlocationClusterWrapper = item;
       getMarker(item).setIcon(ImageUtils.vectorToBitmap(context, R.drawable.map_marker, R.color.color_primary));
       return false;


Finally in your map fragment, initialize your map, cluster manager class and your custom cluster renderer you just created. Implement the MapReadyCallback so that the Google Map object is not null. Remember to pass the cluster renderer as a listener for the cluster manager’s cluster item click listener. Use the setOnClusterClickListener to zoom the map on the click of cluster.

private void handleClusterEvents() {

   clusterManager.setOnClusterClickListener(cluster -> {
                       cluster.getPosition(), (float) Math.floor(mMap
                               .getCameraPosition().zoom + 2)), 300,

               return true;




Maps are an integral part of any event based apps and marker clustering undoubtedly enhances the user experience in Maps.


  • Marker Clustering Android documentation

  • Complete Code Reference

  • Marker Customization in the case of Clustering

Implement Caching in the Live Feed of Open Event Android App

In the Open Event Android App, a live feed from the event’s Facebook page was recently implemented. Since it was a live feed, it was decided that it was futile to store it in the Realm database of the app. The data of the live feed didn’t persist anywhere, hence the feed used to be empty when the app ran without the internet connection.

To solve the problem of data persistence, it was decided to store the feed in the cache. Now, there were two paths before us – use retrofit okhttp cache management or use volley. Since retrofit is used to make the API requests in the app, we used the former. To implement caching with retrofit, its API response should include the cache control header. Since it was not a response generated by a personal server, interceptors were needed to force change the request.


Interceptors are a powerful mechanism that can monitor, rewrite, and retry calls. The solution was to use interceptors to rewrite the calls to force use of cache. Two interceptors were added, application interceptor for the request and the network interceptor for the response.


Create a cache file to store the response.

private static Cache provideCache() {
   Cache cache = null;
   try {
       cache = new Cache(new File(OpenEventApp.getAppContext().getCacheDir(), "facebook-feed-cache"),
               10 * 1024 * 1024); // 10 MB
   } catch (Exception e) {
       Timber.e(e, "Could not create Cache!");
   return cache;


Create a network interceptor by chaining the response with the cache control header and removing the pragma header to force use of cache.

private static Interceptor provideCacheInterceptor() {
   return chain -> {
       Response response = chain.proceed(chain.request());

       // re-write response header to force use of cache
       CacheControl cacheControl = new CacheControl.Builder()
               .maxAge(2, TimeUnit.MINUTES)

       return response.newBuilder()
               .header(CACHE_CONTROL, cacheControl.toString())


Create an application interceptor by chaining the request with the cache control header for stale responses and removing the pragma header to make the feed available for offline usage.

private static Interceptor provideOfflineCacheInterceptor() {
   return chain -> {
       Request request = chain.request();

       if (!NetworkUtils.haveNetworkConnection(OpenEventApp.getAppContext())) {
           CacheControl cacheControl = new CacheControl.Builder()
                   .maxStale(7, TimeUnit.DAYS)

           request = request.newBuilder()

       return chain.proceed(request);


Finally add the cache and the two interceptors while building the okhttp client.

OkHttpClient okHttpClient = okHttpClientBuilder.addInterceptor(new HttpLoggingInterceptor()



Working of apps without the internet connection builds up a strong case for corner cases while testing. It is therefore critical to persist data however small to avoid crashes and bad user experience.


Add Autocomplete SearchView in Open Event Android App

The Open Event Android App has a map for showing all locations of sessions. All the locations have a marker in the map. It is difficult to find a particular location on the map because to know the name of location user has to click on the marker. Adding autocomplete SearchView will improve user experience by providing an ability to search the location by name and by suggesting name according to the search query. In this post I explain how to add autocomplete SearchView in the fragment or activity.

Add search icon in actionbar

The first step to do is to create a menu xml file and add a search menu item in it. Then inflate this menu xml file in Fragment in onCreateOptionsMenu() method.

1. Create menu.xml file

In this file add search menu element. Inside menu element add search menu item. Define id, title, and icon of search menu item. Add” as actionViewClass which will be used as action view when the user clicks on the icon.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<menu xmlns:android=""
        app:showAsAction="ifRoom | collapseActionView"/>

2. Inflate menu.xml file in Fragment

In the fragment’s onCreateOptionsMenu() method inflate menu.xml file using MenuInflater’s inflate() method. Then find search menu item using menu’s findItem() method by passing id of search menu item as parameter.

public void onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu, MenuInflater inflater) {
        super.onCreateOptionsMenu(menu, inflater);
        inflater.inflate(, menu);
        MenuItem item = menu.findItem(;

Add and initialize SearchView  

Now after adding search icon we need to add SearchView and SearchAutoComplete fields in the fragment.

private SearchView searchView;
private SearchView.SearchAutoComplete   mSearchAutoComplete;

Initialize SearchView in onCreateOptionMenu() method by passing search menu item in the getActionView() method of MenuItemCompat.

Here SearchAutoComplete is a child object of SearchView so initialize it using findViewById method of SearchView by passing the id as parameter.

searchView = (SearchView) MenuItemCompat.getActionView(item);
mSearchAutoComplete = (SearchView.SearchAutoComplete) searchView.findViewById(;

Define properties of SearchAutoCompleteView

By default background of drop down menu in SearchAutoComplete is black. You can change background using setDropDownBackgroundResource() method. Here i’m making it white by providing white drawable resource.


The setDropDownAnchor() method sets the view to which the auto-complete drop down list should anchor. The setThreshold() method specifies the minimum number of characters the user has to type in the edit box before the drop down list is shown.

Create array adapter

Now it’s time to make the ArrayAdapter object which will provide the data set (strings) which will be used to run search queries.

ArrayAdapter<String> adapter = new ArrayAdapter<>(getActivity(), android.R.layout.simple_list_item_1, searchItems);

Here searchItems is List of strings. Now set this adapter to the mSearchAutoComplete object using setAdapter() method.


Now we are all set to run the app on device or emulator. Here’s demo how it will look


The SearchView with an ability to give suggestions serves the great user experience in the application.

Additional resources: