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Android Studio for beginners, Part 2: Explore and code the app

Jeff Friesen | Aug. 24, 2016
Use Android Studio's project editor to write your first animated Android app

ImageView and AnimationDrawable

Next, the androidImage.setBackgroundResource(R.drawable.android_animate); statement invokes ImageView's inherited (from View) void setBackgroundResourceMethod(int resID) method, setting the view's background to the resource identified by resID. The R.drawable.android_animate argument identifies an XML file named android_animate.xml (presented later), which stores information on the animation, and which is stored in res's drawable subdirectory. The setBackgroundResource() call links the androidImage view to the sequence of images described by android_animate.xml, which will be drawn on this view. The initial image is drawn as a result of this method call.

ImageView lets an app animate a sequence of drawables by calling AnimationDrawable methods. Before the app can do this, it must obtain ImageView's AnimationDrawable. The androidAnimation = (AnimationDrawable) androidImage.getBackground(); assignment statement that follows accomplishes this task by invoking ImageView's inherited (from View) Drawable getBackground() method. This method returns the AnimationDrawable for the given ImageView, which is subsequently assigned to the androidAnimation field. The AnimationDrawable instance is used to start and stop an animation, a process I'll demonstrate shortly.

Finally, onCreate(Bundle) turns its attention to creating the Animate button. It invokes findByViewId(int) to obtain the button information from main.xml, then instantiates the android.widget.Button class.

It then employs the View class's nested onClickListener interface to create a listener object. This object's void onClick(View v) method is invoked whenever the user clicks the button. The listener is registered with its Button object by calling View's void setOnClickListener(AdapterView.OnClickListener listener) method.

To stop, then start the animation, Animate's click listener invokes androidAnimation.stop(); followed by androidAnimation.start();. The stop() method is called before start() to ensure that a subsequent click of the Animate button causes a new animation to begin.

Update and save your application code!

Before we continue, replace the skeletal code in your tab with the code from Listing 1. Save the contents of this window by pressing Ctrl+S, or select Save from the File menu.

Exploring and coding main.xml

The app's main activity is associated with an XML-based layout, which is stored in file main.xml, and which is presented in Listing 2.

Listing 2. main.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android=""
   <ImageView android:id="@+id/android"
   <Button android:id="@+id/animate"


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