User Interface: Action Bar and Contextual Action Bar, new tendencies

Ask by : Foenix November 04, 2012 16:25

I am trying to architect an android App for the first time. I can read in English but not excellent. First I read I have got an Activity with listview on it. I also want to have menus of 2 types: 1 - for the general for example with commands “help”, “customize” etc.; 2 - for 1 or many selected list rows “share”, “delete” etc.

I did menu number 1 as an Action Bar on my Activity. That was good. First I wanted to place menu number 2 as a contextual menu (long click to run), but in that site they say “contextual menu is old, use Contextual Action Bar insted”. OK, I read about CAB. As I understood when user will select rows in the list CAB will appear just with the same button (with 3 dots in the right top corner), so for user menu will change completely. This is very strange! And OK if I except that user will get used to this transformation, what if he selected 10 items and decide to look “Help”? There will be no “help” available!

I do not have an android device and I cannot just look how it is on real programs. Please, if somebody understand what I am talking about, explain to me how it should work? Please, if you can, show me some printscreen examples what it looks like..

EDIT: My goal is (1) to build in contextual menu into App right way (modern way) and my question is (2) if I understand right user cannot reach Action Bar menu (number 1) from selection mode. Is it so?

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Answer by : KorcholisNovember 04, 2012 16:25

You may structure your question and focus on you goal or it will be closed as not constructive / off topic. However, let me show you some screens from the official gmail app (they're in catalan, I'll just translate the important things)

Inbox without any selection enter image description here

Once you select one or more emails. The upper and lower actionbars change. (Seleccionat means Selected) enter image description here

As you see, both up and down actionbars change its actions, to show you only the ones you can use in edition mode.

When in landscape mode, there is just one actionbar, in contextual mode. You can add there the actions you need. enter image description here

More info:

EDIT: As told among the figures above, you can define your own actionbar in selection mode, adding a many functionalities as you need. See the second figure. Below the mail list you have a lot of actions you can do. They aren't the same as in normal mode, but of course you can just add the regular actions in CAB. Just make sure they all make sense within the edition mode.

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