UI Widgets

In this document

  1. RecyclerView
  2. CardView

The support library in the Android L Developer Preview contains two new widgets, RecyclerView and CardView. Use these widgets to show complex lists and cards in your app. These widgets have material design style by default.


RecyclerView is a more advanced and flexible version of ListView. This widget is a container for large sets of views that can be recycled and scrolled very efficiently. Use the RecyclerView widget when you have lists with elements that change dynamically.

RecyclerView is easy to use, because it provides:

  • A layout manager for positioning items
  • Default animations for common item operations

You also have the flexibility to define custom layout managers and animations for this widget.

To use the RecyclerView widget, you have to specify an adapter and a layout manager. To create an adapter, you extend the RecyclerView.Adapter class. The details of the implementation depend on the specifics of your dataset and the type of views. For more information, see the examples below.

  Figure 1 - The RecyclerView widget.

A layout manager positions item views inside a RecyclerView and determines when to reuse item views that are no longer visible to the user. To reuse (or recycle) a view, a layout manager may ask the adapter to replace the content of the view with a different element from the dataset. Recycling views in this manner improves performance by avoiding the creation of unnecessary views or performing expensive findViewById lookups.

RecyclerView provides LinearLayoutManager, which shows the items in a vertical or horizontal scrolling list. To create a custom layout, you extend the RecyclerView.LayoutManager class.


Animations for adding and removing items are enabled by default in RecyclerView. To customize these animations, extend the RecyclerView.ItemAnimator class and use the RecyclerView.setItemAnimator method.


To include a RecyclerView in your layout:

<!-- A RecyclerView with some commonly used attributes -->

To get the RecyclerView object in your activity:

public class MyActivity extends Activity {
    private RecyclerView mRecyclerView;
    private RecyclerView.Adapter mAdapter;
    private RecyclerView.LayoutManager mLayoutManager;

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        mRecyclerView = (RecyclerView) findViewById(R.id.my_recycler_view);

        // improve performance if you know that changes in content
        // do not change the size of the RecyclerView

        // use a linear layout manager
        mLayoutManager = new LinearLayoutManager(this);

        // specify an adapter (see also next example)
        mAdapter = new MyAdapter(myDataset);

To create a simple adapter:

public class MyAdapter extends RecyclerView.Adapter<MyAdapter.ViewHolder> {
    private String[] mDataset;

    // Provide a reference to the type of views that you are using
    // (custom viewholder)
    public static class ViewHolder extends RecyclerView.ViewHolder {
        public TextView mTextView;
        public ViewHolder(TextView v) {
            mTextView = v;

    // Provide a suitable constructor (depends on the kind of dataset)
    public MyAdapter(String[] myDataset) {
        mDataset = myDataset;

    // Create new views (invoked by the layout manager)
    public MyAdapter.ViewHolder onCreateViewHolder(ViewGroup parent,
                                                   int viewType) {
        // create a new view
        View v = LayoutInflater.from(parent.getContext())
                               .inflate(R.layout.my_text_view, parent, false);
        // set the view's size, margins, paddings and layout parameters
        ViewHolder vh = new ViewHolder(v);
        return vh;

    // Replace the contents of a view (invoked by the layout manager)
    public void onBindViewHolder(ViewHolder holder, int position) {
        // - get element from your dataset at this position
        // - replace the contents of the view with that element


    // Return the size of your dataset (invoked by the layout manager)
    public int getItemCount() {
        return mDataset.length;


CardView extends the FrameLayout class and lets you show information inside cards that have a consistent look on any app. CardView widgets can have shadows and rounded corners.

To create a card with a shadow, use the android:elevation attribute. CardView uses real elevation and dynamic shadows and falls back to a programmatic shadow implementation on earlier versions. For more information, see Compatibility.

Here's how to specify properties of CardView:

  • To set the corner radius in your layouts, use the card_view:cardCornerRadius attribute.
  • To set the corner radius in your code, use the CardView.setRadius method.
  • To set the background color of a card, use the card_view:cardBackgroundColor attribute.

To include a CardView in your layout:

<!-- A CardView that contains a TextView -->

        android:layout_height="match_parent" />