Support Library Features

The Android Support Library package contains several libraries that can be included in your application. Each of these libraries supports a specific range of Android platform versions and set of features.

This guide explains the important features and version support provided by the Support Libraries to help you decide which of them you should include in your application. In general, we recommend including the v4 support and v7 appcompat libraries, because they support a wide range of Android versions and provide APIs for recommended user interface patterns.

In order to use any of the following libraries, you must download the library files to your Android SDK installation. Follow the directions for downloading the Support Libraries in Support Library Setup to complete this step. You must take additional steps to include a specific Support Library in your application. See the end of each library section below for important information on how to include the library in your application.

v4 Support Library

This library is designed to be used with Android 1.6 (API level 4) and higher. It includes the largest set of APIs compared to the other libraries, including support for application components, user interface features, accessibility, data handling, network connectivity, and programming utilities. Here are a few of the key classes included in the v4 library:

There are many other APIs included in this library. For complete, detailed information about the v4 Support Library APIs, see the android.support.v4 package in the API reference.

This library is located in the <sdk>/extras/android/support/v4/ directory after you download the Android Support Libraries. The library does not contain user interface resources. To include it in your application project, follow the instructions for Adding libraries without resources.

The Gradle build script dependency identifier for this library is as follows:

com.android.support:support-v4:18.0.+

This dependency notation specifies the release version 18.0.0 or higher.

v7 Support Libraries

There are several libraries designed to be used with Android 2.1 (API level 7) and higher. These libraries provide specific feature sets and can be included in your application independently from each other.

v7 appcompat library

This library adds support for the Action Bar user interface design pattern. This library includes support for material design user interface implementations.

Note: This library depends on the v4 Support Library. If you are using Ant or Eclipse, make sure you include the v4 Support Library as part of this library's classpath.

Here are a few of the key classes included in the v7 appcompat library:

  • ActionBar - Provides an implementation of the action bar user interface pattern. For more information on using the Action Bar, see the Action Bar developer guide.
  • ActionBarActivity - Adds an application activity class that must be used as a base class for activities that uses the Support Library action bar implementation.
  • ShareActionProvider - Adds support for a standardized sharing action (such as email or posting to social applications) that can be included in an action bar.

This library is located in the <sdk>/extras/android/support/v7/appcompat/ directory after you download the Android Support Libraries. The library contains user interface resources. To include it in your application project, follow the instructions for Adding libraries with resources.

The Gradle build script dependency identifier for this library is as follows:

com.android.support:appcompat-v7:21.0.+

This dependency notation specifies the release version 21.0.0 or higher.

v7 cardview library

This library adds support for the CardView widget, which lets you show information inside cards that have a consistent look on any app. These cards are useful for material design implementations, and are used extensively in layouts for TV apps.

This library is located in the <sdk>/extras/android/support/v7/cardview/ directory after you download the Android Support Libraries. The library contains user interface resources. To include it in your application project, follow the instructions for Adding libraries with resources.

The Gradle build script dependency identifier for this library is as follows:

com.android.support:cardview-v7:21.0.+

This dependency notation specifies the release version 21.0.0 or higher.

v7 gridlayout library

This library adds support for the GridLayout class, which allows you to arrange user interface elements using a grid of rectangular cells. For detailed information about the v7 gridlayout library APIs, see the android.support.v7.widget package in the API reference.

This library is located in the <sdk>/extras/android/support/v7/gridlayout/ directory after you download the Android Support Libraries. The library contains user interface resources. To include it in your application project, follow the instructions for Adding libraries with resources.

The Gradle build script dependency identifier for this library is as follows:

com.android.support:gridlayout-v7:18.0.+

This dependency notation specifies the release version 18.0.0 or higher.

v7 mediarouter library

This library provides MediaRouter, MediaRouteProvider, and related media classes that support Google Cast.

In general, the APIs in the v7 mediarouter library provide a means of controlling the routing of media channels and streams from the current device to external screens, speakers, and other destination devices. The library includes APIs for publishing app-specific media route providers, for discovering and selecting destination devices, for checking media status, and more. For detailed information about the v7 mediarouter library APIs, see the android.support.v7.media package in the API reference.

The v7 mediarouter library is located in the <sdk>/extras/android/support/v7/mediarouter/ directory after you download the Android Support Library. It's provided as a library project with a dependency on the v7 appcompat library, so you'll need to include both libraries in your build path when setting up your project. For more information on how to set up your project, follow the instructions in Adding libraries with resources. If you are developing in Eclipse/ADT, make sure to include both the android-support-v7-mediarouter.jar and android-support-v7-appcompat.jar files.

If you are using Android Studio, all you need to do is specify the Gradle build script dependency identifier com.android.support:support-v7-mediarouter:<revision>, where "18.0.0" is the minimum revision at which the library is available. For example:

com.android.support:mediarouter-v7:18.0.+

The v7 mediarouter library APIs introduced in Support Library r18 are subject to change in later revisions of the Support Library. At this time, we recommend using the library only in connection with Google Cast.

v7 palette library

The v7 palette support library includes the Palette class, which lets you extract prominent colors from an image. For example, a music app could use a Palette object to extract the major colors from an album cover, and use those colors to build a color-coordinated song title card.

This library is located in the <sdk>/extras/android/support/v7/palette/ directory after you download the Android Support Libraries. The library does not contain user interface resources. To include it in your application project, follow the instructions for Adding libraries without resources.

The Gradle build script dependency identifier for this library is as follows:

com.android.support:palette-v7:21.0.+

This dependency notation specifies the release version 21.0.0 or higher.

v7 recyclerview library

The recyclerview library adds the RecyclerView class. This class provides support for the RecyclerView widget, a view for efficiently displaying large data sets by providing a limited window of data items.

This library is located in the <sdk>/extras/android/support/v7/recyclerview/ directory after you download the Android Support Libraries. The library contains user interface resources. To include it in your application project, follow the instructions for Adding libraries with resources.

The Gradle build script dependency identifier for this library is as follows:

com.android.support:recyclerview-v7:21.0.+

This dependency notation specifies the release version 21.0.0 or higher.

v8 Support Library

This library is designed to be used with Android (API level 8) and higher. It adds support for the RenderScript computation framework. These APIs are included in the android.support.v8.renderscript package. You should be aware that the steps for including these APIs in your application is very different from other support library APIs. For more information about using these APIs in your application, see the RenderScript developer guide.

Note: Use of RenderScript with the support library is supported with the Android Eclipse plugin and Ant build tools. It is not currently supported with Android Studio or Gradle-based builds.

v13 Support Library

This library is designed to be used for Android 3.2 (API level 13) and higher. It adds support for the Fragment user interface pattern with the (FragmentCompat) class and additional fragment support classes. For more information about fragments, see the Fragments developer guide. For detailed information about the v13 Support Library APIs, see the android.support.v13 package in the API reference.

This library is located in the <sdk>/extras/android/support/v13/ directory after you download the Android Support Libraries. The library does not contain user interface resources. To include it in your application project, follow the instructions for Adding libraries without resources.

The Gradle build script dependency identifier for this library is as follows:

com.android.support:support-v13:18.0.+

This dependency notation specifies the release version 18.0.0 or higher.

v17 Leanback Library

The android.support.v17.leanback package provides APIs to support building user interfaces on TV devices. It provides a number of important widgets for TV apps. Some of the notable classes include:

This library is located in the <sdk>/extras/android/support/v17/leanback directory after you download the Android Support Libraries. For more information on how to set up your project, follow the instructions in Adding libraries with resources.

The Gradle build script dependency identifier for this library is as follows:

com.android.support:leanback-v17:21.0.+

This dependency notation specifies the release version 21.0.0 or higher.