Add the app bar

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The app bar, also known as the action bar, is one of the most important design elements in your app's activities, because it provides a visual structure and interactive elements that are familiar to users. Using the app bar makes your app consistent with other Android apps, allowing users to quickly understand how to operate your app and have a great experience. The key functions of the app bar are as follows:

  • A dedicated space for giving your app an identity and indicating the user's location in the app.
  • Access to important actions in a predictable way, such as search.
  • Support for navigation and view switching (with tabs or drop-down lists).

This class describes how to use the v7 appcompat support library's Toolbar widget as an app bar. There are other ways to implement an app bar—for example, some themes set up an ActionBar as an app bar by default—but using the appcompat Toolbar makes it easy to set up an app bar that works on the widest range of devices, and also gives you room to customize your app bar later on as your app develops.


Set up the app bar
Learn how to add a Toolbar widget to your activity, and set it as the activity's app bar.
Add and handle actions
Learn how to add actions to the app bar and its overflow menu, and how to respond when users choose those actions.
Add an up action
Learn how to add an Up button to your app bar, so users can navigate back to the app's home screen.
Use action views and action providers
Learn how to use these widgets to provide advanced functionality in your app bar.