added in version 22.1.0
belongs to Maven artifact


public abstract class ActionProvider
extends Object

Known Direct Subclasses

This class is a mediator for accomplishing a given task, for example sharing a file. It is responsible for creating a view that performs an action that accomplishes the task. This class also implements other functions such a performing a default action.

Note: This class is included in the support library for compatibility with API level 4 and higher. If you're developing your app for API level 14 and higher only, you should instead use the framework ActionProvider class.

An ActionProvider can be optionally specified for a MenuItem and in such a case it will be responsible for creating the action view that appears in the ActionBar as a substitute for the menu item when the item is displayed as an action item. Also the provider is responsible for performing a default action if a menu item placed on the overflow menu of the ActionBar is selected and none of the menu item callbacks has handled the selection. For this case the provider can also optionally provide a sub-menu for accomplishing the task at hand.

There are two ways for using an action provider for creating and handling of action views:

  • Setting the action provider on a MenuItem directly by calling setActionProvider(android.view.MenuItem, ActionProvider).
  • Declaring the action provider in the menu XML resource. For example:
       <item android:id="@+id/my_menu_item"
         android:actionProviderClass="" />

Creating a custom action provider

To create a custom action provider, extend ActionProvider and implement its callback methods as necessary. In particular, implement the following methods:

ActionProvider() constructor
This constructor is passed the application context. You should save the context in a member field to use in the other callback methods.
The system calls this method when the action provider is created. You define the action provider's layout through the implementation of this method. Use the context acquired from the constructor to instantiate a LayoutInflater and inflate your action provider's layout from an XML resource, then hook up event listeners for the view's components. For example:
 public View onCreateActionView(MenuItem forItem) {
     // Inflate the action provider to be shown on the action bar.
     LayoutInflater layoutInflater = LayoutInflater.from(mContext);
     View providerView =
         layoutInflater.inflate(R.layout.my_action_provider, null);
     ImageButton button =
         (ImageButton) providerView.findViewById(;
     button.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
         public void onClick(View v) {
             // Do something...
     return providerView;

The system calls this method when the user selects a menu item from the action overflow. The action provider should perform a default action for the menu item. The system does not call this method if the menu item opens a submenu.

If your action provider presents a submenu through the onPrepareSubMenu() callback, the submenu appears even if the action provider is in the overflow menu. Thus, the system never calls onPerformDefaultAction() if there is a submenu.

Note: An activity or a fragment that implements onOptionsItemSelected() can override the action provider's default behavior (unless it uses a submenu) by handling the item-selected event and returning true. In this case, the system does not call onPerformDefaultAction().


Nested classes

interface ActionProvider.VisibilityListener

Listens to changes in visibility as reported by refreshVisibility()

Public constructors

ActionProvider(Context context)

Creates a new instance.

Public methods

Context getContext()

Gets the context associated with this action provider.

boolean hasSubMenu()

Determines if this ActionProvider has a submenu associated with it.