A Simple App! (Part 3)

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Hi everyone!

Let’s continue from where we left! So, I used Toasts in the previous post. Were you able to figure out what this does? I hope so!

It is basically used to show notifications on the screen. If you are an Android User, you must have encountered them while using Messages or Contacts application. We had also seen the code for the same. Let’s revisit it!

Toast.makeText(getApplicationContext(), “Hello World!”,Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();

Simply, Toast.makeText(params).show() is the function which is used to display a Toast on the screen. It’s parameters are used to define it’s various properties.

The first parameter is used to pass the context to the function. Mostly, we will be using getApplicationContext() as the value of this parameter since this provides the context required to display the Toast on the screen in our app (We will be discussing it in detail later).

The second parameter defines the text to be displayed in the notification. Here, Hello World! will appear on the screen. A string type variable can also be used here!

The third parameter simply defines the time for which the notification will be displayed. It can have two values:

  1. Toast.LENGTH_SHORT: Used to display the notification for a short period of time.
  2. Toast.LENGTH_LONG: Used to display the notification for a long period of time.
Now, I think we have understood how to use Toasts in our application.

So, we have completed the development of our first app! Let’s look at all the steps again:

  • We had changed the value of the default TextView to Developing Android Applications with Nikhil Gupta in the post titled Laying Out the Screen!
  • We added a Button to the layout in the post titled A Simple App! (Part 1).
  • We discussed the use of ID and its usage as an attribute in the layout and as a reference in the JAVA code in the post titled A Simple App! (Part 2) .
  • We finally discussed the use of Toasts in this post.

We will start with the development of a new and interesting app in the next post!

Till then,  BYE!

A Simple App! (Part 2)

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So, it’s time to continue with the development of the app (which we started developing in the previous post). First of all, let’s look at the android:id attribute of the tag Button.

By now, we know that id is used to provide a unique value to a component which can be used to access it later anywhere in the project. As an attribute, its value starts with @id. In our code, we can see that @+id has been used. Why is it so? Any guesses!

Actually, when a particular ID is used first time for a component, we need to use @+id to tell the compiler to assign the given value as the ID of the component.

Thus, the following line of code


basically assigns the id button1 to the Button on the screen. Later, we can use @id/button1 to refer this component while defining a value of an attribute. What does that mean? Suppose, while defining the layout, I want to refer to this button in some attribute of some tag. In that case, I will be using @id/button1. But, We need to use something else in order to reference this button in the JAVA code. Let’s see!

We have understood the layout of the app. Now, let’s open So, we need to refer to that button. How will we do this? For simplicity, let us call a function setUpViews() in the onCreate funtion. Since, this function has not been created till now, Eclipse will show an error. To rectify, simply hover on it and Select “Create method”. It will automatically create this function as a member of the Activity.

In the function, write this line of code:

NotifButton = (Button) findViewById(;

Can you make out what this does? is used to reference the button in the code. How? is the file that acts as a link between the code and various components and resources. I think id.button1 is self-explanatory. (For curious readers, open the file in gen folder and explore!).

findViewById is a function used to provide a handle to the component using which various functions provided by Android SDK related to a component can be accessed. Difficult? Don’t worry! Treat it simply as an identifier which can be used to interact with the component. You can also see that the output has been type-casted to type Button. This is required as this function is used for various components and returns a generic handle which must be type-casted according to the component.

After this long story, the conclusion is that NotifButton is a handle to the component Button (whose id is button1). Also, when you write this line, an error is shown since NotifButton has not been declared. Simply hover over it and select “create field NotifButton”. Why not others? Try to find out.

Now, it’s time to use a function which is executed every time button is clicked. This is done using the following syntax:

NotifButton.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {

public void onClick(View v) {


This is just a syntax used to access this kind of function. Anything written in the onClick block gets exceuted when the button is clicked. For now, write the following line of code in the onClick function.

Toast.makeText(getApplicationContext(), “Hello World!”,Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();

Save the file and run the project. What happens?

In the next post, we will look at the above line of code and discuss some other coding aspects in Android App Development.

Till then, BYE!