Android: An Introduction to Material Design

Megha Bambra

Material Design in action!

Google’s material design brings with it new, exciting ways to delight your users with a visually appealing Android app. But wait—what is material design?

Google introduced material design in last year’s I/O, describing it as an interface that incorporates “tactile surfaces, bold graphic design and fluid motion to create beautiful, intuitive experiences.” Material design is the new “user experience philosophy” for Android apps!

In this tutorial, you’ll integrate material design into an app called Travel Wish List. Along the way, you’ll learn how to:

  • Implement the material theme;
  • Build dynamic views using new widgets like RecyclerView and CardView;
  • Use Palette API to generate color schemes that you can use for text or background views;
  • Create delightful interactions using the new animation APIs.

This tutorial assumes you have a basic familiarity with Android programming including Java, XML, Android Studio and Gradle. If you’re completely new to Android, you might want to go through our Android Tutorial for Beginners: Part 1 first.

Let’s get started!

Getting Started

Download the starter project, then fire up Android Studio.

To import the starter project, first select Import project from the Quick Start menu:

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 11.38.05 PM

Then select the downloaded project and click OK:

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 11.41.17 PM

Travel Wish List will be a very simple app. Users will see a grid of pictures from locations around the world, and be able to tap each picture to add notes about what to do and see.

Build and run the starter project, swipe up to get past the lock screen, and you should see a screen with the most basic of interfaces:


Right now, the world is empty! You’re going to add material components to this existing project, including dynamic views, color schemes and animations that will truly complement the beauty of the photos in your dataset.

Open build.gradle for the app module and add the following:

dependencies {
  compile fileTree(dir: 'libs', include: ['*.jar'])
  compile '' 
  compile ''
  compile ''
  compile 'com.squareup.picasso:picasso:2.5.0' 

Here you’re simply declaring the dependencies that you’ll use throughout the rest of the tutorial. The first few are Google-provided APIs, but the final one, Picasso, is a fantastic image downloading and caching library provided by the good folks at Square.

With the dependencies declared, it’s time to begin incorporating Material Design into your app!

Setting Up the Theme

Before doing anything else, you should set up your theme. Open style.xml under the values directory. By default, the theme selected is android:Theme.Material.Light. Add the following items inside the theme tag:

<item name="android:colorPrimary">@color/primary</item>
<item name="android:colorPrimaryDark">@color/primary_dark</item>
<item name="android:colorAccent">@color/accent</item>
<item name="android:navigationBarColor">@color/primary_dark</item>
<item name="android:displayOptions">disableHome</item>

Android will automatically apply android:colorPrimary to the action bar, android:colorPrimaryDark to status bar and android:colorAccent to UI widgets like textfield and checkboxes.

In the code above, you also alter the color of the navigation bar. For android:displayOptions, you pass disableHome to accommodate the screen layouts in this sample app.

Build and run, and you’ll see the new color scheme in the app.


It’s a subtle change, but like every trip on your travel wish list, upgrading this design begins with a single step!

Using the Recycler and Card Views

To give your users a window into all the cool places they might go, you need a view. You can use RecyclerView as a replacement for ListView, but it’s much more versatile than that. Google describes RecyclerView as “a flexible view for providing a limited window into a large data set.” In this section, you’re going to demonstrate this by switching the view from a list to a custom grid that uses the same data source which currently supplies the ListView with the users locations.

Implementing a Recycler View in XML

First, open activity_main.xml and add the following inside the LinearLayout tag:


Here you’re adding a RecyclerView to the activity’s layout, and specifying it should match the entire size of the parent view.

Initializing a Recycler View and Applying a Layout Manager

Before adding Java code, configure Android Studio so that it automatically inserts import statements to save you having to add each one manually.

Go to Preferences\Editor\General\Auto Import and select the Add unambiguous imports on the fly checkbox. In, add the following to the top of the class:

private RecyclerView mRecyclerView;
private StaggeredGridLayoutManager mStaggeredLayoutManager;

Here you’re simply declaring two fields; one to hold a reference to the RecyclerView and another to hold a reference to the LayoutManager.

Next, add the following to the bottom of onCreate():

mRecyclerView = (RecyclerView) findViewById(;
mStaggeredLayoutManager = new StaggeredGridLayoutManager(1, StaggeredGridLayoutManager.VERTICAL);

In the code above, you initialize RecyclerView and apply StaggeredGridLayout to it, which you’ll use to create two types of vertically staggered grids. Here you start with the first type, passing 1 for the span count and StaggeredGridLayoutManager.VERTICAL for the orientation. A span count of 1 makes this a list rather than a grid, as you’ll soon see. Later, you’ll add a compact grid formation with two columns.

Creating Rows and Cells Using a Card View

CardView provides a consistent backdrop for your views, including rounded corners and a drop shadow. You’re going to implement it for the row/cell layout of your RecyclerView. By default, CardView extends FrameLayout and therefore includes the ability to host other child views.

From the res\layout directory, create a new Layout resource file and call it row_places.xml. Press OK to create it.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 9.40.38 AM

To create your desired cell layout, replace all the contents of this file with the code below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

      android:scaleType="centerCrop" />

    <!-- Used for the ripple effect on touch -->
      android:orientation="horizontal" />


        android:textColor="@android:color/white" />



By adding xmlns:card_view="", you can define attributes like card_view:cardCornerRadius and card_view:cardElevation that are responsible for giving Material Design enabled Android apps their signature card-like look.

Notice that for mainHolder, you’ve added ?android:selectableItemBackground as the background. This enables the ripple effect animation when the user touches a cell, as seen in many Android apps now. You’ll get to see it in action soon.

Implementing an Adapter for a Recycler View

You’re going to use an adapter for the RecyclerView to bind data to the view. In the Java folder, right-click on the bhouse.travellist_starterproject package and select New\Java class. Call the class TravelListAdapter.

Add the following code to the class, taking care to preserve the package statement at the top of the file:

// 1
public class TravelListAdapter extends RecyclerView.Adapter<TravelListAdapter.ViewHolder> {

  Context mContext;
  // 2
  public TravelListAdapter(Context context) {
    this.mContext = context;
  // 3
  public class ViewHolder extends RecyclerView.ViewHolder {
    public LinearLayout placeHolder;
    public LinearLayout placeNameHolder;
    public TextView placeName;
    public ImageView placeImage;

    public ViewHolder(View itemView) {
      placeHolder = (LinearLayout) itemView.findViewById(;
      placeName = (TextView) itemView.findViewById(;
      placeNameHolder = (LinearLayout) itemView.findViewById(;
      placeImage = (ImageView) itemView.findViewById(;

A couple of things are happening above:

  1. You make TravelListAdapter extend Recycler.Adapter so that you can implement logic for the override methods you’ll add soon.
  2. You add a constructor where the context can be passed when you create an instance of TravelListAdapter in MainActivity, which you’ll do a bit later in the tutorial.
  3. You create the ViewHolder class. Whereas the use of the ViewHolder pattern is optional in ListView, RecyclerView enforces it. This improves scrolling and performance by avoiding findViewById() for each cell.

Because your adapter subclasses RecyclerView.Adapter, you need to add the following methods to TravelListAdapter:

// 1
public int getItemCount() {
  return new PlaceData().placeList().size();

// 2
public ViewHolder onCreateViewHolder(ViewGroup parent, int viewType) {
  View view = LayoutInflater.from(parent.getContext()).inflate(R.layout.row_places, parent, false);
  return new ViewHolder(view);

// 3
public void onBindViewHolder(final ViewHolder holder, final int position) {
  final Place place = new PlaceData().placeList().get(position);

Here’s what’s happening:

  1. getItemCount() returns the number of items from your data array. In this case, you’re using the size of the PlaceData.placeList().
  2. onCreateViewHolder(...) returns a new instance of your ViewHolder by passing an inflated view of row_places.
  3. onBindViewHolder(...) binds the Place object to the UI elements in ViewHolder. You’ll use Picasso to cache the images for the list.

Add a field in MainActivity that will hold a reference to your adapter:

private TravelListAdapter mAdapter;

And then create an instance of your adapter and pass it to the RecyclerView at the bottom of onCreate(), just after you configure the layout manager:

mAdapter = new TravelListAdapter(this);

Now build and run the app, and you’ll see a populated list of places.


Which place is calling your name? I like the look of that turquoise water. But wherever you want to go, you’ll want to cultivate your dream by taking notes about what to do there. First, you need to make the cells respond to a user’s touch.


Implementing a Click Interface for Each Cell

Unlike ListView, RecyclerView doesn’t come with an onItemClick interface, so you have to implement one in the adapter. In TravelListAdapter, create a field to hold an instance of OnItemClickListener. Add the following just below the existing fields:

OnItemClickListener mItemClickListener;

Now implement View.OnClickListener by adding the interface to the ViewHolder inner class definition like this:

public class ViewHolder extends RecyclerView.ViewHolder implements View.OnClickListener {

Then add the following method stub to the inner ViewHolder class:

public void onClick(View v) {

Finally, hook the two up by adding the following to the bottom of ViewHolder():


Above, you initiate setOnClickListener for placeHolder and implement the onClick override method.

You need to do a few more things to implement the onClick interface for the RecyclerView. First, after the inner ViewHolder class definition add the following:

public interface OnItemClickListener {
  void onItemClick(View view, int position);

Next, add the setter method of the onClickListener:

public void setOnItemClickListener(final OnItemClickListener mItemClickListener) {
  this.mItemClickListener = mItemClickListener;

Now implement the logic in the empty onClick() stub within the inner ViewHolder class:

if (mItemClickListener != null) {
  mItemClickListener.onItemClick(itemView, getPosition());

Build and run the app. Notice the new ripple effect every time you touch a row:


In MainActivity, create an instance of OnItemClickListener below onCreate():

TravelListAdapter.OnItemClickListener onItemClickListener = new TravelListAdapter.OnItemClickListener() {
  public void onItemClick(View v, int position) {
    Toast.makeText(MainActivity.this, "Clicked " + position, Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();

Finally, set the listener to the adapter by adding the following code to the bottom of onCreate(), just after where you set the adapter:


Build and run once more. Now when you tap a cell you’ll see a Toast notification displaying the position of the cell in the list.


From List to Grid and Back

StaggeredLayoutManager lets you add versatility to your layouts. To change your existing list to a more compact two-column grid, you simply have to change the spanCount of the mLayoutManager in MainActivity.

In toggle(), add the following to the top of the if:


And now add the following to the top of the else branch:


Here you’re simply switching between single and double span counts, which displays single and double columns respectively.

Build and run and use the action bar button to toggle between list and grid views.


Using the Palette API in the List

Now you can add some interesting Material Design features into the mix, starting with the Palette API. Head back to TravelListAdapter, where you’ll define a background color for placeNameHolder that will be determined dynamically using the colors in the image.

Add the following to the bottom of onBindViewHolder(...):

Bitmap photo = BitmapFactory.decodeResource(mContext.getResources(), place.getImageResourceId(mContext));

Palette.generateAsync(photo, new Palette.PaletteAsyncListener() {
  public void onGenerated(Palette palette) {
    int bgColor = palette.getMutedColor(mContext.getResources().getColor(;

By using generateAsync(...) to generate a color palette in the background, you’ll receive a callback when the palette has been generated in the form of onGenerated(...). Here you can access the generated color palette and set the background color of holder.placeNameHolder. If the color doesn’t exist, the method will apply a fallback color — in this case,

Build and run to see the Palette API in action!


Note: The Palette API can extracts the following color profiles from an image:

  • Vibrant
  • Vibrant Dark
  • Vibrant Light
  • Muted
  • Muted Dark
  • Muted Light

I encourage you to experiment with these. Instead of palette.getMutedColor(...), try palette.getVibrantColor(...), palette.getVibrantDark(...) and so on.

Using the New Material APIs

In this section, you’ll use DetailActivity and its corresponding activity_detail layout, and make them cooler by infusing some of the new Material Design APIs.

First, you’ll want to see how the detail view currently looks in the starter project. To see this, go to MainActivity and create an intent in onItemClickListener. Add the following to the bottom of onItemClick(...):

Intent intent = new Intent(MainActivity.this, DetailActivity.class);
intent.putExtra(DetailActivity.EXTRA_PARAM_ID, position);

You can pass the position of the place object via the intent so that DetailActivity can retrieve the information and use it to layout the interface. That’s what you’re doing here.

Build and run.


There isn’t anything crazy going on here (yet!), but you’ve got a nice foundation on which to start adding those highly anticipated Material Design APIs, beginning with a floating action button.

Adding a Floating Action Button with Ripple Effect

The floating action button (FAB) pattern is common to most Android apps, such as Gmail, Calendar and Drive. It is essentially the main call to action on the screen.

Create a new drawable resource file under res\drawable. Call the file btn_background.xml and define ripple as the root element, like below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<ripple xmlns:android="">

You’ll notice an error asking you to add android:color as an attribute. Hover over the error and you’ll see a red indicator with suggestions:


Select Insert required attribute android:color. Also pass in the default touch feedback color and the shape of the button. The completed ripple tag should look like the following:

<ripple xmlns:android=""
    <shape android:shape="oval">
      <solid android:color="?android:colorAccent" />

This provides an oval-shaped background with the animation effect for the button.

In activity_detail.xml, add the following inside the ImageButton tag:


Here you’re instructing Android to use your new drawable as the background for the button.

Build and run. You’ll see a more prominent FAB that responds to touch with the ripple effect described above.


Adding a Reveal Animation

Now you want to give your users the ability to add notes about what they’d like to do in each of these stunning places. For this, activity_detail.xml already has an edittext that is hidden by default. When a user taps the FAB, it reveals itself with a cool animation like below:


Open DetailActivity. There are two methods you have yet to implement:

  • revealEditText()
  • hideEditText()

First, add the following lines inside revealEditText():

int cx = view.getRight() - 30;
int cy = view.getBottom() - 60;
int finalRadius = Math.max(view.getWidth(), view.getHeight());
Animator anim = ViewAnimationUtils.createCircularReveal(view, cx, cy, 0, finalRadius);
isEditTextVisible = true;

The two int values are getting the x and y positions of the view with a slight offset. This offset gives the illusion that the reveal is happening from the direction of your FAB.

Next, the radius gives the reveal the circular outline that you can see in the GIF above. All of these values — the x-position, y-position and the radius — you pass into the animation instance. This animation is using ViewAnimationUtils, which gives you the ability to create this circular reveal.

Since the EditText view is initially hidden, you set the view’s visibility to VISIBLE and set your boolean check isEditTextVisible to true. Finally, you can call start() on the animation.

To dismiss the view, add the following to hideEditText():

int cx = view.getRight() - 30;
int cy = view.getBottom() - 60;
int initialRadius = view.getWidth();
Animator anim = ViewAnimationUtils.createCircularReveal(view, cx, cy, initialRadius, 0);
anim.addListener(new AnimatorListenerAdapter() {
  public void onAnimationEnd(Animator animation) {
isEditTextVisible = false;

Here your goal is to hide the view and show the circular animation in the opposite direction. Therefore, you make the initial radius the width of the view and the ending radius 0, which shrinks the circle.

You want to show the animation first and then hide the view. To do this, you implement an animation listener and hide the view when the animation ends.

Now build and run and see this animation in action!


Note: If the keyboard presents itself, you’ll need to dismiss it explicitly to see the effect without obstruction. Oh, and don’t worry that your button doesn’t show the plus icon yet, you’ll fix that soon.

Morphing a Bezier Path for a Floating Action Button

Now that you have your reveal animation hiding and showing the edit text field, you can coordinate the icon on your FAB to look and respond just like the one shown below:


The starter project includes the vector paths for the plus and checkmark icons. You’ll learn how to animate – or morph – the paths from the plus to the checkmark, and vice versa.

Under the drawables directory, create a new resource file by going to New\Drawable resource file. Call it icn_morph and define animated-vector as the root element:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<animated-vector xmlns:android=""

animated-vector requires an existing android:drawable. In this case, the animated vector will start with a plus sign and morph into a checkmark, so you’ll set the drawable to icn_add.

Now for the actual morphing, add the following inside the animated-vector tag:

  android:name="sm_vertical_line" />
  android:name="lg_vertical_line" />
  android:name="horizontal_line" />

With the code above, you are essentially transforming the vertical line of the plus icon into a checkmark while fading out the horizontal line, as the diagram below illustrates:

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 12.59.57 AM

Furthermore, the vertical line is comprised of two paths, a smaller vertical line and a larger one:

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 1.11.49 AM

You can see from the diagram above that you can transform the first two targets, sm_vertical_line and lg_vertical_line, into a checkmark by drawing their paths at different angles, which is exactly what you do in the previous code block, along with fading out horizontal_line.

Next, you need to reverse this animation to transform the checkmark back into a plus sign. Create another drawable resource file, this time calling it icon_morph_reverse, and replace it’s contents with the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<animated-vector xmlns:android=""
    android:name="lg_vertical_line" />
    android:name="horizontal_line" />

The two lines that make up the final vertical line in the plus icon will now morph back into their original states and the horizontal line will fade into view, creating a smooth effect.

Now, to complete the animation. Open and add the following to onClick(), just above the if statement:

Animatable mAnimatable;

Here you’re declaring a field to hold a reference to the animatable that will actually perform the animation. Now, add the following to the bottom of the if block:

mAnimatable = (Animatable) (mAddButton).getDrawable();

Here you set the image resource of the button to the icn_morph drawable you created earlier, extract the animatable from it, and then kick-off the animation.

Finally, add the following to the very bottom of the else branch:

mAnimatable = (Animatable) (mAddButton).getDrawable();

Here you’re doing almost exactly the same as the previous step, except you assign icn_morph_reverse as the image resource so the animation plays out in the opposite direction.

Along with morphing the icon, the user’s click also adds the text from mEditTextTodo to the mToDoAdapter and refreshes the place activity list. This is not yet visible because of the white text, but in the next section, you’ll add vibrant color to your views so that the text stands out.

Build and run, and watch the magic unfold before your eyes! The FAB icon now morphs between a checkmark and a plus sign when it’s tapped.


Adding Dynamic Colors to Views Using Palette API

It’s time to add colors to this view using the Palette API. And not just any colors—as before, they will be dynamic colors!

In DetailActivity, flesh out colorize() by adding the following:

Palette mPalette = Palette.generate(photo); 

Just like you did previously, you generate a palette from a photo – although this time you do it synchronously – and then pass that palette onto applyPalette(). Replace the existing method stub for applyPalette() with this code:

private void applyPalette(Palette mPalette) {
  getWindow().setBackgroundDrawable(new ColorDrawable(mPalette.getDarkMutedColor(defaultColor)));

Here you’re you’re using the dark muted color, the muted color, and the light vibrant color as the background colors of the window, title holder, and reveal view respectively.

Finally, to kick-off this chain of events add the following line to the bottom of getPhoto():


It’s that time again… build and run your app! You can see the detail activity is now using a color scheme derived from the palette of the associated image.


Activity Transitions With Shared Elements

We’ve all seen and wondered about those nice image and text transitions in Google’s app which have been updated to use Material Design. Well, wait no more—you’re about to learn the intricacies of achieving smooth animation.

Note: Activity transitions, together with shared elements, allow your app to transition between two activities that share common views. For example, you can transition a thumbnail on a list into a larger image on a detail activity, providing continuity of the content.

Between the places list view, MainActivity, and the places detail view, DetailActivity, you’re going to transition the following elements:

  • The image of the place;
  • The title of the place;
  • The background area of the title.

Open row_places.xml and add the following to the declaration of the ImageView tag with an id of placeImage:


And then add this to the ImageView tag with an id of placeNameHolder:


Notice that placeName doesn’t have a transition name. This is because it is the child of placeNameHolder, which will transition all of its child views. In activity_detail.xml, add the following to the ImageView tag with the id placeImage:


And, in a similar fashion, add this to the ImageView tag that has an id of placeNameHolder


Shared elements between activities that you want to transition should have the same android:transitionName, which is what you’re setting up here. Also, notice that the size of the image, as well as the height of the placeNameHolder are much larger in this activity. You’re going to animate all of these layout changes during the activity transition to provide some nice visual continuity.

In onItemClickListener() found in MainActivity, add the following to the bottom of the method:

// 1
ImageView placeImage = (ImageView) v.findViewById(;
LinearLayout placeNameHolder = (LinearLayout) v.findViewById(;
// 2
Pair<View, String> imagePair = Pair.create((View) placeImage, "tImage");
Pair<View, String> holderPair = Pair.create((View) placeNameHolder, "tNameHolder");
// 3
ActivityOptionsCompat options = ActivityOptionsCompat.makeSceneTransitionAnimation(MainActivity.this, 
    imagePair, holderPair);
ActivityCompat.startActivity(MainActivity.this, intent, options.toBundle());

After adding this code, you will need to manually add the import statement import to the top of the file as Android Studio cannot automatically determine that this is the intended package.

There are a couple of things to highlight here:

  1. You get an instance of both placeImage and placeNameHolder for the given position of the RecyclerView.
  2. You create a Pair containing the view and the transitionName for both the image and the text holder view. Note that you will once again have to manually add the import statement to the top of the file:
  3. To make the activity scene transition with shared views, you pass in your Pair instances and start the activity with your options bundle.

Build and run to see the image transition from the main activity to the detail activity:


However, the animation is a bit jumpy in two areas:

  • The FAB button suddenly appears in DetailActivity.
  • If you tap on a row under the action or navigation bar, that row appears to jump a bit before it transitions.

You’ll solve the FAB button issue first. Open and add the following to windowTransition():

getWindow().getEnterTransition().addListener(new TransitionAdapter() {
  public void onTransitionEnd(Transition transition) {

The listener you add to the enter transition is triggered when the window transition ends, which you use to fade in the FAB button. For this to be effective, set the alpha to 0 for the FAB in activity_detail.xml. Find the ImageButton with a an id of btn_add and add the following to its declaration:


Build and run! You’ll notice the FAB transition is much smoother!:


As for the action bar and navigation bar issues, begin by adding the following to styles.xml, inside of the style tag:

<item name="android:windowActionBar">false</item>
<item name="android:windowNoTitle">true</item>

Since there is no action bar defined in styles.xml, you’ll have to add it using individual XML views.

Open activity_main.xml and add the following inside LinearLayout, just above the RecyclerView tag:

  layout="@layout/toolbar" />

This simply includes a toolbar layout that’s provided as part of the starter project into the current layout. Now you need to make a similar change to the detail activity’s layout.

Open activity_detail.xml and add the following add the very bottom of FrameLayout, just below the closing tag of the inner LinearLayout:


Next in MainActivity, you need to create an instance of, and initialize the toolbar. Add the following field to the top of the class:

private Toolbar toolbar;

Next, set the value of the field in onCreate(). Add the following to the bottom of the method:

toolbar = (Toolbar) findViewById(;

Here you assign the result of the findViewById call to the new field, and then call setUpActionBar(). At the moment it’s just an empty method stub. Fix that now by adding the following to setUpActionBar():

if (toolbar != null) {

Here you set the action bar to be an instance of your custom toolbar, set the visibility of the title, disable the home button, and add a subtle drop shadow by setting the elevation.

Build and run. You’ll notice that nothing much has changed, but these changes have laid the foundations of properly being able to transition the toolbar.

Open MainActivity and replace the existing onItemClickListener with this one:

TravelListAdapter.OnItemClickListener onItemClickListener = new TravelListAdapter.OnItemClickListener() {
  public void onItemClick(View v, int position) {
    // 1
    Intent transitionIntent = new Intent(MainActivity.this, DetailActivity.class);
    transitionIntent.putExtra(DetailActivity.EXTRA_PARAM_ID, position);
    ImageView placeImage = (ImageView) v.findViewById(;
    LinearLayout placeNameHolder = (LinearLayout) v.findViewById(;
    // 2
    View navigationBar = findViewById(;
    View statusBar = findViewById(;

    Pair<View, String> imagePair = Pair.create((View) placeImage, "tImage");
    Pair<View, String> holderPair = Pair.create((View) placeNameHolder, "tNameHolder");
    // 3
    Pair<View, String> navPair = Pair.create(navigationBar, 
    Pair<View, String> statusPair = Pair.create(statusBar, Window.STATUS_BAR_BACKGROUND_TRANSITION_NAME);
    Pair<View, String> toolbarPair = Pair.create((View)toolbar, "tActionBar");
    // 4
    ActivityOptionsCompat options = ActivityOptionsCompat.makeSceneTransitionAnimation(MainActivity.this, 
        imagePair, holderPair, navPair, statusPair, toolbarPair);
    ActivityCompat.startActivity(MainActivity.this, transitionIntent, options.toBundle());

The differences between the original implementation and this one are thus:

  1. You’ve renamed the intent to provide more context;
  2. You get references to both the navigation bar and status bar;
  3. You’ve created three new instances of Pair – one for the navigation bar, one for the status bar, and one for the toolbar;
  4. And finally you’ve updated the options that passed to the new activity to include the references to the new views.

Great! Build and run, and you’ll see a much smoother animation:


Now if you tap on a row under the action/toolbar or navigation bar, it doesn’t jump before the transition; it transitions with the rest of the shared elements, which is much more pleasing to the eye. Switch to the grid view and you’ll notice that the transitions work very nicely with that layout as well.

Ta-da! Here is a video of the final app in action:

Where to Go From Here?

Be proud of yourself: You’ve created a full-blown Android material app! To challenge yourself, try the following:

  • Use StaggeredLayoutManager to make a grid with three columns instead of two.
  • Experiment with the Palette API in both MainActivity and DetailActivity using different palette options.
  • Add a button on the place list and transition it to the detail view as a shared element—perhaps a favorite button.
  • Make those transitioning animations even cooler—check out Android’s Newsstand app and see how it transitions from a grid to a detail view with the reveal animation. You have all the code here to replicate that.
  • Try to create all the morphing animations you did here, but using animated-vectors.

And of course, apply this knowledge to your apps so that they can be as cool as this one. :]

To find out more about Material Design then be sure to check out Google’s recently redesigned Google Design website.

You can get the full source code for this project on Github here .

Feel free to share your feedback or ask any questions in the comments below or in the forums.

Megha Bambra

Megha is an iOS and Android developer based in Toronto. By day, she works on client projects at The B House where she is also the co-founder. She also has keen interest in mobile UI and UX. In her free time, she likes to work on her own start up ideas, travel and read on upcoming technologies. You can find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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