Android BaseAdapter

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BaseAdapter as the name suggests BaseAdapter is a base adapter, or super adapter. An adapter is a class that acts as a bridge between an adapterview and the underlying data source.

By being a base adapter BaseAdapter provides a common implementation for adapters that can be used in:

  1. ListView,GridView - By use of listAdapter.
  2. Spinner - By use of spinnerAdapter.

BaseAdapter Details

  1. BaseAdapter was introduced back in Android API level 1.

  2. It's actually an abstract class in that it has some abstract methods that need overriding. Therefore you have to either choose to implement those methods or make your child class as well.
    public abstract class BaseAdapter ..{}
  3. BaseAdapter derives from java.lang.Object.
    public abstract class BaseAdapter extends Object ...{}
  4. BaseAdapter implements ListAdapter and SpinnerAdapter. SpinnerAdapter is used for spinners while ListAdapter for ListViews and GridViews.
    public abstract class BaseAdapter extends Object implements ListAdapter, SpinnerAdapter{..}

BaseAdapter Children and GrandChildren

BaseAdapter has several direct and indirect sub-classes.

No. Class Type Description
1. ArrayAdapter Direct While BaseAdapter is always abstract, this is a concrete implementation of BaseAdapter backed by an array of arbitrary objects.
2. SimpleAdapter Direct A BaseAdapter child we can use to provide mapping between static data to views defined in XML file.
3. CursorAdapter Direct A BaseAdapter child that exposes data from a cursor to a ListView.
4. ResourceCursorAdapter Indirect A CursorAdapter child that creates views defined in an XML file.
5. SimpleCursorAdapter Indirect A a ResourceCursorAdapter child that can map columns from Cursor or TextViews or ImageViews defined in an XML file.

Other Adapter Types

Let's look at some of the available adapter subclasses.

SpinnerAdapter is an interface that binds android.widget.Spinner to its data.

Android PagerAdapter Tutorial and Examples.

Normally you use PagerAdapters with ViewPager. ViewPager you know allows us swipe through pages.

Well PagerAdapter acts as the base class for providing the adapter to populate pages inside of that ViewPager.

ArrayAdapter is concrete class that derives from the BaseAdapter and is backed by an array of arbitrary objects.

ListAdapter is an interface that's used to bind a ListView to its data.

This inteface resides inside the android.widget package:

package android.widget;

It derives from android.widget.Adapter, an interface that contains several signatures to be implemented by it's implementers.


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About Me.

After completing his Software Engineering bachelors program, Oclemy(Clement Ochieng) these days is a man of two lives. At day he works for a startup in Nairobi, Kenya. At night he works tirelessly on building ProgrammingWizards TV, a tv channel for student coders and this website to help share the source code. In between he practices Meditation and Self actualization to help him keep balance. He also likes going for long solo walks to connect more with nature.


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