Jameson Jameson - 8 months ago 139
Android Question

Activity, AppCompatActivity, FragmentActivity, and ActionBarActivity: When to Use Which?

I'm coming from iOS where it's easy and you simply use a UIViewController. However, in Android things seem much more complicated, with certain UIComponents for specific API Levels. I'm reading BigNerdRanch for Android (the book is roughly 2 years old) and they suggest I use

to host my
. However, I thought
was deprecated.

So for API Level 22 (with a minimum support for API Level 15 or 16), what exactly should I use both to host the components, and for the components themselves? Are there uses for all of these, or should I be using one or two almost exclusively?


For a minimum API level of 15, you'd want to use AppCompatActivity. So for example, your MainActivity would look like this:

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

To use the AppCompatActivity, make sure you have the Google Support Library downloaded (you can check this in your Tools -> Android -> SDK manager). Then just include the gradle dependency in your app's gradle.build file:

compile 'com.android.support:appcompat-v7:22:2.0'

You can use this AppCompat as your main Activity, which can then be used to launch Fragments or other Activities (this depends on what kind of app you're building).

The BigNerdRanch book is a good resource, but yeah, it's outdated. Read it for general information on how Android works, but don't expect the specific classes they use to be up to date.