Implementing Search Functionality in Phimpme Android Application.

In the Phimpme Android application, users are provided with options to perform various operations on the albums available such as move, creating a zip file of the album, rename an album and many more. However, one another useful functionality that has been added to the Phimpme Android application is the option to search albums. So in this post, I will be discussing the implementation of search functionality.

Step 1

Android framework provides developers with a search widget called SearchView that provides a user interface for the user to search a query and submit the request. So first setting up the widget in the action bar of the activity is required. The searchview widget can be added to the action bar as a menu item by adding the following lines in the XML menu resource file menu_albums.xml.

<item
  android:id=“@+id/search_action”
  android:title=“@string/search_menu”
  android:visible=“true”
  android:icon=“@drawable/ic_search_black_24dp”
  android:tint=“@color/white”
  app:actionViewClass=“android.support.v7.widget.SearchView”
  app:showAsAction=“always” />

Step 2

Now SearchView.OnQueryTextListener interface is used for initiating the search operation and listening to the callbacks for changes to the query text. For the purpose of listening to the querytext, two methods are used here both of which are listed below.

onQueryTextChanged(String Text) – This method is called every time the query text is changed by the user and returns a boolean value, false if SearchView should perform the default action of showing any suggestions and true if the action was handled by the listener.

onQueryTextSubmit(String query) – This method is called when the user submits a query which could be done with a key press on the keyboard or by pressing the submit button. It also returns a boolean value which is true if the query has been handled by the listener, otherwise false.

The code snippet for the implementation of the above mentioned interface is provided below.

searchView.setOnQueryTextListener(new SearchView.OnQueryTextListener() {
  @Override
  public boolean onQueryTextSubmit(String query) {
      return false;
  }

  @Override
  public boolean onQueryTextChange(String newText) {
      return searchTitle(newText);
  }
});

Step 3

In the final step, with the use of the onQueryTextChange method of the SearchView.onQueryTextListener interface the search operation and displaying the search results in the UI can be achieved. The onQueryTextChange method is called every time the search-query text changes. From the onQueryTextChange method, another method named searchTitle is invoked. Inside the searchTitle method the album names matching the search-query are searched from an Arraylist<Albums> containing all the albums displayed in the application. The albums obtained as a result of the search operation are then stored in another Arraylist<Album> which is thereafter passed as a parameter to the swapDataSet method of the AlbumsAdapter class to display the searched albums in the album view. The code snippet used for the above operations is provided below.

public boolean searchTitle(String newText) {
  if (!fromOnClick) {
      String queryText = newText;
      queryText = queryText.toLowerCase();
      final ArrayList<Album> newList = new ArrayList<>();
      for (Album album : albList) {
          String name = album.getName().toLowerCase();
          if (name.contains(queryText)) {
              newList.add(album);
          }
      }
      if(newList.isEmpty()){
          checkNoSearchResults(newText);
      }
      else{
          if(textView.getVisibility() == View.VISIBLE){
              textView.setVisibility(View.INVISIBLE);
          }
      }
      albumsAdapter.swapDataSet(newList);
  } else {
      fromOnClick = false;
  }
  return true;
}

This is how we have implemented the search functionality in the Phimpme Android application. To get the full source code, please refer to the Phimpme Android Github repository.

The screenshot for displaying the search result in album view is provided below.

Resources

1.Android Developer Guide – https://developer.android.com/reference/android/widget/SearchView

2.Github-Phimpme Android Repository – https://github.com/fossasia/phimpme-android/

3.Creating a search interface in Android – https://medium.com/@yugandhardcs21/creating-a-search-interface-in-android-dc1fd6a53b4