Android ViewSwitcher vs ViewFlipper – The Difference


Android ViewSwitcher vs ViewFlipper

While working on Android development at Truiton, everyday I encounter new unique issues which nobody has ever faced or maybe if faced they didn’t share their experience on the internet, hence I end up writing them for community myself. Today’s topic of discussion is Android ViewSwitcher vs ViewFlipper – The Difference. Usually both of these classes are used to transform one view to another, its up to your coding style how you do it. Both classes have the ability to transform one view to another with or without animations. In this tutorial I would be sharing my experience on Android ViewSwitcher vs ViewFlipper, which one to use in which situation.

Although since this article Android ViewSwitcher vs ViewFlipper – The Difference would only give you an over view of both ViewSwitcher and ViewFlipper Class and majorly explain the difference between the two, If you intend to read my detailed tutorials on Switchers and Flippers please have look at the links below:

  1. Android ViewSwitcher Tutorial
  2. Android ViewFlipper Tutorial
  3. Android ViewSwitcher vs ViewFlipper – The Difference

Recently I was working for an app in which I had to transform one view into another in an animated way. The problem was, that I had three LinearLayouts on screen of which only two were supposed to be visible at a time to end user. These LinearLayouts were sort of input forms for the end user and layouts number two/three were supposed to appear on a conditional input from layout one. To my dismay when I looked up the internet I found two classes of android which were serving to this purpose i.e Switching/Flipping views. It got me thinking which one to use? After a thorough research I found out which one to use for my purpose. But to explain it here first I have to set base by giving an intro to both classes and then explain Android ViewSwitcher vs ViewFlipper – The Difference.

Another important and simple use that I could think of these classes, was to swipe through the screens, I have explained it with examples in my complete series above, but here lets have a look at :

Android ViewSwitcher

Android View Switcher class is used, as its name suggests to switch between views. And here by switch we mean there can only be two views. If one more view is added the app would crash. The official documentation states that it has a setFactory method which could be used to load views from factory interface, also it states a ViewAnimator can be used with this, but here in my tutorial about ViewSwitcher I have used the android XML files for e.g. android.R.anim.fade_in as it gives a better control on which animation you intend to show. To understand the difference in Android ViewSwitcher vs ViewFlipper, lets have a look at the other class.

Android ViewFlipper

Android View Flipper in another class which is used in Android to flip between views. The main advantage of using this class is that it can have any number of views, through which we can flip. But keep in mind here too that only one view is shown at a time. This ViewFlipper class can also be used to create a slideshow of views with regular intervals. Its documentation also states that a ViewAnimator can be used to display animations but here to in my detailed tutorial about Android ViewFlipper, I have used android XML files for e.g. android.R.anim.fade_in as it gives a better control. Now that we have an idea of idea of both the classes lets have a look at Android ViewSwitcher vs ViewFlipper – The Difference.

Android ViewSwitcher vs ViewFlipper – The Difference

By now if you have read the complete article you must have understood the difference between Android ViewSwitcher and ViewFlipper. The key difference between them is that ViewSwitcher can accommodate only two views whereas ViewFlipper can accommodate more than two views. An advantage of ViewSwitcher is that it has factory interface ViewSwitcher.ViewFactory which could be used from setFactory method but still maximum up to two layouts can be added. An advantage of ViewFlipper is that it can flip through all the specified views with a regular interval like a slideshow.

With this I can conclude this tutorial on Android ViewSwitcher vs ViewFlipper – The Difference. If you liked it please share it with your friends on Google+ and Facebook, also like our Facebook page to keep in touch.

About Mohit Gupt

An android enthusiast, and an iPhone user with a keen interest in development of innovative applications.

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