Android Designer

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This article covers the features of the Xamarin.Android Designer. It covers designer basics, showing how to use the Designer to lay out widgets visually and how to edit properties. It also shows how to use the Designer to work with user interfaces and resources across various configurations, such as themes, languages, and device configurations, as well as how to design for alternative views like landscape and portrait.

Overview

Xamarin.Android supports both a declarative style of user interface design based in XML files, as well as programmatic user interface creation in code. When using the declarative approach, XML files can be either hand-edited or modified visually by using the Xamarin.Android Designer. Use of a designer allows immediate feedback during UI creation, speeds up development, and makes the process of UI creation less laborious.

This article surveys the many features of the Xamarin.Android Designer. It explains:

  1. The basics of using the Designer.
  2. The various parts that make up the Designer.
  3. How to load an Android layout into the Designer.
  4. How to add widgets.
  5. How to edit properties.
  6. How to work with various resources and device configurations.
  7. How to modify a user interface for alternative views such as landscape and portrait.
  8. How to handle conflicts that may arise when working with alternative views.
  9. How to use Material Design tools to build Material Design-compliant apps.

Sections

Using the Android Designer

Part 1 - Designer Basics

Part 2 - Resource Qualifiers and Visualization Options

Part 3 - Alternative Layout Views

Part 4 - Material Design Features

Summary

This article discussed the feature set of the Xamarin.Android Designer. It showed how to get started with the Designer, and explained its various parts. It described how to load a layout, as well as how to add and modify widgets, both by using the Property Pad and inline on the Designer surface. It also explained how to work with various resources and device configurations. Finally, it examined how to use the Designer to develop user interfaces that are built specifically for alternative views, such as landscape and portrait, as well as how to resolve conflicts that may arise between such views.

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