Update the User's Profile

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This recipe shows how to update and read the device owner's "ME" user profile in Android, as well as how to navigate to the profile in the Contacts application.

Recipe

This recipe illustrates how to update the Android device owner's user profile. This profile appears in the Contacts app (also known as the People app) under the label, ME. In this recipe, we will write a simple app that updates the user profile and launches an activity to view the updated profile.

Before we can run this app, the user profile must be manually created in our Android device or emulator. If your device does not yet have a user profile, use the following steps (depending on your Android version) to create the user profile:

In Android 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich):

  • Start the People app.
  • Tap Create a new contact.
  • Tap Keep local.
  • Enter a name for a temporary user, such as "Temp".
  • Tap the check mark next to Done.
  • Tap the back arrow in the upper left hand corner of the screen.
  • Tap Set up my profile (under the ME heading).
  • Under My local profile, enter your name and, optionally, a phone number and email address.
  • Tap the check mark next to Done.

In Android 5.x (Lollipop):

  • Start the Contacts app.
  • Tap CREATE A NEW CONTACT.
  • Tap KEEP LOCAL.
  • Enter a name for a temporary user, such as "Temp".
  • Tap the check mark next to Add new contact.
  • Click the back button.
  • Tap Set up my profile (next to the ME heading).
  • Under My local profile, enter your name and, optionally, a phone number and email address.
  • Tap the check mark next to Add new contact.

To update and query the user profile, follow these steps:

  • Create a new Xamarin.Android application and name it UpdateUsersProfile.

  • Set the minimum Android version to API level 15. (For more information about Android version settings, see Understanding Android API levels.) In Visual Studio, open the project properties in Solution Explorer and select the Application page. In the drop-down menu under Minimum Android to target you can select the minimum Android version for your project:

    In Visual Studio for Mac, click the gray gear icon to the right of the project and select Options; this opens the Project Options dialog. Click Build > Android Application. Using the drop-down menu to the right of Minimum Android version, you can set the minimum Android version for your project:

  • Set the target framework to API level 15 or later. In our example, we have it set to Android 5.0 (API level 21). In Visual Studio, go to the project's Application page. Set the target framework by selecting the API level in the drop-down menu under Compile using Android version:

    In Visual Studio for Mac, open the Project Options dialog. In this dialog, click Build > General. Set the target framework by selecting the API level in the drop-down menu to the right of Target framework:

  • Add permissions to the Android manifest that enables the app to read and write contacts as well as read and write profile data. In Visual Studio, open the project properties in Solution Explorer and select the Android Manifest page:

    Enable the following permissions under Required permissions:

    • READ_CONTACTS
    • READ_PROFILE
    • WRITE_CONTACTS
    • WRITE_PROFILE

    In Visual Studio for Mac, click the gray gear icon to the right of the project and select Options; this opens the Project Options dialog. Click Build > Android Application:

    Enable the following permissions in the Required permissions section:

    • ReadContacts
    • ReadProfile
    • WriteContacts
    • WriteProfile
  • Edit Resources/values/Strings.xml and modify the button text string to "Update Profile" as follows:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<resources>
    <string name="buttonText">Update Profile</string>
    <string name="ApplicationName">UpdateUserProfile</string>
</resources>
  • Edit Resources/layout/Main.axml and modify the Button layout so that its text value is set from the buttonText string resource:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:orientation="vertical"
    android:layout_width="fill_parent"
    android:layout_height="fill_parent"
    >
<Button
    android:id="@+id/MyButton"
    android:layout_width="fill_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    android:text="@string/buttonText"
    />
</LinearLayout>
  • In the MainActivity class (MainActivity.cs), add a new method called NameOwner as shown below. This code instantiates a ContentValue object and calls ContentValues.Put to include the profile display name "John Doe" in the ContentValues object. ContentResolver.Update is called to insert this display name into the existing user's profile. Note that the user's profile cannot be created explicitly – attempting to do so will throw an exception.
void NameOwner()
{
    ContentValues values = new ContentValues();
    values.Put (ContactsContract.Contacts.InterfaceConsts.DisplayName, "John Doe");
    ContentResolver.Update (ContactsContract.Profile.ContentRawContactsUri, 
        values, null, null);
}
  • Next, create another MainActivity method called ReadBackName, as shown below. This method is called to verify that the name was actually updated. It gets the URI for the user's profile and configures projection so that only one column (the user's display name) is read back from this profile. A cursor object is created for accessing the user's profile data. If the cursor is successfully initialized, it is moved to the first item in the user's profile. The first column at this position (the user display name) is read and printed to the console. If these operations succeed, ReadBackName returns true; else, it returns false.
bool ReadBackName()
{
    Android.Net.Uri uri = ContactsContract.Profile.ContentUri;
    string[] projection = { ContactsContract.Contacts.InterfaceConsts.DisplayName };

    CursorLoader loader = new CursorLoader (this, uri, projection, null, null, null);
    ICursor cursor = (ICursor)loader.LoadInBackground();

    if (cursor != null)
    {
        if (cursor.MoveToFirst())
        {
            Console.WriteLine(cursor.GetString(cursor.GetColumnIndex(projection[0])));
            return true;
        }
    }
    return false;
}
  • Add another MainActivity method called ViewProfile that launches the contacts app to view the user profile:
void ViewProfile ()
{
    Intent intent = new Intent (
        Intent.ActionView, ContactsContract.Profile.ContentUri);
    StartActivity (intent);
}
  • Modify the button.Click hander in MainActivity.cs to call these three methods as illustrated in the following example:
button.Click += delegate {
    NameOwner();
    if (ReadBackName())
        ViewProfile();
};
  • Build and run the app; it displays an UPDATE PROFILE button as seen below in the screenshot on the left. When we tap this button to cause the button click handler to run, the following sequence takes place:

    • The call to NameOwner updates the profile's display name to "John Doe".
    • The call to ReadBackName reads the display name from the user profile, writes it to the console (for debug), and returns true if the user profile was read successfully.
    • The call to the ViewProfile method opens the contacts app, as seen in the screenshot on the right:

Additional Information

The owner's user profile is only available on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and later. Before the user profile can be updated, it must be created manually using the People (or Contacts) app as described in the recipe. For more about using ContactContracts.Profile, see the ContactsContract.Profile class reference.

Xamarin Workbook

If it's not already installed, install the Xamarin Workbooks app first. The workbook file should download automatically, but if it doesn't, just click to start the workbook download manually.