Android – How To Use GradientDrawable In Android ?

Hello Readers, CoolMonkTechie heartily welcomes you in this article.

In this article, we will learn when and how to use GradientDrawable in android. The UI of modern-day apps is getting better and better. Designers are trying out different styles and combinations which go best with the Android App. One of the key components of Android being used these days is called GradientDrawable.

A famous quote about learning is :

” I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.”

GradientDrawable In Android


So Let’s Begin.


Introduction

GradientDrawable is drawable with a color gradient for buttons, backgrounds, etc.

Let’s start by taking a basic example of creating a button in Android having an aqua colored background:

Gradient Drawable in android button aqua
Gradient Drawable in android button aqua

This can be done simply by setting the android:background attribute in the XML:

<Button
    android:layout_width="0dp"
    android:layout_height="48dp"
    android:layout_marginStart="24dp"
    android:layout_marginEnd="24dp"
    android:text="Continue"
    android:background="#00FFFF"
    app:layout_constraintStart_toStartOf="parent"
    app:layout_constraintEnd_toEndOf="parent"
    app:layout_constraintTop_toTopOf="parent"
    app:layout_constraintBottom_toBottomOf="parent" />

Here #00FFFF is the color code for Aqua color.

Now, what if we want something like this:

GradientDrawable In Android Button Gradient
GradientDrawable In Android Button Gradient

For this type of button ,we need to use gradients.


Different Ways To Use Gradient

There are 2 ways to do this:


1. Using a drawable resource in XML

For this, under the drawable package, create a new file tri_color_drawable.xml and enter the following code:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<shape xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" android:shape="rectangle">
    <gradient
        android:angle="0"
        android:startColor="#D98880"
        android:centerColor="#F4D03F"
        android:endColor="#48C9B0"/>
</shape>

Here we have given a <gradient /> tag and added the three color codes – startColorcenterColor and endColor. We have also given the angle as 0 which denotes LEFT-RIGHT orientation.

We note that Angles can only be multiples of 45. Also, max 3 colors can be specified in XML – startColor, centerColor and endColor. All 3 will occupy equal space.

Then make changes in the <Button /> tag to make it use this background drawable:

android:background="@drawable/tri_color_drawable"


2. GradientDrawable

We can get the same functionality programmatically as well by using GradientDrawable.
In your activity, create the GradientDrawable.

val gradientDrawable = GradientDrawable(GradientDrawable.Orientation.LEFT_RIGHT,
    intArrayOf(
        0XFFD98880.toInt(),
        0XFFF4D03F.toInt(),
        0XFF48C9B0.toInt()
    ))

Here we have given the orientation as LEFT_RIGHT (which corresponds to 0 we added in XML earlier). We have also given the same three colors we used earlier.

Next, set this gradientDrawable as the background of the button.

val continueBtn: Button = findViewById(R.id.continue_btn)
continueBtn.background = gradientDrawable


The need of GradientDrawable

So why do we need GradientDrawable if the work can be done using XML?

Example 1

Let’s take a recap of the previous example.

GradientDrawable In Android Button Gradient-1
GradientDrawable In Android Button Gradient -1

Here each color is taking equal space. We can say that color 1 is starting at 0 percent, color 2 at ~33 percent, and color 3 at ~66 percent. What if you don’t want all colors to occupy equal space? Instead, you want something like this:

GradientDrawable In Android Unequal Spacing
GradientDrawable In Android Unequal Spacing

If we notice here, color 1 is taking half of the entire space (50 percent) whereas the other two colors are equally covering the remaining space. (25 percent each).

This cannot be achieved via XML. This is where the actual power of GradientDrawable is unleashed.

To achieve the above result, we can do something like this:

val gradientDrawable = GradientDrawable(GradientDrawable.Orientation.LEFT_RIGHT,
    intArrayOf(
        0XFFD98880.toInt(),
        0XFFD98880.toInt(),
        0XFFF4D03F.toInt(),
        0XFF48C9B0.toInt()
    ))

Here color 1 is used twice, hence it will take 50 percent of the total space. Remaining two colors will equally occupy the remaining 50 percent space.

Example 2

As another example, let’s say we want a 5 colors gradient.

GradientDrawable In Android 5 Color
GradientDrawable In Android 5 Colors

This also is not possible via XML but can be easily done using GradientDrawable like this:

val gradientDrawable = GradientDrawable(GradientDrawable.Orientation.LEFT_RIGHT,
    intArrayOf(
        0XFFD98880.toInt(),
        0XFFF4D03F.toInt(),
        0XFF48C9B0.toInt(),
        0XFF2C3E50.toInt(),
        0XFFAF7AC5.toInt()
    ))

Here we have given 5 colors and each will cover equal space. You can give as many colors as required.


GradientDrawable’s Main Components

let’s take a closer look at GradientDrawable’s main components:


1. Orientation

It can be one of the orientations as defined in the enum GradientDrawable.Orientation. In our examples, we have used LEFT_RIGHT. Other possible orientations are TOP_BOTTOMTR_BLRIGHT_LEFT, etc. They are self-explanatory.


2. Array of Colors

Here we need to provide an array of hexadecimal color values.
For 0XFFD98880,

  • 0X -Represents a hexadecimal number.
  • FF – Represents the alpha value to be applied to the color. Alpha can be 0 to 100. Here FF represents 100% alpha.
  • D98880 – Represents the RRGGBB hexadecimal color value.

That’s all about in this article.


Conclusion

In this article, we learned about how to use GradientDrawable in Android. We have also discussed different ways and main components of GradientDrawable in Android with examples.

Thanks for reading ! I hope you enjoyed and learned about GradientDrawable Concept in Android. Reading is one thing, but the only way to master it is to do it yourself.

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If you have any comments, questions, or think I missed something, feel free to leave them below in the comment box.

Thanks again Reading. HAPPY READING !!😊😊😊

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