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How to Implement Preferences Settings Screen in Android?
  • Last Updated : 16 Feb, 2021

In many apps, we have seen the Settings screen which is most common in most of the apps. This settings screen is used to manage the preferences of the users. For creating this settings screen android provides a feature to make a settings preferences screen. In this article, we will take a look at implementing the preferences setting screen in Android. 

What we are going to build in this article? 

We will be building a simple application in which we will be displaying a simple button and on clicking on that button we will be opening a settings screen which we will create using settings preferences. This settings screen will look similar to what we can get to see in YouTube settings in the General option. A sample video is given below to get an idea about what we are going to do in this article. Note that we are going to implement this project using the Java language. 

Step by Step Implementation

Step 1: Create a New Project

To create a new project in Android Studio please refer to How to Create/Start a New Project in Android Studio. Note that select Java as the programming language.

Step 2: Working with the activity_main.xml file



Navigate to the app > res > layout > activity_main.xml and add the below code to that file. Below is the code for the activity_main.xml file. 

XML




<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout 
    xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    tools:context=".MainActivity">
  
    <!--button for opening settings activity-->
    <Button
        android:id="@+id/idBtnSettings"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_centerInParent="true"
        android:text="Settings"
        android:textAllCaps="false" />
  
</RelativeLayout>

Step 3: Creating a new activity for displaying the settings screen

Navigate to the app > java > your app’s package name > Right-click on it > New > Activity and select Empty activity and name it as SettingsActivity.

Step 4: Working with the MainActivity.java file 

Go to the MainActivity.java file and refer to the following code. Below is the code for the MainActivity.java file. Comments are added inside the code to understand the code in more detail.

Java




import android.content.Intent;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;
  
import androidx.appcompat.app.AppCompatActivity;
  
public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {
    
    // creating a variable for our button.
    private Button settingsBtn;
  
    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);
          
        // initializing our button.
        settingsBtn = findViewById(R.id.idBtnSettings);
          
        // adding on click listener for our button.
        settingsBtn.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
            @Override
            public void onClick(View v) {
                // opening a new intent to open settings activity.
                Intent i = new Intent(MainActivity.this, SettingsActivity.class);
                startActivity(i);
            }
        });
    }
}

Step 5: Creating a preference file for displaying our settings



Navigate to the app > res > Right-click on it > New > Android Resource file and you will get to see the below screen. 

Step 6: Add the below code in the strings.xml file

Navigate to the app > res > values > strings.xml file and add the below code to it. 

XML




<resources>
    <string name="app_name">GFG App</string>
    <string name="remind_to_take_a_break">Remind me to take a break</string>
    <string name="key_upload_quality">key_upload_quality</string>
    <string name="remind_me">Remind me to take a break</string>
    <string name="remind_me_for_bed_time">remind_me_for_bed_time</string>
    <string name="remind_for_bed_time">Remind me for bed time</string>
    <string name="limit_data_usage">prefs_limit_data_usage</string>
    <string name="stream_video">Only stream HD video on Wi-Fi</string>
    <string name="limit_mobile_usage">Limit mobile data usage</string>
    <string name="double_tap_to_seek">Double-tap to seek</string>
    <string name="pref_seek_val">pref_seek_val</string>
    <string name="seconds">seconds</string>
    <string name="uploads">Uploads</string>
    <string name="pref_uploads">pref_uploads</string>
    <string name="specify_network_prefs">Specify network preferences for uploads</string>
    <string name="prefs_restricted_mode">prefs_restricted_mode</string>
    <string name="restricated_mode">Restricted Mode can help to hide videos with potentially mature content.No filter is 100% accurate, but it should help you to avoid most of this type of content.</string>
    <string name="restricated_mode_description">Restricted Mode</string>
    <string name="prefs_enable_stats">prefs_enable_stats</string>
    <string name="enable_stats">Enable stats for nerds</string>
  
    <string-array name="pref_upload_quality_entries">
        <item>360p</item>
        <item>480p</item>
        <item>720p</item>
        <item>1080p</item>
        <item>Original</item>
    </string-array>
  
    <string-array name="pref_remind_me_to_take_a_break">
        <item>1 hours</item>
        <item>2 hours</item>
        <item>3 hours</item>
        <item>5 hours</item>
        <item>10 hours</item>
    </string-array>
  
    <string-array name="pref_seek_values">
        <item>5</item>
        <item>10</item>
        <item>15</item>
        <item>20</item>
        <item>30</item>
    </string-array>
      
    <string-array name="pref_duration">
        <item>0</item>
        <item>1</item>
        <item>2</item>
        <item>3</item>
        <item>4</item>
    </string-array>
  
    <string-array name="pref_uploads">
        <item>Only when on Wi-Fi</item>
        <item>On any network</item>
    </string-array>
  
</resources>

Step 7: Working with prefrences.xml file

In preferences there are different types of preferences which are listed below : 

  • EditTextPreference: this is used to get the text from the user.
  • ListPreference: this option is used to display a dialog with the list of options to choose from.
  • CheckBoxPreference: this option is used to display a checkbox to toggle a setting.
  • SwitchPreference: this option is used to turn the switch on and off.
  • RingtonePreference: this option is used to open the ringtone page of your device.
  • Preference with an Intent action android.intent.action.VIEW – to open an external browser navigating to an URL.

Navigate to the app > res > xml > prefrences.xml file and add the below code to it. Comments are added in the code to get to know in more detail.

XML




<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<PreferenceScreen 
      
    <!--below line is to create preference category-->
    <PreferenceCategory android:title="General">
  
        <!--in below line we are creating a list preference
            and we are adding default selected value in list for 3 rd index-->
        <!--dialog title is to set title for our dialog box
            entries is used to add list of data which we
            are adding from our strings file
            entry values is to add values to our entries.
            key is use to add key to our list preferences
            summary is use to add description to our option
            title is use to add title to our list preferences.-->
        <!--this list preference is for remind me option-->
        <ListPreference
            android:defaultValue="3"
            android:dialogTitle="@string/remind_to_take_a_break"
            android:entries="@array/pref_remind_me_to_take_a_break"
            android:entryValues="@array/pref_duration"
            android:key="@string/key_upload_quality"
            android:summary="@string/remind_me"
            android:title="@string/remind_me" />
  
        <!--on below line we are creating a switch preference
            default value is use to set switch on or off
            key is use to set key
            title is use to add title to our switch-->
        <!--this switch preference option is to remind for a bed time-->
        <SwitchPreference
            android:defaultValue="false"
            android:key="@string/remind_me_for_bed_time"
            android:title="@string/remind_for_bed_time" />
  
        <!--below switch preference is 
            use for mobile data usage-->
        <SwitchPreference
            android:defaultValue="false"
            android:key="@string/limit_data_usage"
            android:summary="@string/stream_video"
            android:title="@string/limit_mobile_usage" />
  
        <!--below list preference is use for 
            double tap to seek option-->
        <ListPreference
            android:defaultValue="1"
            android:dialogTitle="@string/double_tap_to_seek"
            android:entries="@array/pref_seek_values"
            android:entryValues="@array/pref_duration"
            android:key="@string/pref_seek_val"
            android:summary="@string/seconds"
            android:title="@string/double_tap_to_seek" />
  
        <!--below option is use to create a list 
            preference for Upload preferences-->
        <ListPreference
            android:defaultValue="1"
            android:dialogTitle="@string/uploads"
            android:entries="@array/pref_uploads"
            android:entryValues="@array/pref_duration"
            android:key="@string/pref_uploads"
            android:summary="@string/specify_network_prefs"
            android:title="Uploads" />
  
        <!--below switch preferences is use to restrict mode-->
        <SwitchPreference
            android:defaultValue="false"
            android:key="@string/prefs_restricted_mode"
            android:summary="@string/restricated_mode"
            android:title="@string/restricated_mode_description" />
  
        <!--below switch pref is use for enable stats option-->
        <SwitchPreference
            android:defaultValue="false"
            android:key="@string/prefs_enable_stats"
            android:title="@string/enable_stats" />
  
    </PreferenceCategory>
  
</PreferenceScreen>

Step 8: Now create a new java class for displaying our preference fragment

Navigate to the app > java > your app’s package name > Right-click on it > New > Java class and name it as SettingsFragment and add the below code to it. Comments are added in the code to get to know in more detail. 

Java




import android.os.Bundle;
import android.preference.PreferenceFragment;
  
import androidx.annotation.Nullable;
  
public class SettingsFragment extends PreferenceFragment {
  
    @Override
    public void onCreate(@Nullable Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
          
        // below line is used to add preference
        // fragment from our xml folder.
        addPreferencesFromResource(R.xml.prefrences);
    }
}

Step 9: Working with activity_settings.xml file

Navigate to the activity_settings.xml file and add the below code to it. Comments are added in the code to get to know in more detail. 

XML




<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<androidx.constraintlayout.widget.ConstraintLayout 
    xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    tools:context=".SettingsActivity">
  
    <!--frame layout for displaying 
        our preference fragment-->
    <FrameLayout
        android:id="@+id/idFrameLayout"
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="match_parent" />
  
</androidx.constraintlayout.widget.ConstraintLayout>

Step 10: Working with SettingsActivity.java file

Navigate to the app > java > your app’s package name > SettingsActivity.java file and add the below code to it. Comments are added in the code to get to know in more detail. 

Java




import android.os.Bundle;
  
import androidx.appcompat.app.AppCompatActivity;
  
public class SettingsActivity extends AppCompatActivity {
  
    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_settings);
          
        // below line is to change 
        // the title of our action bar.
        getSupportActionBar().setTitle("Settings");
          
        // below line is used to check if 
        // frame layout is empty or not.
        if (findViewById(R.id.idFrameLayout) != null) {
            if (savedInstanceState != null) {
                return;
            }
            // below line is to inflate our fragment.
            getFragmentManager().beginTransaction().add(R.id.idFrameLayout, new SettingsFragment()).commit();
        }
    }
}

Now run your app and see the output of the app. 

Output:

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