Running User Interface Thread in Android using Kotlin

User Interface Thread or UI-Thread in Android is a Thread element responsible for updating the layout elements of the application implicitly or explicitly. This means, to update an element or change its attributes in the application layout ie the front-end of the application, one can make use of the UI-Thread. 

Realizing UI Thread: 
For example, a thread action is started, and the developer wants to update the front-end element with respect to the thread elements, runOnUIThread{…} function can be used.
Below is an example of the application where UI thread is used. 

Sample App in which the text in the TextView is changed every second

Initially, the application will show a Welcome message and as soon as the start button is clicked, it will show 2 messages, “love gfg” and “not gfg” alternatively at each second. 
Approach: 
Step 1: Add the below code in activity_main.xml. Here, add a TextView and a button to our MainActivity layout.
 

html

filter_none

edit
close

play_arrow

link
brightness_4
code

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    tools:context=".MainActivity">
  
    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/tv1"
        android:layout_width="210sp"
        android:layout_height="100sp"
        android:layout_centerInParent="true"
        android:gravity="center"
        android:textSize="50sp"
        android:text="Welcome"
        />
  
    <Button
        android:id="@+id/btnStart"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:text="Start"
        android:layout_below="@id/tv1"
        android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
        />
  
</RelativeLayout>

chevron_right


Step 2: Add the below code in MainActivity. Here OnClickListener is added with the button. So it is invoked whenever the user clicks the button. In the listener, an infinite loop is created in the main thread and using the UI thread the text is changed after every second. 



Java

filter_none

edit
close

play_arrow

link
brightness_4
code

class MainActivity : AppCompatActivity() {
    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?)
    {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState)
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main)
  
        // Assigning Layout elements
        val tv = findViewById<TextView>(R.id.tv1) 
        val btn = findViewById<Button>(R.id.btnStart) 
        val msg1 = "love gfg" val msg2 = "not gfg"
  
        // Button onClick action
        btn.setOnClickListener
        {
            // Declaring Main Thread
            Thread(Runnable {
                while (true) {
                    // Updating Text View at current
                    // iteration
                    runOnUiThread{ tv.text = msg1 }
  
                    // Thread sleep for 1 sec
                    Thread.sleep(1000)
                    // Updating Text View at current
                    // iteration
                    runOnUiThread{ tv.text = msg2 }
  
                    // Thread sleep for 1 sec
                    Thread.sleep(1000)
                }
            }).start()
        }
    }
}

chevron_right



Note: The While loop must be declared only inside the Thread. If a Thread is declared inside a while loop, the program doesn’t work and crashes.
Sample Timer App
From the basic concept of the above code, a timer app can be designed. Below is the code for the same: 
Approach: 
Step 1: Add the below code in MainActivity layout. Here a button, edittext, and textview are added. The button is used to start the timmer, edittext is used to take the input from the user, and textview is used to display the time left. 
 

html

filter_none

edit
close

play_arrow

link
brightness_4
code

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    tools:context=".MainActivity">
  
    <Button
        android:id="@+id/btnStart"
        android:layout_width="100sp"
        android:layout_height="50sp"
        android:layout_centerInParent="true"
        android:text="Start"
        />
  
    <EditText
        android:id="@+id/et1"
        android:layout_width="100sp"
        android:layout_height="100sp"
        android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
        android:layout_above="@id/btnStart"
        android:textSize="50sp"
        android:inputType="number"
        android:gravity="center"
        android:background="@color/colorPrimary"
        android:textColor="@color/colorAccent"
        />
  
    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/tv1"
        android:layout_width="100sp"
        android:layout_height="100sp"
        android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
        android:layout_below="@id/btnStart"
        android:gravity="center"
        android:textSize="50sp"
        android:background="@color/colorPrimaryDark"
        android:textColor="@color/colorAccent"
        />
  
</RelativeLayout>

chevron_right


Step 2: Add the below code in MainActivity class. Here we add the onClickListener with the button. As the button is clicked, runOnUiThread function is used to display the time left.
 

Java

filter_none

edit
close

play_arrow

link
brightness_4
code

class MainActivity : AppCompatActivity() {
    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?)
    {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState)
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main)
  
        // Assigning Layout elements
        val et = findViewById<EditText>(R.id.et1) 
        val btn = findViewById<Button>(R.id.btnStart) 
        val tv = findViewById<TextView>(R.id.tv1)
  
              // Button onClick action
        btn.setOnClickListener{
            // Converting Edit Text input to String
            val stringTime= (et.text).toString()
            // Converting stringTime to Integer
            val intTime= Integer.parseInt(stringTime)
            // Declaring Main Thread
             Thread(Runnable {
                  // For loop Decrement
                  for (i in intTime downTo 0) {
                       // Updating Text View at
                       // current iteration
                        runOnUiThread{
                            tv.text = i.toString()
                         }
  
                   // Thread sleep for 1 sec
                        Thread.sleep(1000)
                          }
                      }).start()
        }
    }
}

chevron_right




Attention reader! Don’t stop learning now. Get hold of all the important CS Theory concepts for SDE interviews with the CS Theory Course at a student-friendly price and become industry ready.




My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up

Check out this Author's contributed articles.

If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using contribute.geeksforgeeks.org or mail your article to contribute@geeksforgeeks.org. See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

Please Improve this article if you find anything incorrect by clicking on the "Improve Article" button below.