Saturday, April 13, 2013

Supporting portrait and landscape screen orientations

When you are trying to make the next best app, it's important that you make sure your app looks great in both portrait and landscape orientation. Although the Android system already scales the default layout for both orientations, you should still make sure you optimize your application for the different orientations. Not only does it maximize the user experience of your app. But it can also provide an extra feature to you app. For example: showing a map in landscape view and a list in portrait view.

Now how do we make sure both of the orientations are optimized? Android provides a way to do this as effortless as possible. The only thing you have to do is create a new sub folder in the res folder. Let me just point out the three folders you can use/make to do this:

  • layout-land: The Android system will use these layouts when the device is in landscape view.
  • layout-port: The Android system will use these layouts when the device is in portrait view.
  • layout: This is the default folder for your layouts. If the system could not find the specified folder of the orientation, it will use the layouts inside this folder. So basically you just need to make one of the folders above.
Just make sure the layout files have the same name. That's all you have to do, it's just as simple as that.

Here's a small example of how your layouts should be organized.