How a User Experiences Live Folders

Live folders are exposed to end users through the device's home page. Users make use of the live folders using a sequence like this:

1. Access the device's home page.

2. Go to the context menu of the home page.

3. Locate a context-menu option called "Folders" and click it to show any live folders that might be available.

4. Click the live folder you want to expose. This creates an icon on the home page representing the chosen live folder.

5. Click the live-folder icon on the home page to bring up the rows of information in a ListView or a GridView.

6. Click one of the rows to invoke an application that knows how to display that row of data.

7. Use further menu options displayed by that application to view or manipulate a desired item. You can also use the application's menu options to create any new items allowed by that application.

8. Note that the live-folder display automatically reflects any changes to the item or set of items.

We'll walk you through these steps, illustrating them with screenshots. We will start with step 1: a pristine Android 1.5 home page (see Figure 13-1).

Figure 13-1. Android 1.5 home page

If you long-click this home page, you will see its context menu (see Figure 13-2).

Figure 13-2. Context menu on the Android 1.5 home page

If you click the Folders suboption, Android will open another menu showing any live folders that are available (see Figure 13-3). We will build a live folder in the next section, but for now assume that the live folder we want has already been built. Assume that the live folder we want is called "New live folder" (see Figure 13-3).

Figure 13-3. Viewing the list of live folders available

If you click this "New live folder," Android creates an icon on the home page representing the live folder. In our example, the name of this folder will be "Contacts LF," short for "Contacts Live Folder" (see Figure 13-4). This live folder will display contacts from the contacts database. (We'll discuss how to name this folder later, when we describe the AllContactsLiveFolderCreatorActivity class shown in Listing 13-13.)

You will learn in the next section that an activity is responsible for creating the Contacts LF folder. For now, as far as the user experience is concerned, you can click the Contacts LF icon to see a list of contacts displayed in a ListView (see Figure 13-5).

Figure 13-4. Live-folder icon on the home page
Figure 13-5. Showing live-folder contacts

Depending on the number of contacts you have, this list might look different. You can click one of the contacts to display its details (see Figure 13-6).

Figure 13-6. Opening a live-folder contact

You can click the Menu button at the bottom to see how you can manipulate that individual contact (see Figure 13-7).

Figure 13-7. Menu options for an individual contact

If you choose to edit the contact, you will see the screen shown in Figure 13-

Figure 13-8. Editing contact details

To see the "live" aspect of this live folder, you can delete this contact or create a new one. Then when you go back to the live-folder view of Contacts LF, you will see those changes reflected. You can do this by clicking the Back button repeatedly until you see the Contacts LF folder.

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