Xamarin.Tip – Expanding ViewCells

Here’s another helpful Xamarin tip to allow you to expand your ViewCells – for example when the user taps a ViewCell, expand it to reveal more information.
Take this gif as an example:

ExpandingCell

There are 3 major parts to making a feature like this work:
1. Bind visibility to the hidden parts of your cell
2. Handle updating that visibility on selection or tap
3. Force the ViewCell to remeasure its size to show the hidden bits.

Let’s first create a new class called ExpandingViewCell:

ExpandingViewCell.cs

/// <summary>
/// Expanding view cell.
/// </summary>
public class ExpandingViewCell : ViewCell
{
    protected override void OnTapped()
    {
        base.OnTapped();
        ForceUpdateSize();
    }
}

Yeah it’s literally that stupid easy. Override OnTapped and call ForceUpdateSize(). However, it’s important to note that this is so easy because of the order – calling the base.OnTapped() first allows for your click / select events to fire off before measuring the size. This means that if we bind an update to show / hide certain controls on tap, those will show first, then we remeasure to make sure they fit.

Here’s the XAML for the ViewCell shown in the gif above:

<components:ExpandingViewCell>
    <StackLayout Orientation="Vertical" Spacing="4" Padding="64,8,16,8" Margin="0">
        <Label Text="{Binding DateLabel}" IsVisible="{Binding ShowDate}" Style="{DynamicResource BodySecondary}" HorizontalOptions="End" HorizontalTextAlignment="End" />
        <Frame CornerRadius="12" Padding="12" Margin="0" BackgroundColor="{Binding MessageColor, Converter={StaticResource ColorConverter}}" VerticalOptions="Center" HorizontalOptions="EndAndExpand" effects:LongPressedEffect.Command="{Binding Path=BindingContext.MessageOptionsCommand,Source={x:Reference Page}}" effects:LongPressedEffect.CommandParameter="{Binding .}">
            <Frame.Effects>
                <effects:LongPressedEffect />
            </Frame.Effects>
            <Label Text="{Binding Content}" Style="{DynamicResource BodySecondary}" />
        </Frame>
        <Label Text="{Binding SentDateLabel}" IsVisible="{Binding IsSentDateVisible}" Style="{DynamicResource BodySecondary}" HorizontalOptions="End" HorizontalTextAlignment="End" />
    </StackLayout>
</components:ExpandingViewCell>

There is a lot going on in this cell (it’s a chat page after all, so it’s a feature rich cell). I even have some long press handlers from my LongPressedEffect that you can read about here: Xamarin.Tip – Xamarin.Forms Long Press Effect

The important pieces to note are the IsVisible="{Binding IsSentDateVisible}" to show the date label or not.

Now in order to update this, we need to bind our SelectedItem in our ListView.

Here’s an example from the gif:

<ListView x:Name="ChatListView" ItemsSource="{Binding Messages}" SelectedItem="{Binding SelectedMessage, Mode=TwoWay}" HasUnevenRows="True" SeparatorVisibility="None" ItemTemplate="{StaticResource BubbleSelector}" />

We use the DataTemplateSelector to choose between the sent bubble and the received bubble, but that isn’t important. If you want to read more about that, check out this doc from Xamarin: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/xamarin/xamarin-forms/app-fundamentals/templates/data-templates/selector

Now lastly, let’s look at what’s going on in the ViewModel behind the ListView and how we are binding the SelectedItem.

ChatPageViewModel.cs

...

public ChatMessageViewModel SelectedMessage
{
    get
    {
        return _selectedMessage;
    }
    set
    {
        Set(ref _selectedMessage, value);
        if (value != null)
        {
            ToggleDetails(value);
            SelectedMessage = null;
        }
    }
}

/// <summary>
/// Toggles the details of the given message.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="message">The message view model.</param>
private void ToggleDetails(ChatMessageViewModel message)
{
    message.ShowSenderName = !message.ShowSenderName;
    message.IsSentDateVisible = !message.IsSentDateVisible;
}

...

When the SelectedMessage we bound is changed, and not null, we toggle the ShowSenderName and the IsSentDateVisible to show/hide those views.

So the process looks like this:
– ViewCell is tapped
– ViewCell base call
– SelectedItem toggled
– SelectedMessage toggles the ViewModel properties
– Two way binding triggers to show / hide the inner views
– ViewCell ForceUpdateSize called
– ViewCell expands or collapses

And once again, we get a nice little effect like this!

ExpandingCell


If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

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Xamarin.Tip – Build Your Own CheckBox in Xamarin.Forms

So how many times have you looked this up? Maybe tried an open source control that didn’t quite work the way you wanted or was super restricted? Just used two different images and switch their IsVisible flag depending if it was tapped or not?
Screw that.

Here’s how you can build your own nice looking checkboxes for iOS and Android with Xamarin.Forms.

Getting Everything Together

So Android has a built in Checkbox view – so the decision on how to handle that is easy. However, iOS doesn’t like checkboxes… note sure why, but they don’t and don’t have a good built in UIControl for it. You could build your own, but I would suggest using BEMCheckbox: https://github.com/Boris-Em/BEMCheckBox

This thing looks good, works well, is super flexible, and well supported. Even better, our super awesome community has wrapped it in a good binding library and stuck it on NuGet!

GitHub: https://github.com/saturdaymp/XPlugins.iOS.BEMCheckBox
NuGet: https://www.nuget.org/packages/SaturdayMP.XPlugins.iOS.BEMCheckBox/

Let’s focus on using this for the iOS renderer, and get started building this damn thing once and for all.

The Xamarin.Forms Side

We’re going to need a bunch of properties for colors for different states, as well as a Command and Event for handling when the check changes. Here’s the class to encapsulate all that:

Checkbox.cs

using System;
using System.Windows.Input;
using Xamarin.Forms;
...

/// <summary>
/// A xamarin.forms custom checkbox control that will use native renderers under the hood
/// </summary>
public class Checkbox : View
{
    public event EventHandler OnCheckChanged;

    public static BindableProperty OutlineColorProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(OutlineColor), typeof(Color), typeof(Checkbox), Color.Black);
    public static BindableProperty InnerColorProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(InnerColor), typeof(Color), typeof(Checkbox), Color.White);
    public static BindableProperty CheckColorProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(CheckColor), typeof(Color), typeof(Checkbox), Color.Black);
    public static BindableProperty CheckedOutlineColorProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(CheckedOutlineColor), typeof(Color), typeof(Checkbox), Color.Black);
    public static BindableProperty CheckedInnerColorProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(CheckedInnerColor), typeof(Color), typeof(Checkbox), Color.White);
    public static BindableProperty IsCheckedProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(IsChecked), typeof(bool), typeof(Checkbox), false, BindingMode.TwoWay);
    public static BindableProperty CheckedCommandProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(CheckedCommand), typeof(ICommand), typeof(Checkbox), null);
    public static BindableProperty CheckedCommandParameterProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(CheckedCommandParameter), typeof(object), typeof(Checkbox), null);

    public object CheckedCommandParameter
    {
        get
        {
            return GetValue(CheckedCommandParameterProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(CheckedCommandParameterProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public ICommand CheckedCommand
    {
        get
        {
            return (ICommand)GetValue(CheckedCommandProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(CheckedCommandProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public bool IsChecked
    {
        get
        {
            return (bool)GetValue(IsCheckedProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(IsCheckedProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public Color CheckColor
    {
        get
        {
            return (Color)GetValue(CheckColorProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(CheckColorProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public Color InnerColor
    {
        get
        {
            return (Color)GetValue(InnerColorProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(InnerColorProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public Color OutlineColor
    {
        get
        {
            return (Color)GetValue(OutlineColorProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(OutlineColorProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public Color CheckedInnerColor
    {
        get
        {
            return (Color)GetValue(CheckedInnerColorProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(CheckedInnerColorProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public Color CheckedOutlineColor
    {
        get
        {
            return (Color)GetValue(CheckedOutlineColorProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(CheckedOutlineColorProperty, value);
        }
    }

    public void FireCheckChange()
    {
        OnCheckChanged?.Invoke(this, new CheckChangedArgs
        {
            IsChecked = IsChecked
        });
    }

    public class CheckChangedArgs : EventArgs
    {
        public bool IsChecked { get; set; }
    }
}

Now that we have a component set up to manage all the different colors and handle the checked state and events, we need to create native renderers to use and update these!

Let’s start with Android.

Android Checkbox Renderer

Android has a built in CheckBox control, so we can use that directly in our renderer. Here’s what that might look like:

AndroidCheckboxRenderer.cs

using System;
using Android.Content;
using Android.Content.Res;
using Android.Support.V7.Widget;
using Android.Widget;
using Xamarin.Forms;
using Xamarin.Forms.Platform.Android;
...

/// <summary>
/// Xamarin.Forms custom renderer for the Checkbox control
/// </summary>
public class CheckboxRenderer : ViewRenderer<Checkbox, AppCompatCheckBox>, CompoundButton.IOnCheckedChangeListener
{
    private const int DEFAULT_SIZE = 28;

    public CheckboxRenderer(Context context) : base(context)
    {
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Used for registration with dependency service to ensure it isn't linked out
    /// </summary>
    public static void Init()
    {
        // intentionally empty
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Update element bindable property from event
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="buttonView">Button view.</param>
    /// <param name="isChecked">If set to <c>true</c> is checked.</param>
    public void OnCheckedChanged(CompoundButton buttonView, bool isChecked)
    {
        ((IViewController)Element).SetValueFromRenderer(Checkbox.IsCheckedProperty, isChecked);
        Element.CheckedCommand?.Execute(Element.CheckedCommandParameter);
    }

    public override SizeRequest GetDesiredSize(int widthConstraint, int heightConstraint)
    {
        var sizeConstraint = base.GetDesiredSize(widthConstraint, heightConstraint);

        if (sizeConstraint.Request.Width == 0)
        {
            var width = widthConstraint;
            if (widthConstraint <= 0)
            {
                System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("Default values");
                width = DEFAULT_SIZE;
            }
            else if (widthConstraint <= 0)
            {
                width = DEFAULT_SIZE;
            }

            sizeConstraint = new SizeRequest(new Size(width, sizeConstraint.Request.Height),
                new Size(width, sizeConstraint.Minimum.Height));
        }

        return sizeConstraint;
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Called when the control is created or changed
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="e">E.</param>
    protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<Checkbox> e)
    {
        base.OnElementChanged(e);
        if (e.NewElement != null)
        {
            if (Control == null)
            {
                var checkBox = new AppCompatCheckBox(Context);

                if (Element.OutlineColor != default(Color))
                {
                    var backgroundColor = GetBackgroundColorStateList(Element.OutlineColor);
                    checkBox.SupportButtonTintList = backgroundColor;
                    checkBox.BackgroundTintList = GetBackgroundColorStateList(Element.InnerColor);
                    checkBox.ForegroundTintList = GetBackgroundColorStateList(Element.OutlineColor);

                }
                checkBox.SetOnCheckedChangeListener(this);
                SetNativeControl(checkBox);
            }

            Control.Checked = e.NewElement.IsChecked;
        }
    }


    protected override void OnElementPropertyChanged(object sender, System.ComponentModel.PropertyChangedEventArgs e)
    {
        base.OnElementPropertyChanged(sender, e);
        if (e.PropertyName == nameof(Element.IsChecked))
        {
            Control.Checked = Element.IsChecked;
        }
        else
        {
            var backgroundColor = GetBackgroundColorStateList(Element.CheckColor);
            Control.SupportButtonTintList = backgroundColor;
            Control.BackgroundTintList = GetBackgroundColorStateList(Element.InnerColor);
            Control.ForegroundTintList = GetBackgroundColorStateList(Element.OutlineColor);
        }
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Sync from native control
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="sender">Sender.</param>
    /// <param name="e">E.</param>
    private void CheckBoxCheckedChange(object sender, CompoundButton.CheckedChangeEventArgs e)
    {
        Element.IsChecked = e.IsChecked;
    }


    private ColorStateList GetBackgroundColorStateList(Color color)
    {
        return new ColorStateList(
            new[]
            {
                new[] {-global::Android.Resource.Attribute.StateEnabled}, // checked
                new[] {-global::Android.Resource.Attribute.StateChecked}, // unchecked
                new[] {global::Android.Resource.Attribute.StateChecked} // checked
            },
            new int[]
            {
                color.WithSaturation(0.1).ToAndroid(),
                color.ToAndroid(),
                color.ToAndroid()
            });
    }

}

This is basically just setting up the ColorStateList for the control based on the colors from the controls and then wiring up the state to and events to the Xamarin.Forms control we created and the native Android Checkbox.

Now let’s look at iOS.

iOS Checkbox Renderer

Unlike Android, iOS does NOT have any form of a Checkbox control. The most common workaround for this is to use a simple image of a check and a square and interchange them and manage the state. But we want more flexibility, animations, and all the fun stuff that comes with a fully built control.

Here’s how we solved this issue for this particular set of Controls – using the BEMCheckBox.

BEMCheckBox is a third party control from Boris-Em and our lovely Xamarin.Community has already created Bindings for it AND a NuGet package. Here are the links:

Be sure to install this NuGet package in your iOS project, and then we can get to work on the renderer:

iOSCheckboxRenderer.cs

using System;
using SaturdayMP.XPlugins.iOS;
using Xamarin.Forms;
using Xamarin.Forms.Platform.iOS;
...

/// <summary>
/// Xamarin.Forms custom renderer for the Checkbox control
/// </summary>
public class CheckboxRenderer : ViewRenderer<Checkbox, BEMCheckBox>
{
    private const int DEFAULT_SIZE = 28;

    /// <summary>
    /// Used for registration with dependency service to ensure it isn't linked out
    /// </summary>
    public static void Initialize()
    {
        // intentionally empty
    }


    public override SizeRequest GetDesiredSize(double widthConstraint, double heightConstraint)
    {
        var sizeConstraint = base.GetDesiredSize(widthConstraint, heightConstraint);

        if (sizeConstraint.Request.Width == 0)
        {
            var width = widthConstraint;
            if (widthConstraint <= 0)
            {
                System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("Default values");
                width = DEFAULT_SIZE;
            }
            else if (widthConstraint <= 0)
            {
                width = DEFAULT_SIZE;
            }

            sizeConstraint = new SizeRequest(new Size(width, sizeConstraint.Request.Height),
                new Size(width, sizeConstraint.Minimum.Height));
        }

        return sizeConstraint;
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Called when the control is created or changed
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="e">E.</param>
    protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<Checkbox> e)
    {
        base.OnElementChanged(e);
        if (e.NewElement != null)
        {
            if (Control == null)
            {
                var checkBox = new BEMCheckBox();

                checkBox.BoxType = BEMBoxType.Square;
                checkBox.OnAnimationType = BEMAnimationType.Fill;
                checkBox.OffAnimationType = BEMAnimationType.Fill;

                // set default colors
                UpdateColors(checkBox);

                SetNativeControl(checkBox);
            }

            Control.On = e.NewElement.IsChecked;
            Control.ValueChanged += Control_ValueChanged;
        }
    }

    protected override void OnElementPropertyChanged(object sender, System.ComponentModel.PropertyChangedEventArgs e)
    {
        base.OnElementPropertyChanged(sender, e);
        if(e.PropertyName == nameof(Element.IsChecked))
        {
            Control.On = Element.IsChecked; 
        }
        else
        {
            UpdateColors(Control);
        }
    }

    void Control_ValueChanged(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        Element.IsChecked = Control.On;
        Element.CheckedCommand?.Execute(Element.CheckedCommandParameter);
    }

    private void UpdateColors(BEMCheckBox nativeCheckBox)
    {
        nativeCheckBox.TintColor = Element.OutlineColor.ToUIColor();
        nativeCheckBox.OffFillColor = Element.InnerColor.ToUIColor();
        nativeCheckBox.OnFillColor = Element.CheckedInnerColor.ToUIColor();
        nativeCheckBox.OnTintColor = Element.CheckedOutlineColor.ToUIColor();
        nativeCheckBox.OnCheckColor = Element.CheckColor.ToUIColor();
    }
}

We follow the same sort of pattern as we did with the Android renderer, but this time we use the BEMCheckBox and wire up the colors, animation styles (which you can change to whatever you want), and setup the events and state.

Using the CheckBox

Now we can use this in our XAML with bindings and styles and everything. We can use it in lists for multi select, or anywhere else!

MainPage.xaml

...
 <StackLayout Orientation="Horizontal" Spacing="16">
    <components:Checkbox CheckedCommandParameter="{Binding .}" IsChecked="{Binding UseExistingAddress}" VerticalOptions="Center" OutlineColor="{DynamicResource PrimaryTextColor}" CheckedOutlineColor="{DynamicResource PrimaryTextColor}" CheckColor="{DynamicResource PrimaryColor}"  WidthRequest="{StaticResource CheckboxSize}" HeightRequest="{StaticResource CheckboxSize}"/>
    <Label Text="Use existing address" VerticalOptions="Center" Style="{DynamicResource BodySecondary}"/>
</StackLayout>
...

See how good it looks?

iOS with empty fill:
Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 12.05.31 PM
Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 12.03.19 PM

Android with fill:
Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 12.05.24 PM
Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 12.03.40 PM


If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Tip – Updating a Xamarin.Forms Button Style When Disabled

Ever wanted to change the way the Xamarin.Forms disabled button looks? For example, changing the background color and text color, or the shape?

Here’s a quick tip with no custom renderers to build a Xamarin.Forms Button that can have its style updated when the IsEnabled is set to false. The concept is basically to create a class that inherits from Button, and keep track of the original Style property, then add a BindableProperty for the style to apply when disabled, and flip between the two when IsEnabled changes.

Here is what that class looks like:

DisablingButton.cs

/// <summary>
/// Xamarin.Forms Button that allows for applying a different style when enabled.
/// </summary>
public class DisablingButton : Button
{
    private Style _normalStyle;

    public static readonly BindableProperty DisabledStyleProperty =
        BindableProperty.Create(nameof(DisabledStyle), typeof(Style), typeof(DisablingButton), null, BindingMode.TwoWay, null, (obj, oldValue, newValue) => { });

    public Style DisabledStyle
    {
        get { return (Style)GetValue(DisabledStyleProperty); }
        set { SetValue(DisabledStyleProperty, value); }
    }

    public DisablingButton()
    {
        _normalStyle = Style;

        PropertyChanged += ExtendedButton_PropertyChanged;

    }

    private void ExtendedButton_PropertyChanged(object sender, System.ComponentModel.PropertyChangedEventArgs e)
    {
        if (e.PropertyName == nameof(IsEnabled) && DisabledStyle != null)
        {
            if (IsEnabled)
                Style = _normalStyle;
            else
                Style = DisabledStyle;
        }
    }
}

So now we can use this with two different styles, and bind it all in our XAML. For example –

Styles.xaml

...
<Style x:Key="StickyBlueButton" TargetType="Button">
    <Setter Property="HeightRequest" Value="50"/>
    <Setter Property="BackgroundColor" Value="{DynamicResource BlueAccentColor}"/>
    <Setter Property="TextColor" Value="White"/>
    <Setter Property="BorderRadius" Value="0"/>
    <Setter Property="FontSize" Value="16"/>
    <Setter Property="FontAttributes" Value="Bold"/>
    <Setter Property="Margin" Value="0"/>
    <Setter Property="HorizontalOptions" Value="FillAndExpand"/>
    <Setter Property="FontFamily" Value="{StaticResource ProximaNovaBold}"/>
    <Setter Property="VerticalOptions" Value="End"/>
</Style>
<Style x:Key="StickyBlueButtonDisabled" TargetType="Button">
    <Setter Property="HeightRequest" Value="50"/>
    <Setter Property="BackgroundColor" Value="{DynamicResource LightGray}"/>
    <Setter Property="TextColor" Value="White"/>
    <Setter Property="BorderRadius" Value="0"/>
    <Setter Property="FontSize" Value="16"/>
    <Setter Property="FontAttributes" Value="Bold"/>
    <Setter Property="Margin" Value="0"/>
    <Setter Property="HorizontalOptions" Value="FillAndExpand"/>
    <Setter Property="FontFamily" Value="{StaticResource ProximaNovaBold}"/>
    <Setter Property="VerticalOptions" Value="End"/>
</Style>
...

and then use them in the page…

MainPage.xaml

...
<components:DisablingButton 
    IsEnabled="{Binding IsEnabled}"
    Command="{Binding CreateNewItemCommand}" 
    Style="{DynamicResource StickyBlueButton}" 
    DisabledStyle="{DynamicResource StickyBlueButtonDisabled}" 
    Text="Add item" />
...

And here’s what it looks like!

IsEnabled = true
Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 4.38.07 PM

IsEnabled = false
Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 4.41.59 PM


If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Tip – Build Your Own AccordionView in Xamarin.Forms

If you’re like me, you probably tried to find some decent “Accordion” style view for your Xamarin.Forms app. You probably found some on NuGet that aren’t supported anymore or some old GitHub repositories. Here’s my advice – give up the search and just give in and build your own. But you don’t have to do it alone! Here is a guide to build a simple but flexible and reusable AccordionView. If enough people like it, maybe we’ll put it up on NuGet for consumption.

Here’s the approach we are taking – We need a list of “sections”. Each Section has a header and the body content. For the sake of the simple example, we’ll do it with just a label body, but this could easily be done with a DataTemplate or more complicated view (I use the HtmlLabel for this irl https://github.com/matteobortolazzo/HtmlLabelPlugin).

Let’s create a view called AccordionSectionView:

AccordionSectionView.xaml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<ContentView xmlns="http://xamarin.com/schemas/2014/forms" xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2009/xaml" x:Class="YourNamespace.AccordionSectionView">
    <ContentView.Content>
        <StackLayout Orientation="Vertical" Spacing="0">
            <Grid x:Name="HeaderView">
                <Grid.ColumnDefinitions>
                    <ColumnDefinition Width="*"/>
                    <ColumnDefinition Width="48"/>
                </Grid.ColumnDefinitions>
                <Label x:Name="HeaderLabel"  VerticalOptions="Center" Margin="16" LineBreakMode="WordWrap" />
                <Label x:Name="IndicatorLabel" Style="{DynamicResource BodySecondaryBold}"  FontSize="32" VerticalOptions="Center" HorizontalOptions="Center" HorizontalTextAlignment="Center" VerticalTextAlignment="Center" Margin="0,16,16,16" Grid.Column="1"/>
                <Grid.GestureRecognizers>
                    <TapGestureRecognizer Tapped="Handle_Tapped"/>
                </Grid.GestureRecognizers>
            </Grid>
            <Grid x:Name="BodyView">
                <Label x:Name="BodyLabel" Style="{DynamicResource Body}" FontSize="16" Margin="16"/>
            </Grid>
        </StackLayout>
    </ContentView.Content>
</ContentView>

So we have a StackLayout with a container Grid for the header and our header has a TapGestureRecognizer.

Now let’s look at how the code behind wires it all up.

AccordionSectionView.xaml.cs

/// <summary>
/// Accordion section view.
/// </summary>
public partial class AccordionSectionView : ContentView
{
    #region Bindable Properties
    public static BindableProperty HeaderBackgroundColorProperty = 
        BindableProperty.Create(nameof(HeaderBackgroundColor),                                                                                                      
            typeof(Color),                                                                                                  
            typeof(AccordionSectionView),                                                                                              
            defaultValue: Color.Transparent,                                                                                               
            propertyChanged: (bindable, oldVal, newVal) =>                                                                                                       
            {                                                                                                    
                ((AccordionSectionView)bindable).UpdateHeaderBackgroundColor();                                                                                                
            });

        public static BindableProperty HeaderOpenedBackgroundColorProperty = 
            BindableProperty.Create(nameof(HeaderOpenedBackgroundColor),                                                                                                  
                typeof(Color),                                                                                                       
                typeof(AccordionSectionView),
                defaultValue: Color.Transparent,                                                                                                   
                propertyChanged: (bindable, oldVal, newVal) =>                                                                                               
                {                                                                                                  
                    ((AccordionSectionView)bindable).UpdateHeaderBackgroundColor();                                                                                              
                });

        public static BindableProperty HeaderTextColorProperty =
            BindableProperty.Create(nameof(HeaderTextColor),                                                                                        
                typeof(Color),                                                                                                 
                typeof(AccordionSectionView),                                                                                        
                defaultValue: Color.Black,                                                                                          
                propertyChanged: (bindable, oldVal, newVal) =>                                                                                         
                {                                                                                             
                    ((AccordionSectionView)bindable).UpdateHeaderTextColor((Color)newVal);                                                                                         
                });

        public static BindableProperty HeaderTextProperty =
            BindableProperty.Create(nameof(HeaderTextProperty),                                                                                    
                typeof(string),                                                                                    
                typeof(AccordionSectionView),                                                                                   
                propertyChanged: (bindable, oldVal, newVal) =>                                                                                   
                {                                                                                      
                    ((AccordionSectionView)bindable).UpdateHeaderText((string)newVal);                                                                                   
                });

        public static BindableProperty BodyTextColorProperty =
            BindableProperty.Create(nameof(BodyTextColor),                                                                                      
                typeof(Color),                                                                                      
                typeof(AccordionSectionView),                                                                                       
                defaultValue: Color.Black,                                                                                       
                propertyChanged: (bindable, oldVal, newVal) =>                                                                                       
                {                                                                                         
                    ((AccordionSectionView)bindable).UpdateBodyTextColor((Color)newVal)                                                                                     
                });

        public static BindableProperty BodyTextProperty = 
            BindableProperty.Create(nameof(BodyText),                                                                                 
                typeof(string),                                                                                  
                typeof(AccordionSectionView),                                                                                  
                propertyChanged: (bindable, oldVal, newVal) =>                                                                                  
                {                                                                                      
                    ((AccordionSectionView)bindable).UpdateBodyText((string)newVal);                                                                                 
                });


        public static BindableProperty IsBodyVisibleProperty = 
            BindableProperty.Create(nameof(IsBodyVisible),                                                                                             
                typeof(bool),                                                                                       
                typeof(AccordionSectionView),                                                                                      
                defaultValue: true,
                propertyChanged: (bindable, oldVal, newVal) =>                                                                                       
                {                                                                                           
                    ((AccordionSectionView)bindable).UpdateBodyVisibility((bool)newVal);                                                                                          
                });
    #endregion

    #region Public Properties
    public Color HeaderBackgroundColor
    {
        get
        {
            return (Color)GetValue(HeaderBackgroundColorProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(HeaderBackgroundColorProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public Color HeaderOpenedBackgroundColor
    {
        get
        {
            return (Color)GetValue(HeaderOpenedBackgroundColorProperty);
        }
        set
        {
                SetValue(HeaderOpenedBackgroundColorProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public Color HeaderTextColor
    {
        get
        {
            return (Color)GetValue(HeaderTextColorProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(HeaderTextColorProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public string HeaderText
    {
        get
        {
            return (string)GetValue(HeaderTextProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(HeaderTextProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public Color BodyTextColor
    {
        get
        {
            return (Color)GetValue(BodyTextColorProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(BodyTextColorProperty, value);
        }
    }
    public string BodyText
    {
        get
        {
            return (string)GetValue(BodyTextProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(BodyTextProperty, value);
        }
    }

    public bool IsBodyVisible
    {
        get
        {
            return (bool)GetValue(IsBodyVisibleProperty);
        }
        set
        {
            SetValue(IsBodyVisibleProperty, value);
        }
    }

    #endregion


    public AccordionSectionView()
    {
        InitializeComponent();
        IsBodyVisible = false; 
        if (Resources != null)
        {
            Resources.MergedWith = typeof(PrimaryTheme);
        }
        else
        {
            Resources = new ResourceDictionary
            {
                MergedWith = typeof(PrimaryTheme)
            };
        }
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Updates the color of the header background.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="color">Color.</param>
    public void UpdateHeaderBackgroundColor(Color color)
    {
        HeaderView.BackgroundColor = color;
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Updates the color of the header background.
    /// </summary>
    public void UpdateHeaderBackgroundColor()
    {
        if (IsBodyVisible)
        {
            HeaderView.BackgroundColor = HeaderOpenedBackgroundColor;
            BodyView.BackgroundColor = HeaderOpenedBackgroundColor;
        }
        else
        {
            HeaderView.BackgroundColor = HeaderBackgroundColor;
        }
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Updates the color of the header text.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="color">Color.</param>
    public void UpdateHeaderTextColor(Color color)
    {
        HeaderLabel.TextColor = color;
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Updates the color of the body text.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="color">Color.</param>
    public void UpdateBodyTextColor(Color color)
    {
        BodyLabel.TextColor = color;
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Updates the header text.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="text">Text.</param>
    public void UpdateHeaderText(string text)
    {
        HeaderLabel.Text = text;
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Updates the body text.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="text">Text.</param>
    public void UpdateBodyText(string text)
    {
        BodyLabel.Text = text;
    }

    public void UpdateBodyVisibility(bool isVisible)
    {
        BodyView.IsVisible = isVisible;
        IndicatorLabel.Text = "+";
        if(isVisible)
        {
            IndicatorLabel.RotateTo(45, 100);
        }
        else
        {
            IndicatorLabel.RotateTo(0, 100);
        }
    }

    private void Handle_Tapped(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    {
        IsBodyVisible = !IsBodyVisible;
        UpdateHeaderBackgroundColor();
    }
}

We start by wiring up some bindable properties for the look and feel of the header and body sections, and then handle animations of the IndicatorLabel when the body is opened and closed. These even lets us update the content when the body is opened or closed.

Now we can use this in our pages. Bonus points when used with me DynamicStackLayout control to create dynamic bindable accordions!

MainPage.xaml

...
 <suave:DynamicStackLayout x:Name="Accordion" Orientation="Vertical" ItemsSource="{Binding Items}" Spacing="1" BackgroundColor="{DynamicResource AlternateBackground}">
    <suave:DynamicStackLayout.ItemTemplate>
        <DataTemplate>
                <components:AccordionSectionView HeaderText="{Binding Title}" IsBodyVisible="False" HeaderBackgroundColor="White" HeaderOpenedBackgroundColor="{DynamicResource AlternateBackground}" HeaderTextColor="Black" BodyTextColor="Black" BodyText="{Binding HtmlContent}" />
        </DataTemplate>
    </suave:DynamicStackLayout.ItemTemplate>
</suave:DynamicStackLayout>
...

Now all together we have something pretty cool!
Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 4.40.34 PM


Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 4.40.48 PM

And that’s it! Let me know what you’ve done to build your own Accordions and collapsible views!



If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Tip – iOS CardView

We’ve talked here before plenty of times on ways we can bring Material Design to iOS, but mostly in the context of Xamarin.Forms. In this quick Xamarin.Tip, we will look at a super simple control to create a CardView in Xamarin.iOS – not Xamarin.Forms.

If you’re looking for the Xamarin.Forms implementation of this concept, check out this post: Xamarin.Tips – Making Your iOS Frame Shadows More Material

I may end up making a quick NuGet package for this control, even just to save me some time with implementing it over and over again, but don’t hold me to it.

Make Your Own CardView

The goal here is to create a view that fills the need of the Material Design CardView spec, and make it customizable within the storyboard editor (oh yeah, storyboard support is awesome).

This can all be achieved with a super simple class:

CardView.cs

    /// <summary>
    /// A simple view with child views to have a set shadow in design time.
    /// This can be imported into a storyboard or xib with these design time variables
    /// </summary>
    [Register("CardView"), DesignTimeVisible(true)]
    public class CardView : UIView
    {
        private float cornerRadius;
        private UIColor shadowColor;
        private int shadowOffsetHeight;
        private int shadowOffsetWidth;
        private float shadowOpacity;

        [DisplayName("Shadow Opacity"), Export("shadowOpacity"), Browsable(true)]
        public float ShadowOpacity
        {
            get { return shadowOpacity; }
            set
            {
                shadowOpacity = value;
                SetNeedsDisplay();
            }
        }

        [DisplayName("Shadow Offset Width"), Export("shadowOffsetWidth"), Browsable(true)]
        public int ShadowOffsetWidth
        {
            get { return shadowOffsetWidth; }
            set
            {
                shadowOffsetWidth = value;
                SetNeedsDisplay();
            }
        }

        [DisplayName("Shadow Offset Height"), Export("shadowOffsetHeight"), Browsable(true)]
        public int ShadowOffsetHeight
        {
            get { return shadowOffsetHeight; }
            set
            {
                shadowOffsetHeight = value;
                SetNeedsDisplay();
            }
        }

        [DisplayName("Corner Radius"), Export("CornerRadius"), Browsable(true)]
        public float CornerRadius
        {
            get { return cornerRadius; }
            set
            {
                cornerRadius = value;
                SetNeedsDisplay();
            }
        }

        [DisplayName("Shadow Color"), Export("ShadowColor"), Browsable(true)]
        public UIColor ShadowColor
        {
            get { return shadowColor; }
            set
            {
                shadowColor = value;
                SetNeedsDisplay();
            }
        }

        public CardView()
        {
            Initialize();
        }

        public CardView(NSCoder coder) : base(coder)
        {
            Initialize();
        }

        protected CardView(NSObjectFlag t) : base(t)
        {
            Initialize();
        }

        protected internal CardView(IntPtr handle) : base(handle)
        {
        }

        public CardView(CGRect frame) : base(frame)
        {
            Initialize();
        }


        public override void AwakeFromNib()
        {
            base.AwakeFromNib();
            Initialize();
        }

        private void Initialize()
        {
            ShadowColor = UIColor.Gray;
            CornerRadius = 0;
            ShadowOffsetHeight = 1;
            ShadowOffsetWidth = 0;
            ShadowOpacity = 0.2f;
            SetupCard();
        }

        private void SetupCard()
        {
            Layer.CornerRadius = CornerRadius;
            UIBezierPath bezierPath = UIBezierPath.FromRoundedRect(Bounds, CornerRadius);
            Layer.MasksToBounds = false;
            Layer.ShadowColor = ShadowColor.CGColor;
            Layer.ShadowOffset = new CGSize(shadowOffsetWidth, shadowOffsetHeight);
            Layer.ShadowOpacity = shadowOpacity;
            Layer.ShadowPath = bezierPath.CGPath;
        }

        public override void LayoutSubviews()
        {
            base.LayoutSubviews();
            SetupCard();
        }
    }

What’s going on here is that we register properties such as the CornerRadius and all the shadow properties, and also register the CardView class itself with decorator attributes DesignTimeVisible, Register, Export, and DisplayName.

So now, all we have to do is go to our storyboard, and change the class of a UIView to our CardView, then we will see these properties as options to edit.

You can now use the storyboard editor to add subview to the CardView and create a UI that is simply awesome, like this!
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 2.03.00 PM


If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Android Kotlin Basics – Passing Data Between Activities

About This Series

This “Android Kotlin Basics” blog series is all about fundamentals. We’ll take a look at the basics of building Android apps with Kotlin from the SUPER basics, to the standard basics, to the not-so-basics. We’ll also be drawing comparisons to how things are done in Kotlin vs. Java and some other programming languages to build Android apps (like C# and Xamarin or JavaScript/TypeScript for Hybrid implementations).

Check Out the Pluralsight Course!

If you like this series, be sure to check out my course on Pluralsight – Building Android Apps with Kotlin: Getting Started where you can learn more while building your own real-world application in Kotlin along the way. You can also join the conversation and test your knowledge throughout the course with learning checks through each module!

Watch it here: https://app.pluralsight.com/library/courses/building-android-apps-kotlin-getting-started/table-of-contents

Passing Data Between Activities

This topic is covered in depth in the course above, but in this post, we’ll quickly go over this basic, but very important concept when developing your Android mobile apps.

Let’s break it down first –

I Have No Idea What an “Activity” Is

Not to worry! Here’s the basic idea – it’s a construct (and a class in your code) that represents an entry point for your app and can be called into by your other Activities. You can think of an Activity as a contextual “page”, and thus your app will likely have multiple Activities.

Activities can do a lot, but for simplicity sake, we’ll only talk about the most common implementation which is this idea of a drawing a window of your application.

Starting an Activity

When you create your application, you’ll have to register your Activities to your Android manifest. Doing this tells the operating system which Activities you have in your app, where to find them, what they can do, and some other information we won’t get into in this topic.

That looks something like this:

AndroidManifest.xml

<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    package="org.alexdunn.wikipedia">
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET"/>
    <application
        android:name=".WikiApplication"
        android:allowBackup="true"
        android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher"
        android:label="@string/app_name"
        android:roundIcon="@mipmap/ic_launcher_round"
        android:supportsRtl="true"
        android:theme="@style/AppTheme.NoActionBar">
        <activity
            android:name=".activities.MainActivity"
            android:label="@string/title_activity_main">
            <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />

                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
            </intent-filter>
        </activity>
        <activity android:name=".activities.ArticleDetailActivity"></activity>
        <activity android:name=".activities.SearchActivity"></activity>
    </application>

</manifest>

This is a manifest with 3 Activities, MainActivity, SearchActivity, and ArticleDetailActivity.

Once all Activities are registered in the Manifest, we can start any of them from any other.

Let’s look at a quick example where we are in the MainActivity and want to start the SearchActivity on a button click:

MainActivity.kt

class MainActivity : Activity() {
    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        my_button.setOnClickListener {
            // create an "Intent"
            val searchIntent = Intent(this, SearchActivity::class.java)

            // start the activity with the intent
            startActivity(searchIntent)
        }
    }
}

So what’s this Intent object?

An Intent in Android is a construct to tell the operating system that your application is trying to execute something that needs to be communicated back to the application or a different application. This is used for many things outside just starting Activities – it can be used for executing Services, Activities, and BroadcastReceivers.

Here’s a quick diagram on how this works at a basic level:
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 11.02.59 AM.png

Adding Data to an Intent

So now we know we use Intents to start Activities (and do other things!), but how do we use them to actually send data to another Activity?

The Intent object has a the concept of a Extras . This means we can add different primitive datatypes to the Extras, or add Serializable data.

Here’s what that looks like in Kotlin!

// 1. create an intent from another activity
val intent = Intent(context, AnotherActivity::class.java)

// 2. put key/value data
intent.putExtra("message", "Hello From MainActivity")

// 3. start the activity with the intent
context.startActivity(intent)

The putExtra has many overloads, so play around with all the types of data you can add.

You can also add Bundles of data to group the data being sent up together:

// 1. create an intent from another activity
val intent = Intent(context, AnotherActivity::class.java)

// 2. put key/value data to bundle
val extras = Bundle()
extras.putString(“message”, “Hello from MainActivity”)
intent.putExtras(extras)

// 3. start the activity with the intent
context.startActivity(intent)

Reading Data From the Intent

Now when we use an intent to start an Activity, and add Extras, we need to be able to read those extras on the new Activity.

This works by using the intent property on the Activity. This intent property is set by the Operating System when starting the Activity, and sets it to the Intent that created it.

We usually use this data in the onCreate override, but you can use it wherever you want!

DetailActivity.kt

class DetailActivity : Activity() {
    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        // In onCreate get the value from the auto-mapped “intent”
        val message = intent.getStringExtra(“message”)

        // Or get it from the bundle and auto-mapped “extras”
        val message = intent.extras.getString(“message”)

        // now do something with the message value
    }
}

Conclusion

There’s plenty more you can do with these data structures in Android such as sending over full datatypes and reference types, receiving data back from the detail Activity, and so much more. Be sure to check out my course: Building Android Apps with Kotlin: Getting Started to learn so much more!


Also, let me know what else you’d like to learn about with Android and Kotlin! Either drop a comment here or tweet at me @Suave_Pirate!

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Tip – iOS Pill Button (with Storyboard Support)

Here’s another simple but useful control for Xamarin.iOS – the PillButton. The name describes it pretty well, it’s a button shaped like a pill or capsule and allows for managing the border color within your storyboard files by exposing an outlet for the color.

In the end, we want something that looks like this:
Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 2.45.59 PM

Let’s create a simple PillButton class:

PillButton.cs

    /// <summary>
    /// Pill button. A button in a capsule shape
    /// </summary>
    [Register("PillButton"), DesignTimeVisible(true)]
    public class PillButton : UIButton
    {
        [DisplayName("Border Color"), Export("BorderColor"), Browsable(true)]
        public UIColor BorderColor { get; set; } = UIColor.Clear;

        public PillButton(IntPtr handle)
            : base(handle)
        {

        }

        public PillButton(CGRect frame)
            : base(frame)
        {
            SetupBorder();
        }

        public override void AwakeFromNib()
        {
            base.AwakeFromNib();
            SetupBorder();
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Sets up the border radius and the color
        /// </summary>
        protected void SetupBorder()
        {
            Layer.BorderColor = BorderColor.CGColor;
            Layer.BorderWidth = 2;
            Layer.CornerRadius = Frame.Height / 2;
            Layer.MasksToBounds = true;
        }
    }

Let’s breakdown how this works:

  • We setup the border to use the Border color property and apply it to the layer
  • Apply the CornerRadius as 1/2 the height of the final frame
  • Call this SetupBorder() method from the constructor as well as in AwakeFromNib() which is called by the storyboard renderer.
  • We also need to decorate our class with a Register and DesignTimeVisible attribute in order for it to be usable in the storyboard
  • Lastly we need to decorate our BorderColor property with [DisplayName("Border Color"), Export("BorderColor"), Browsable(true)] so it can be used in the storyboard as well.

Now in our storyboard files, we can drag and drop a UIButton on the ViewController, then set the class to our PillButton, and once we do we can see the property exposed for the BorderColor:
Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 2.47.41 PM

Also, we can even see these applied in our storyboard so that it really does look like it will in the app:

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 2.47.17 PM

And that’s it! The moral of the story is to not be afraid to subclass controls to make your life easier when re-using them. It’s a normal practice in iOS development, and that practice comes right on over to our Xamarin.iOS development!


If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.