Gestures in Jetpack Compose: Getting Began


Learn to implement completely different gestures in Jetpack Compose and supply your app an intuitive person expertise.

Gestures are important to a cellular app as a result of they foster an intuitive person expertise and create a cleaner interface. Do away with clunky UI and use frequent gesture interplay to make your app extra pleasant. Small modifications could make your app higher.

Migrating from XML-based layouts to Compose has modified a lot of how we create gestures. On this tutorial, you’ll learn to set up the next gestures within the new Jetpack Compose paradigm:

  • How to reply to single faucets on buttons and different view sorts.
  • Dealing with double faucets on record objects.
  • Scrolling lists of uniform objects and nonuniform objects.
  • Swiping to dismiss content material in lists.

Getting Began

You’ll be working by means of a to-do record app to raised perceive frequent gestures and the way to combine them in Compose.

Use the Obtain Supplies button on the prime or backside of this tutorial to obtain the mission. Open the starter mission in Android Studio. You’ll see the preliminary display screen for the to-do record app:

Image showing the initial todo-list screen

Should you begin exploring the information, Inside ui folder, you’ll see two major composables: TodoListComposable.kt and TodoEditorComposable.kt. These are the 2 major screens that present an inventory of to-do objects, and an editor so as to add objects and modify earlier ones.

But, you possibly can’t work together with something within the app at this level. You’ll replace that with the ability of gestures.

Introduction to Jetpack Compose Gestures

Should you’ve been growing UI in XML-based layouts, you would possibly marvel the way to add listeners to Jetpack Compose elements. For probably the most half, you don’t must. Slightly than including listeners to inflated views, whereas working with Jetpack Compose, you possibly can add gesture modifiers and gesture callbacks on to the composables if you declare them.

Detecting Faucets

Faucets are the only and most vital type of interplay in cellular apps. They signify a single finger press and launch to point choice. In your app, they’re essential to work together with the entire buttons and to-do record objects.

Single Tapping

First, open TodoListComposable.kt and change the TODO: Add click on occasion remark contained in the onClick callback.

onClick = { navController.navigate(Locations.EDITOR_ROUTE) },

This may now navigate to the editor display screen for a brand new to-do merchandise creation.

Subsequent, add this callback in TodoEditorComposable.kt to interchange the TODO: Add click on occasion remark within the save Button:

onClick = {
  todo?.let {
    // Replace merchandise if it already exists
    todoEditorViewModel.updateTodo(todo, title = title.worth, content material = content material.worth)
  } ?: run {
    // Add new merchandise if one does not exist already
    todoEditorViewModel.saveTodo(title = title.worth, content material = content material.worth)

  // Navigate again to the to-do record display screen after saving modifications

This motion saves a brand new occasion — if the display screen was navigated to with no to-do merchandise however simply updates the merchandise if one was handed. It then returns to the to-do record by popping the again stack.

Now, add a clickable modifier to the to-do record merchandise in TodoListComposable.kt the place it asks TODO: Add clickable modifier.

.clickable {

This makes use of Compose navigation to navigate to the editor display screen and move the to-do merchandise ID as a navigation argument. Be aware that we added the clickable modifier to the complete row. It should open the editor for the merchandise on click on.

Construct and run the app. You need to be capable of work together with the entire buttons and the to-do record now.

Gif demonstrating tap interactions

You could possibly add the clickable modifier to a component throughout the row to make a sure part clickable. Solely that component would set off the motion.

Now it’s time to study the double faucet!

Double Tapping to Star

The subsequent function you’ll work on is making to-do record components “star-able” with the intention to draw consideration to them. Within the present app, a single click on isn’t attainable as a result of it opens the editor. You possibly can add an empty star button that the person might faucet as soon as to star the merchandise, however that may start to bloat the UI. As a substitute we are able to use one other frequent gesture — double tapping.

Double faucets are added inside a barely completely different modifier than the extra generic button onClick. Add the next modifier to the road in TodoListComposable.kt labeled TODO: Add pointer enter modifier.

.pointerInput(Unit) {
    onDoubleTap = { todoListViewModel.toggleStarred(merchandise) }

The detectTapGestures operate permits extra flexibility to detect faucet inputs, which embody:

  • onPress — the preliminary press down of a faucet is first detected.
  • onDoubleTap — two faucets in fast succession.
  • onLongPress — a single press held down.
  • onTap — after a single press and launch.

Utilizing these extra gestures permits you to broaden the vary of interactions with much less extra code.

As a result of the detectTapGestures modifier can even settle for single faucets, you possibly can eliminate the clickable modifier and add that motion to the detectTapGestures operate, if you wish to clear up the code a bit.

.pointerInput(Unit) {
    onTap = { 
    onDoubleTap = { todoListViewModel.toggleStarred(merchandise) }

Construct and run the app. It ought to star and unstar a row on double faucet.

Gif demonstrating double tap to star

Dealing with Scrolling Gestures

You possibly can solely show just a few objects without delay, after which it’s important to scroll to indicate what’s off-screen. Scrolling performs a job of an important gesture right here.

Default Scrolling Habits

Making content material scrollable occurs in two major methods: By placing it in a Column/Row or in a LazyColumn/LazyRow. An everyday Column/Row isn’t scrollable by default, however we have now a modifier for that!

LazyColumn/LazyRow are scrollable by default however sometimes are solely used for homogenous lists of components or lengthy lists that couldn’t render .

At present, each the record display screen and the editor display screen are applied with Columns, which doesn’t help scrolling. That may trigger main dysfunctions with the app. You could have a collection of repeating components on the record display screen, which is an efficient spot for a LazyColumn.

In TodoListComposable.kt, discover the // TODO: Change to LazyColumn remark and change the present Column implementation with the next LazyColumn:

LazyColumn(modifier = Modifier.padding(16.dp), content material = { 
  objects(objects) {
    TodoListItem(it, todoListViewModel, navController)

This code is nearly equivalent to the earlier code, besides it makes use of LazyColumn as an alternative of Column to benefit from the automated scrolling. It makes use of the built-in objects operate to generate an inventory of homogenous components from an inventory of knowledge.

And similar to that, the to-do record scrolls! You possibly can take a look at it by including a bunch of recent to-dos utilizing the plus button on the record display screen:

Gif demonstrating how to add a new item

And after you have sufficient, you possibly can drag the record up and down:

Gif demonstrating list scrolling

The editor display screen doesn’t have repeating components, however it’s going to nonetheless be useful to have it scrollable in case the enter content material ever spreads past the display screen. You possibly can add an everyday scrollable modifier to the Column containing editor inputs with the intention to enable scrolling off display screen.

Open TodoEditorComposable.kt and change the // TODO: Add vertical scroll code with the next modifier.


This enables the Column to scroll when content material goes off the display screen and supplies a state holder to retailer the scroll place and deal with recomposition.

Construct and run the app. Now you possibly can write a complete manuscript within the to-do merchandise and be capable of see all of it.

Gif demonstrating editor scrolling

Swipe to Dismiss

You continue to want a solution to take away to-do objects with out including extra buttons and holding your UI tidy and exquisite!

A ceaselessly used gesture for this use case is “swipe to dismiss.” It really works by dragging a component both to the left or proper and as soon as the merchandise passes a sure threshold, it slides off the display screen and triggers an motion.

That is such a standard use that it’s now a part of the androidx.compose.materials library as its personal composable. Step one is to create a state holder throughout the record merchandise’s composable. You possibly can add the next code on the TODO: Add swipe to dismiss state in TodoListComposable.kt.

val dismissState = rememberDismissState(confirmStateChange = {
  if (it == DismissValue.DismissedToEnd) {

This creates the motion related to the SwipeToDismiss part. It should set off when the component is swiped, calling the view mannequin technique to take away the row merchandise.

Subsequent, add the SwipeToDismiss part. In TodoListComposable.kt, change TODO: Wrap with swipe to dismiss and the TodoListRowContent operate name with:

  state = dismissState,
  dismissThresholds = { FractionalThreshold(0.5f) },
  instructions = setOf(DismissDirection.StartToEnd),
  // TODO: Add prime layer UI
  // TODO: Add backside layer UI
  • The state argument passes the SwipeToDismiss state holder, which triggers state change actions.
  • The threshold prevents triggering the state till the component has been dragged by a sure proportion of the display screen. On this case, the row should be over 50% of the display screen earlier than it’s dismissed.
  • Lastly, the instructions tells the part to solely enable drag from left to proper. If the person tries to pull the opposite means, it’s going to nudge in that course earlier than returning to its common place. It’s helpful as a result of you may want context-specific actions reminiscent of archiving if a person drags to the left and deleting if a person drags to the proper. Should you add extra instructions right here, you should additionally replace the state holder to deal with these state modifications.

Now you possibly can add the UI portion of the composable. Add the next snippet as an argument to SwipeToDismiss the place the TODO: Add prime layer UI is.

dismissContent = {
  TodoListRowContent(merchandise, todoListViewModel, navController)

The UI for SwipeToDismiss consists of two layers: the prime layer row content material and the background content material that’s uncovered when the highest layer is swiped away. The dismissContent is the highest degree content material whereas the background is the layer beneath it, which is seen on swipe.

On this case, you possibly can add a trash icon for the background to point that the dismiss motion will take away the component from the record. Add the next beneath the dismissContent argument.

background = {
    painterResource(id = R.drawable.ic_baseline_delete_outline_24),
    modifier = Modifier
    contentDescription = null,
    tint = Coloration.Purple

This provides a trash icon behind the unique row content material so when the person swipes the row, the intent of the motion shall be clear.

You possibly can run the app now and see your new swipe-to-dismiss gesture. Nevertheless, you would possibly discover one ultimate gotcha.

If you swipe to delete an merchandise, it doesn’t swipe off display screen fully. That’s as a result of the composable objects are being recycled within the LazyColumn, however the underlying information set modifications aren’t capable of convey the recomposition. To inform the LazyColumn the underlying information ought to recompose the component, replace the LazyColumn merchandise creation with:

objects(objects, key = { }) {

The important thing related to information ID tells the LazyColumn that every information component ought to correspond to its personal composable and will refresh the composable when the info modifications. Construct and run the app. You need to see the swipe-to-dismiss working like a appeal!

Gif demonstrating swipe to dismiss

The place to Go From Right here?

You possibly can obtain the ultimate mission by utilizing the Obtain Supplies button on the prime or backside of this tutorial.

The gestures coated on this tutorial ought to get you thru most eventualities, but when you might want to implement others, try the Official Documentation.

You can also proceed studying about Jetpack Compose from the Jetpack Compose by Tutorials ebook.

Proceed your Jetpack Compose journey. A lot stays to discover. :]

If in case you have any questions or feedback, please be a part of the discussion board dialogue beneath!


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