Part 2 - Supporting pre-Honeycomb Android using Support Packages

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last updated: 2017-10

The Android Support Package consists of libraries that back port some of the new API's – such as fragments – to older versions of Android. So by adding the Android Support Package, we can run our application on Android 2.3 devices, as shown by the following screens:

Fragments Walkthrough screenshot

Details Activity screenshot

Adding the Support Package

The Android Support Package is not automatically added to a Xamarin.Android application. Xamarin provides the Android Support Library v4 NuGet package to simplify adding the support libraries to a Xamarin.Android application. To include the support packages into your Xamarin.Android application include the Android Support Library v4 component into your Xamarin.Android project, as illustrated in the following screenshot:

Adding the Android Support Library v4 package

Once the package has been added, change the target framework to Android 2.2 or higher:

Screenshot of changing the Target Framework API level

Also, ensure that the minimum Android version targets the same API level:

Screenshot of setting the Minimum Android version

Change MainActivity to derive from FragmentActivity

Any Activity that uses fragments must inherit from Xamarin.Support.V4.App.FragmentActivity. This class is a necessary part of the Support Package because it allows fragments to be hosted by activities, regardless of the version of Android. MainActivity requires only one small change—it must now inherit from Android.Support.V4.App.FragmentActivity:

[Activity(Label = "Fragments Walkthrough", MainLauncher = true, Icon = "@drawable/launcher")]
public class MainActivity : Android.Support.V4.App.FragmentActivity
   protected override void OnCreate(Bundle bundle)

Change DetailsActivity to derive from FragmentActivity

DetailsActivity must also be changed from an Activity to a FragmentActivity. As FragmentManager is not compatible with pre-Honeycomb versions of Android, the Android Support Package includes a wrapper class, SupportFragmentManager, that provides backward compatibility. Each FragmentActivity has a SupportFragmentManager property, and DetailsActivity is changed to use the SupportFragmentManager instead of the FragmentManager:

[Activity(Label = "Details Activity")]
public class DetailsActivity : Android.Support.V4.App.FragmentActivity
   protected override void OnCreate(Bundle bundle)
       var index = Intent.Extras.GetInt("index", 0);
       var details = DetailsFragment.NewInstance(index);
       var fragmentTransaction = SupportFragmentManager.BeginTransaction(); // Notice the change from FragmentManager to SupportFragmentManager
       fragmentTransaction.Add(Android.Resource.Id.Content, details);

After we complete these changes, we now have an application that can run on Android 1.6 and higher, and that uses fragments to adjust our UI to the size of our target device.

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