Discover how to add a dynamic search bar to your Android app with easy-to-follow code examples.

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Setting up the Android project
  3. Creating the search bar layout
  4. Adding search functionality to the app
  5. Displaying search results
  6. Customizing the search bar
  7. Conclusion


If you're building an Android app, you know how important it is to have a search bar that allows users to quickly find the content they want. But adding a dynamic search bar to your app can seem daunting at first. Fortunately, with the right tools and some easy-to-follow code examples, you can create a search bar that is both functional and user-friendly.

In this tutorial, we'll walk you through the steps of adding a dynamic search bar to your Android app. We'll cover everything from creating the layout for your search bar to implementing the search functionality using Java code. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced app developer, you'll find all the information you need to get started.

Before we begin, it's important to note that there are many different ways to implement a search bar in an Android app. The method we'll be using in this tutorial is just one of many, but we believe it's one of the easiest and most effective approaches. So, let's dive in and start building our dynamic search bar!

Setting up the Android project

To set up your Android project with a dynamic search bar, you will need to make sure that you have the appropriate software installed on your system. Before starting, you should have the latest version of Android Studio, which you can download and install for free from the official Android website.

Once you have the necessary software installed, launch Android Studio and create a new project. You can choose any project name and package name that you like, and select the language you prefer to use. When prompted, select "Empty Activity" as your project template.

After your project has been created, you can now begin implementing the dynamic search bar for your Android app. One approach is to use the built-in SearchView widget, which allows the user to input a query and search for specific content within your app.

To add the SearchView widget to your app, you will need to edit your main layout XML file and include the following code:

    android:layout_height="wrap_content" />

This creates a new SearchView widget that takes up the entire width of the screen and adjusts its height automatically based on the content it contains. You can customize other properties of the widget as necessary, such as its background color, text size, and placeholder text.

Next, you will need to add some code to your main activity class to handle the user's search queries. This can be done by implementing the OnQueryTextListener interface and overriding its onQueryTextSubmit and onQueryTextChange methods.

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity implements SearchView.OnQueryTextListener {

    private SearchView searchView;

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        searchView = findViewById(;

    public boolean onQueryTextSubmit(String query) {
        // Handle search query submission
        return true;

    public boolean onQueryTextChange(String newText) {
        // Handle search query text changes
        return true;

In this example, we define a new MainActivity class that extends the AppCompatActivity base class and implements the OnQueryTextListener interface. We also define a private member variable called searchView, which represents the SearchView widget we added earlier.

Within the onCreate method, we retrieve a reference to the searchView widget using its ID and set the current activity as its OnQueryTextListener. This allows us to handle the user's search queries in the onQueryTextSubmit and onQueryTextChange methods.

In the onQueryTextSubmit method, we can handle the user's search query submission by performing a search operation with the entered search term. Similarly, in the onQueryTextChange method, we can update our search results as the user types in their search query.

With these steps completed, you should now have a functional dynamic search bar for your Android app. You can continue to customize and improve the search functionality as needed, such as by adding search suggestions or filtering search results.

Creating the search bar layout

To create the search bar layout for your Android app, you will need to start with a RelativeLayout in your XML code. Inside the RelativeLayout, you will add an EditText view and a Button view, both set to align with the parent's top and center horizontally.

For the EditText view, you will need to set its width to "match_parent" and its height to a specific value, such as 50dp. You can also add some padding to the left and right side of the EditText to make it look more visually appealing.

Next, you will need to add a drawable for the search icon to the right of the EditText view. This drawable can be added using the android:drawableRight attribute in your XML code. You can also customize the look of the search icon by creating your own drawable and adding it to your project's resources.

Finally, you will need to add an on-click listener to the Button view that executes a search function when the user clicks it. This function should take the text entered in the EditText view as input and search for it in your app's data or content.

Overall, for your Android app is a fairly simple process that can be accomplished with just a few lines of XML code. With the right design and functionality, your search bar can greatly enhance the user experience of your app and make it easier for users to find the information they need.

Adding search functionality to the app

can greatly enhance its user experience. One way to add this feature is through a dynamic search bar. In Android, this can be achieved using the SearchView widget from the AppCompat library.

To add a dynamic search bar to your app, start by adding the SearchView widget to your app's layout file. This can be done using the following code:

    app:layout_constraintRight_toRightOf="parent" />

Next, you will need to set up a SearchView.OnQueryTextListener to handle user input and perform the search. This can be done using the following code:

SearchView searchView = findViewById(;
searchView.setOnQueryTextListener(new SearchView.OnQueryTextListener() {
    public boolean onQueryTextSubmit(String query) {
        // Perform search action here
        return false;
    public boolean onQueryTextChange(String newText) {
        // Filter results as user types
        return false;

In the onQueryTextSubmit method, you can perform the search action using the user's input. This could involve querying a database or filtering a list of results. In the onQueryTextChange method, you can filter results as the user types, providing real-time feedback to the user.

By adding a dynamic search bar to your app, you can greatly improve its usability and help users find the content they are looking for more easily. With these easy-to-follow code examples, you can add this feature with ease and take your app to the next level.

Displaying search results

is an important aspect of adding a dynamic search bar to your Android app. Once the user enters their search query and hits enter, the app should display a list of results that match the query. This can be achieved by using a ListView or RecyclerView to display the results.

To implement this functionality, you will first need to retrieve the search query entered by the user. This can be done by accessing the SearchView widget's OnQueryTextListener interface and overriding the onQueryTextSubmit() method. Inside this method, you can retrieve the query using the query parameter and execute a search using this query.

Once you have retrieved the search results, you will need to display them in a list. To do this, you can use a ListView or RecyclerView. The ListView is a predefined layout that allows you to display a vertical list of results with a predefined view for each item. The RecyclerView, on the other hand, is a more flexible layout that allows you to customize the layout and display of each item in the list.

To use a ListView or RecyclerView, you will need to create a custom adapter that takes in the search results and populates the list with the appropriate items. This adapter can be created by extending either the BaseAdapter or RecyclerView.Adapter classes and implementing the appropriate methods.

Finally, you will need to set the adapter to the ListView or RecyclerView in order to display the search results to the user. This can be done using the setAdapter() method.

Overall, in your Android app requires a combination of retrieving the search query, executing the search, and populating a ListView or RecyclerView with the results. By following these steps and using the appropriate code, you can add this important functionality to your app and provide users with a seamless search experience.

To customize the search bar in your Android app, you can use the SearchView widget provided by the Android SDK. This widget allows you to control the appearance and behavior of the search bar, allowing you to tailor it to your app's specific needs.

One way to customize the search bar is to change its color scheme. To do this, you can use the setSearchableInfo() method to create a SearchableInfo object and set its icon and color properties. This will change the icon and text color of the search bar to match your app's color scheme.

You can also customize the underlying search functionality by implementing a custom SearchableActivity. This can be done by extending the SearchableActivity class and overriding its methods to provide your own search logic. This allows you to implement custom search filters, suggestions, and other features based on the specific needs of your app.

Overall, in your Android app can be a powerful way to improve your app's usability and functionality. By using the SearchView widget and implementing custom search logic, you can create a search feature that is tailored to your app's needs and provides a seamless user experience for your users.


Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to add a dynamic search bar to your Android app using easy-to-follow code examples. We hope that these examples have helped you to understand the concepts of implementing a search bar in your app.

Remember to keep your code modular and easy to understand. Additionally, test your app thoroughly after adding any new features to ensure that everything works as expected.

With the knowledge gained from this tutorial, you can now refine your Android apps with dynamic search bars that add a whole new level of functionality and user experience. Good luck with your future Android app development projects!

As a seasoned software engineer, I bring over 7 years of experience in designing, developing, and supporting Payment Technology, Enterprise Cloud applications, and Web technologies. My versatile skill set allows me to adapt quickly to new technologies and environments, ensuring that I meet client requirements with efficiency and precision. I am passionate about leveraging technology to create a positive impact on the world around us. I believe in exploring and implementing innovative solutions that can enhance user experiences and simplify complex systems. In my previous roles, I have gained expertise in various areas of software development, including application design, coding, testing, and deployment. I am skilled in various programming languages such as Java, Python, and JavaScript and have experience working with various databases such as MySQL, MongoDB, and Oracle.
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