I am still fairly new to programming in general and android specifically. I am working on an app that currently runs fine and does everything its supposed to do, but its only a skeleton of the app I would like to make. Right now, my TextViews, Buttons, etc are all arbitrarily placed just so I can see them and use them to develop the app. I am now getting to the point that I have to create the background, colors, etc and I'm not even sure what the correct terms are to search the forums and tutorials on how to do it.

I'm not looking to do anything fancy like 3D graphics, but I would like my game to look more professional than Barcode Beasties . Maybe something closer to this .

What are the views/styles that they use and could you help me out with a bit of the correct terminology so I can figure out what I have to learn to do this? What do I need to do to get my app that consists of standard views to the next level?

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    \$\begingroup\$ How are you loading the textviews, buttons etc? Are you using an XML layout or are you doing something like TextView tv = new TextView(this); ? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 15, 2012 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SpoonThumb I'm using an XML layout. I understand how to arrange the views, but not how to augment them so they look more natural and like a game rather than a stale program. \$\endgroup\$
    – willmer
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 21:49

1 Answer 1


First step is to give your different views a background: android:background="@drawable/mypicture in the XML layout

You can also make any view into a button by giving it an onClick attribute (or doing findViewById().setOnClickListener in your code), so you don't necessarily have to use buttons to do things (in fact I don't use buttons at all)

There is a guide about styling and themes here: http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/themes.html

Finally, to give views those nice rounded corners without the background images getting all horribly stretched, check out nine-patch images http://developer.android.com/guide/developing/tools/draw9patch.html

I hope that helps / I've not been patronising


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