Android Apps with Liferay Screens

Liferay Screens speeds up and simplifies developing native mobile apps that use Liferay. Its power lies in its Screenlets. A Screenlet is a visual component that you insert into your native app to leverage Liferay Portal’s content and services. On Android, Screenlets are available to log in to your portal, create accounts, submit forms, display content, and more. You can use any number of Screenlets in your app; they’re independent, so you can use them in modular fashion. Screenlets on Android also deliver UI flexibility with pluggable Views that implement elegant user interfaces. Liferay’s reference documentation for Android Screenlets describes each Screenlet’s features and Views.

You might be thinking, “These Screenlets sound like the greatest thing since taco Tuesdays, but what if they don’t fit in with my app’s UI? What if they don’t behave exactly how I want them to? What if there’s no Screenlet for what I want to do?” Fret not! You can customize Screenlets to fit your needs by changing or extending their UI and behavior. You can even write your own Screenlets! What’s more, Screens seamlessly integrates with your existing Android projects.

Figure 1: Heres an app that uses a Liferay Screens Sign Up Screenlet.

Figure 1: Here's an app that uses a Liferay Screens Sign Up Screenlet.

Screenlets leverage the Liferay Mobile SDK to make server calls. The Mobile SDK is a low-level layer on top of the Liferay JSON API. To write your own Screenlets, you must familiarize yourself with Liferay’s remote services. If no existing Screenlet meets your needs, consider customizing an existing Screenlet, creating a Screenlet, or directly using the Mobile SDK. Creating a Screenlet involves writing Mobile SDK calls and constructing the Screenlet; if you don’t plan to reuse or distribute the implementation then you may want to forgo writing a Screenlet and, instead, work with the Mobile SDK. A benefit of integrating an existing Screenlet into your app, however, is that the Mobile SDK’s details are abstracted from you.

These tutorials show you how to use, customize, create, and distribute Screenlets for Android. They show you how to create Views too. There’s even a tutorial that explains the nitty-gritty details of the Liferay Screens architecture. No matter how deep you want to go, you’ll use Screenlets in no time. Start by preparing your Android project to use Liferay Screens.

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