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Posted 10 Oct 2013


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MonoAndroid: Calling secondary activity

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21 Nov 2013CPOL4 min read
Let's understand calling secondary activity and returning data from it.


In this article I will try to explain activating\starting second activity from MainActivity, which would be our Step1 and in second step we will discuss returning data from second activity to main activity. I would be using MonoAndroid to build this application and for previous articles in series, please refer bottom part of article.

In this article, I will create Indian film star biography application, where main activity will contain ListView which will display small image and name of the film star and on clicking on the item will new activity which will display information like age and brief biography of selected film star.

Step by step we move forward

  1. Create Android application by selecting New ->Solutions and provide its name “CallingSecondActivity” 
  2. Now do following changes in the the Main.axml file under Layout, after adding  UI code, it looks something like this:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <LinearLayout xmlns:android=""
            android:id="@+id/lstFlimStars" />

    In this layout, i have added ListView, which i would fill with name and small image of filmstar's.

  3. Now add class by name FlimStarInformationModal and inherit from abstract generic class Java.Lang.Object, here is code for FlimStarInformationModal class.. Once added the code  look like this:
    public class FlimStarInformationModal :Java.Lang.Object
        public string FilmStarName {get;set;}
        public int FlimStarImageID {get;set;}
        public int FlimStarIconImageID {get;set;}
        public string FilmStarBio {get;set;}
        public string FilmStarAge { get; set;}

    Each object of this model class will be used by listview and secondary activity to display data.

  4. Since we don’t have database or web-service to get data, I have created a method in MainActivity, where we have hard-coded data for displaying it in different UI control.
    void CreateProjectDS ()
        _lstFlimStarInfo = new List<flimstarinformationmodal> ();
        _lstFlimStarInfo.Add (new FlimStarInformationModal () {
            FilmStarName = "Amitabh Bachan",
            FilmStarAge = "71 Year Old",
            FlimStarImageID = Resource.Drawable.ABSR,
            FlimStarIconImageID = Resource.Drawable.ABSRIco,
            FilmStarBio = "Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan (born 11 October 1942) is an Indian film actor. 
              He first gained popularity in the early 1970s as the \"angry young man\" 
              of Hindi cinema, and has since appeared in over 180 Indian films in a career spanning 
              more than four decades. Bachchan is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most 
              influential actors in the history of Indian cinema.So total was his dominance of the 
              movie scene in the 1970s and 1980s that the French director Francois Truffaut called 
              him a \"one-man industry\"." +
             "shares with Kamal Hassan and Mammootty), a number of awards at international 
             film festivals and award ceremonies and fourteen Filmfare Awards. 
             He is the most-nominated performer in any major acting category at Filmfare, 
             with 39 nominations overall. In addition to acting, Bachchan has worked as a 
             playback singer, film producer and television presenter. He also had a stint 
             in politics in the 1980s. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma 
             Shri in 1984 and the Padma Bhushan in 2001 for his contributions towards the arts.",
        _lstFlimStarInfo.Add (new FlimStarInformationModal () {
            FilmStarName = "Shahrukh Khan",
            FlimStarImageID = Resource.Drawable.SRK,
            FlimStarIconImageID = Resource.Drawable.SRKIco,
            FilmStarAge = "48 Year Old",
            FilmStarBio = "Shahrukh Khan (born 2 November 1965), often credited 
              as Shah Rukh Khan and informally referred as SRK, is an Indian film actor. 
              Referred to in the media as \"Badshah of Bollywood\", \"King Khan\" 
              and \"King of Romance\", Khan has acted in 75 Hindi films in genres ranging 
              from romantic dramas to action thrillers.[4][5][6][7] His contributions to the film 
              industry have garnered him numerous achievements, including fourteen Filmfare Awards 
              from thirty nominations. His eighth Filmfare Best Actor Award win made him the most 
              awarded Bollywood actor of all time in that category, tied only with actor Dilip Kumar. 
              In 2005, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri for his contributions 
              towards Indian cinema." +
            "Khan is considered to be one of the biggest film stars in cinematic history, 
              with a fan following claimed to number in the billions; in 2011, the Los Angeles 
              Times called him \"the world's biggest movie star.\"[19] He has also 
              been regularly featured in the listing of the most powerful names in Indian Cinema 
              and in 2008, Newsweek named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the world.[5] 
              Khan has an estimated net worth of over US $600 million(INR25 billion).",
        _lstFlimStarInfo.Add ( new FlimStarInformationModal () {
            FilmStarName = "Hrithik Roshan",
            FlimStarImageID = Resource.Drawable.HR,
            FlimStarIconImageID = Resource.Drawable.HRIco,
            FilmStarAge = "39 Year Old",
            FilmStarBio = "Hrithik Roshan (born on 10 January 1974) is an Indian film actor 
              and professional dancer.[1][2] Having appeared as a child actor in several 
              films throughout the 1980s, Roshan made his film debut in a leading role in 
              Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai in 2000. His performance in the film earned him Filmfare 
              Awards for Best Actor and Best Male Debut. He followed it with leading roles in Fiza 
              and Mission Kashmir (both released in 2000) and a supporting part in the blockbuster 
              Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)" +
            "Following through with several unnoticed performances from 2002 to 2003, he starred 
              in the blockbusters Koi... Mil Gaya (2003) and its sequel Krrish (2006), 
              both of which won him numerous Best Actor awards.[3] Roshan received his 
              third Filmfare Award for Best Actor in 2006 for his performance in the action 
              film Dhoom 2, and his fourth for Jodhaa Akbar[4] for which he was also awarded 
              at the Golden Minbar International Film Festival. He later received further 
              acclaim for his work in Guzaarish (2010), Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) 
              and Agneepath (2012), his biggest commercial success so far. These accomplishments 
              have established him as a leading contemporary actor of Hindi cinema.",
  5. Now, since we are using custom model class, we have to write custom adapter for ListView to display data inside it. You can read more about creating custom BaseAdapater here.

    Now code for our custom base adapter by name FlimStarAdapater looks like this:

    internal class FlimStarAdapater:BaseAdapter<FlimStarInformationModal>
        Activity _mainActivity;
        List<FlimStarInformationModal> _lstFlimStarInfo;
        public FlimStarAdapater (Activity mainActivity,
                  List<FlimStarInformationModal> lstFlimStarInfo)
            _mainActivity = mainActivity;
            _lstFlimStarInfo = lstFlimStarInfo;            
        #region implemented abstract members of BaseAdapter
        public override long GetItemId (int position)
            return position;
        public override View GetView (int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent)
            var currentObj = this [position];
            if (convertView == null)
                convertView =_mainActivity.LayoutInflater.Inflate (
            convertView.FindViewById<TextView> (Android.Resource.Id.Text1).Text = currentObj.FilmStarName;
            return convertView;
        public override int Count {
            get {
                return _lstFlimStarInfo != null ? _lstFlimStarInfo.Count : -1;
        #region implemented abstract members of BaseAdapter
        public override FlimStarInformationModal this [int index] {
            get {
                return _lstFlimStarInfo != null ? _lstFlimStarInfo[index] : null;

    Now our baseadapter is ready, data source is also ready, we can use following code to attach custom adapter to ListView in MainActivity.cs file.

    var lstvwObject = this.FindViewById<ListView> (Resource.Id.lstFlimStars);
    if (lstvwObject != null) {
        lstvwObject.Adapter = new FlimStarAdapater (this, _lstFlimStarInfo);
        lstvwObject.ItemClick += OnFilmStarListViewClickSA;

    The OnFilmStarListViewClickSA method will called when we click on item present in listview. Here we have written code for passing information second activity and starting it. FullInformationActivity is name of second activity class which will handle data sent by main activity.

    void OnFilmStarListViewClickSA  (object sender, AdapterView.ItemClickEventArgs e)
        Intent myIntent = new Intent (this, typeof(FullInformationActivity));
        var cItem = _lstFlimStarInfo[e.Position];
        myIntent.PutExtra ("FilmStarName", cItem.FilmStarName);
        myIntent.PutExtra("FlimStarImageID", cItem.FlimStarImageID);
        myIntent.PutExtra("FilmStarBio", cItem.FilmStarBio);
        myIntent.PutExtra("FilmStarAge", cItem.FilmStarAge);
  6. Now, add layout by name FullInformationLayout.xaml, which will act as UI frontend for FullInformationActivity.cs, add following code to it:
  7. XML
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <LinearLayout xmlns:android=""
                android:textColor="#FF00FF" />
                android:layout_below="@+id/lblName" />
                android:layout_marginBottom="4.0dp" />
                    android:textColor="#FF0000" />
                android:text="Go Back!"
                android:layout_marginTop="8.0dp" />

    UI Creation step is as follow:

    • Add RelativeLayout
    • Add TextView by id "@+id/lblName" inside RelativeLayout
    • Add another TextView by id "@+id/lblAge" and set RelativeLayout dependency property android:layout_below "@+id/lblName", placing below name textview
    • Add ImageView by id "@+id/ imageView1" and set RelativeLayout dependency property android: layout_toRightOf="@+id/lblName", placing right side of name textview 
    • Place button by id "@+id/btnGoBack" and set android:layout_alignParentBottom = "true", so that it gets placed at the bottom of the layout. 
    • Add ScrollView as chances of biography extending the screen are greater. Here I have set two RelativeLayout dependency android:layout_below="@+id/imageView1" and android:layout_above="@+id/btnGoBack", for placing ScrollView between ImageView and Button
    • Last, but not the least, add TextView by id "@+id/lblBiography", which will display the filmstar biography
    • I have set UI control layout margin, to make UI looks good.

    Once created, UI looks like this

    Called Activity UI
    Image 1
  8. Now add activity class by name FullInformationActivity, which will backend for FullInformationLayout. Here I have added method for updating sent data from MainActivity:
  9. C#
    void UpdateActivityWithInformation ()
        var txtFilmStarInfo = FindViewById<TextView> (Resource.Id.lblName);
        var txtage = FindViewById<TextView> (Resource.Id.lblAge);
        var txtFilmStarBio = FindViewById<TextView> (Resource.Id.lblBiography);
        var ivFilmStar = FindViewById<ImageView> (Resource.Id.imageView1);
        txtFilmStarInfo.Text = this.Intent.GetStringExtra("FilmStarName");
        txtFilmStarBio.Text = this.Intent.GetStringExtra("FilmStarBio");
        txtage.Text = this.Intent.GetStringExtra("FilmStarAge");

    Following is code for btnGoBack, where I will call Finish() to close the activity.

    protected override void OnCreate (Bundle bundle)
        base.OnCreate (bundle);
        SetContentView (Resource.Layout.FullInformationLayout);
        Button btnGoBack = FindViewById<Button> (Resource.Id.btnGoBack);
            btnGoBack.Click += (object sender, EventArgs e) => 

  10. Now Build and Run the application:
    Initial Screen On Clicking ListView item On Clicking Go Back Button
    Image 2 Image 3 Image 4 
  11. Here is small flowchart diagram to explain what we have done above:
  12. Flowchart I 
    Image 5

  13. Now, let’s work on step 2 now, returning data from the called activity. For that we need to StartActivityForResult API passing intent data as it is as we used StartActivity API previously and one unique request code to indentify request coming back:
    ///--- In MainActivityClass
    const int MY_RESULT_CODE = 101;
    ///-- In OnFilmStarListViewClickSA Method

  14. Now modify btnGoBack click code, to return data from called activity, you have to create Intent, put data inside it and using SetResult, push data back to main activity.
  15. C#
    Button btnGoBack = FindViewById<Button> (Resource.Id.btnGoBack);
        btnGoBack.Click += (object sender, EventArgs e) => 
        Intent myIntent = new Intent();
        myIntent.PutExtra("returnData", this.Intent.GetStringExtra("FilmStarName"));
  16. You have used StartActivityForResult to start activity and also have returned the data from called activity. For that you have to override OnActivityResult for handling returned data. It has three parameters requestCode, resultCode, and IntentData. requestCode contains requestCode sent at the time of Starting Activity, resultCode and intentData contain value set in SetResult API from called Activity.
  17. C#
    protected override void OnActivityResult(int requestCode, Result resultCode, Intent data){
        if (requestCode == MY_RESULT_CODE) {
            switch (resultCode) {
            case Result.Ok:
                Toast.MakeText (this, data.GetStringExtra ("returnData"), ToastLength.Long).Show ();
  18. Build and Run again
  19. Initial Screen On Clicking ListView item On Clicking Go Back Button
    Image 6 Image 7 Image 8

    You can see Toast visible in third image, showing data returned by called activity.

  20. Here is small flowchart diagram to explain what we have done above:
  21. Flowchart II
    Image 9

Points of Interest

I have used MonoAndroid for C# and Xamarin Studio to build this tutorial.  Watch out, if I continue learning it, you can expect more articles coming soon. 

Though Xamarin Studio is proprietary software, however they provide free starter version to built, test and publish android application. I am using same for my learning. 

Articles in this series!

Tips/Tricks in this Series


  • 10-Oct-2013: First version. 
  • 05-Nov-2013: Updated article in series 
  • 22-Nov-2013: Updated other article section


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Software Developer (Senior)
India India
He used to have biography here Smile | :) , but now he will hire someone (for free offcourse Big Grin | :-D ), Who writes his biography on his behalf Smile | :)

He is Great Fan of Mr. Johan Rosengren (his idol),Lim Bio Liong, Nishant S and DavidCrow and Believes that, he will EXCEL in his life by following there steps!!!

He started with Visual C++ then moved to C# then he become language agnostic, you give him task,tell him the language or platform, he we start immediately, if he knows the language otherwise he quickly learn it and start contributing productively

Last but not the least, For good 8 years he was Visual CPP MSMVP!

Comments and Discussions

QuestionWidth And Heigh of the List Items Pin
Muhammad Rabi Bin Mazhar4-Jun-15 5:26
Muhammad Rabi Bin Mazhar4-Jun-15 5:26 
AnswerRe: Width And Heigh of the List Items Pin
Muhammad Rabi Bin Mazhar4-Jun-15 20:18
Muhammad Rabi Bin Mazhar4-Jun-15 20:18 

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