Android Auto Complete

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Android Auto Complete, exploring its features, benefits, and how to implement it effectively in your application. Whether you’re building a search feature, a form input field, or any other feature that requires user input, the Android Auto Complete is a valuable tool that can enhance the user experience of your app.

What is Android Auto Complete?

Android Auto Complete is a UI component that provides suggestions or completions to users as they type in an input field.

It’s a popular feature in many applications, helping users to quickly and easily input information by offering suggestions based on what they have typed so far.

Android Auto Complete can be used for a wide range of use cases, such as search suggestions, address autofill, username/email suggestions, and more. If you want to use the Android AutoCompleteTextView widget in your application, you need to define it in your XML layout file.

You can do this by adding the following code:


In this example, we define an AutoCompleteTextView widget with an ID of “autocomplete”. We set its width to match the parent view and its height to wrap the content. We also set the completionThreshold attribute to 1, which means that suggestions will be shown as soon as we type at least one character. Finally, we set the hint attribute to “Search” to provide a hint to the user.

Android Auto Complete Methods

To use the AutoCompleteTextView widget in your Android application, you need to know its available methods.

These methods can help you customize the widget’s behavior and appearance to provide a better user experience.

Here are some of the most commonly used methods of AutoCompleteTextView:

setAdapter(ArrayAdapter adapter)This method sets the adapter for the AutoCompleteTextView. The adapter provides the data for the suggestions. You can create your own adapter by extending the BaseAdapter class or use the ArrayAdapter class provided by Android.
getAdapter()This method returns the adapter currently used by the AutoCompleteTextView.
setThreshold(int threshold)This method sets the minimum number of characters the user has to type before suggestions are shown. The default value is 2, but you can set it to any value you want.
getThreshold()This method returns the current threshold value.
isPopupShowing()This method returns true if the suggestion popup is currently showing.
showDropDown()This method shows the suggestion popup.
dismissDropDown()This method dismisses the suggestion popup.
setDropDownHeight(int height)This method sets the height of the suggestion dropdown in pixels.
setDropDownWidth(int width)This method sets the width of the suggestion dropdown in pixels.
setDropDownAnchor(int id)This method sets the id of the view to which the suggestion dropdown should be anchored.
setDropDownBackgroundDrawable(Drawable background)This method sets the background drawable for the suggestion dropdown.
setCompletionHint(CharSequence hint)This method sets the hint text to be displayed when no suggestions are available. You can use this to provide a more informative message to the user.

To provide suggestions to the user through the AutoCompleteTextView widget, you can create an ArrayAdapter object and set it as the adapter for the widget.

Here’s an example code:

AutoCompleteTextView autoCompleteTextView = findViewById(;
String[] suggestions = {"Apple", "Banana", "Cherry", "Durian", "Elderberry"};
ArrayAdapter<String> adapter = new ArrayAdapter<>(this, android.R.layout.simple_dropdown_item_1line, suggestions);

In our implementation, we first find the AutoCompleteTextView object using its ID. Next, we define an array of strings to serve as suggestions for the user. After that, we create an ArrayAdapter object using the array of strings and set it as the adapter for the AutoCompleteTextView. It is worth noting that the adapter is responsible for providing suggestions to the user as they type, and it can be customized to display suggestions in a particular way.

To customize the appearance of the suggestions in the AutoCompleteTextView, you can define a custom layout for the adapter. You can create a new layout file with the desired appearance and use it in the ArrayAdapter constructor.

Here’s an example:

ArrayAdapter<String> adapter = new ArrayAdapter<String>(this, R.layout.custom_layout, suggestions) {
public View getView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {
View view = super.getView(position, convertView, parent);
TextView text = view.findViewById(;
return view;

In this example, we create a custom layout for the adapter and set the text color to black. We then create an anonymous subclass of ArrayAdapter and override the getView() method to set the text color for each suggestion. By doing so, we can customize the appearance of the suggestions according to our needs.

Why should you use Android Auto Complete?

Implementing Android Auto Complete in your application offers several benefits:

  • Android Auto Complete provides a seamless and efficient way for users to input data by offering relevant suggestions as they type. This can greatly improve the user experience, making it easier and faster for users to input information without having to type the entire input manually.
  • With Android Auto Complete, users are presented with suggestions that are based on their input, reducing the chances of input errors or typos. This can help prevent incorrect or invalid data from being entered into your application, ensuring data accuracy and reliability.
  • By providing auto-complete suggestions, Android AutoComplete can help users complete input fields more quickly, saving time and effort. This can lead to increased productivity for users, making your app more efficient and user-friendly.
  • Android Auto Complete allows developers to customize the suggestions and appearance of the auto-complete dropdown to match the look and feel of their app. This gives you full control over the suggestions that are presented to users, allowing you to tailor the auto-complete feature to fit the specific needs of your application.


Android Auto Complete is a powerful and versatile feature that can greatly enhance the user experience of your Android application. By providing suggestions and completions as users type, you can improve input accuracy, increase productivity, and create a more efficient and user-friendly app. With the ability to customize the suggestions, appearance and behavior of the auto-complete dropdown, you have full control over how it integrates with your app’s design and functionality.

Implementing Android AutoComplete in your app may require some additional effort, such as setting up an adapter, providing suggestions, handling selection events, and customizing the appearance. However, the benefits of a more intuitive and efficient user input experience are well worth it. Users will appreciate the convenience and speed of auto-complete suggestions, leading to increased user satisfaction and engagement with your app.

We value your feedback.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Enter your email to receive a weekly round-up of our best posts. Learn more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *